Revealed! Number of CVs Recruiters Get & 3 Ways To Make Yours Stand Out
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By Selipha Kihagi
“I have been applying for jobs I qualify for but never get called for an interview, what could be wrong? My CV is okay, I usually apply on time and I always make sure I am qualified for a role before applying. Why can’t I seem to get any success from my applications?” reads one of the emails in my inbox.
Most job seekers going through this kind of frustration normally are never sure what to do next. And if you are a victim, you have probably thought about blaming recruiters and employers for your fruitless job search.
But where does the problem lie? Who is to blame when you are constantly applying for jobs without feedback? While the frustration you feel may lead you to hold recruiters and employers responsible, the real issue stems from you the job seeker. Only you can determine the outcome of your job search based on the effort and work you put into it. So go back to your applications and try to identify what it is you are doing wrong.
Recruiters and Employers Get Up to 200 CVs in Just Two Days
Remember you are not the only candidate applying to that particular position. As a matter of fact, your application could be among hundreds of other equally qualified candidates competing for the same position you are. And if you belong to one of the saturated professions in Kenya, you have to work even harder than everyone else. Why? Because the jobs you apply for always attract large numbers of candidates and recruiters have to be careful in their selection process.
“Some positions like those of Accounting, IT, Finance, Sales & Marketing and Admin attract hundreds of applicants. In only two days you can encounter up to 200 CVs in applications for one single position and we have to commence the short listing process,” says Muthoni Ndegwa, a Client Services Manager at Corporate Staffing Services. “Sometimes that number can be more because candidates continue sending their CVs even after the shortlisting has been finalized, with others doing so days after the deadline.”
If in only two days recruiters are tasked with looking through 200 CVs, you can imagine what number of CVs employers have to deal with when the application period extends to two weeks or even a month. And some top corporations invite applications to periods of up to 3 months and more. So before you go blaming recruiters and employers because you can’t get an interview, do your math and see exactly what your CV is up against.Once you have understood the number of CVs you have to beat in the application process, identify how you can use your CV to convince recruiters you are the best candidate.
Here are critical tips on how to make your CV stand out and beat the competition in that job application:
1. Put emphasis on how you present your CV to recruiters
As we have mentioned before, recruiters and employers do not have time to read through your CV. They only have time to hover on the document and pick out only what they are looking for. If they can’t find the information in less than 10 seconds of glancing at your CV, they proceed to the next candidate.
So in order to make the list of interviewees, ensure your CV is well presented to grab a recruiter’s attention. If the job advert insisted that you have 3 years working experience, let that information be clear on your document.
2. Follow all the instructions given
Every job advert has a section telling candidates how to submit their application. Make sure you read through the details and do as you are asked. If the instructions say you submit a 2 page CV only, don’t go attaching a 5 page CV or including certificates that were not asked. If you do this you will not get shortlisted.
The only pass you will get is when you include a Cover Letter even when it has not been requested. Other than that, make sure you follow all the instructions given.
3. Avoid simple mistakes
Some of you send in applications for a job but forget to attach their CVs. Others send in an attachment that is corrupted or that cannot open on the receiver’s end. For others it is using a CV that is so disorganized a recruiter cannot tell if the candidate is qualified or not. By making such simple mistakes in your application, you are ruining the only chance you have at getting an interview. Remember that your CV is only one in 200 or more CVs received by recruiters. A single mistake would be enough reason for a recruiter or employer to bypass your application.
So what’s it going to be? Will you keep blaming recruiters and employers for your failed job search, or will you do something to change your odds?