November 19, 2018, by Carla Froggatt
Is Your Haphazard Approach Stopping You From Getting an Interview?
By Lorna Airey, Employability Officer
When job seeking, it can be tempting to send out hundreds of applications as quickly as you possibly can in the hope that you’ll eventually get something. However, applying for anything and everything can actually slow the process down.
By applying strategically, taking your time and tailoring each application, you are likely to see more fruitful results very quickly. You are also much more likely to be satisfied with the job outcome at the end of the process.
Here are four handy tips to improve your chances of getting to the next stage of the application process:
1. Narrow your search
Rather than applying for every graduate job out there, it’s helpful to narrow your search. This allows you to spend your time being more focused and intentional about the roles you are applying for. It also means that your genuine enthusiasm for a role and/or company will shine through.
To narrow down your search you will need to decide which criteria are important for you in a role: job type, location, sector, size and type of company etc. Even if you can only currently define a couple of criteria this can be helpful. For example, you might be looking for entry-level roles within a charity based in London.
If you’re not yet sure what this would look like for you, try Profiling for Success and Prospects Career Planner. These are two great tools which can help you identify your interests, skills, talents and work preferences. You can also book an appointment to speak to one of our team who will help you explore what you’re looking for in a role.
2. Put yourself in a recruiter’s shoes
A recruiter’s first priority is to fill vacancies with people who are talented and suitable for the role. However, they will also be looking for people who are committed to the organisation. Recruiters will want to hire someone who will stick around, not use the role to leapfrog into another organisation six months down the line. Make it clear in your application that you have done your research and are able to express why you want to work for their company in particular.
Some ways to research a company are:
- Read the company website and blogs
- Look at their social media for articles and up-to-date information
- Use Glassdoor
- Search reputed news sources, for example, BBC news, The Economist, and Reuters
- Find out if there are any specialist journals for the industry
3. Don’t copy and paste
It can be tempting to speed up the application process by copying and pasting previous job applications. However, by doing this your application is likely to sound generic and impersonal. Make sure that when writing applications you are looking closely at the job description and person specification to pick out which skills the role requires. You will then need to demonstrate – with relevant examples – how you meet each of these criteria. A simple and effective way of doing this is to use the STAR technique.
Of course, it can be helpful to keep a record of previous answers you’ve given, but you need to be sure that you’re only picking out your most relevant experiences and then relating them directly back to the specific role and company.
The same goes for your CV, it’s not a case of one size fits all. As with application forms, you need to be tailoring your CV each time you use it to make sure that you’re clearly demonstrating how you meet the specific job criteria.
4. Run your application past us
Our expert careers team will be more than happy to look over your CV and application forms with you before you send them. As well as advising you on current applications, we can also look over previous unsuccessful applications to see where you might be able to improve.
Applying for jobs can be a long process, and at times demotivating. Running your applications past our team can give you peace of mind that you’re on the right track and have submitted a good application. Book an appointment on My Career.