There will only be a very few lucky people who have not experienced the frustration of sending off a never-ending stream of job applications and CVs, only to not hear a single thing in return.
It’s purgatory for a number of reasons. Firstly, and let’s not pretend here, completing application forms and tailoring your CV is time-consuming and excruciatingly dull. It just is. Secondly, there’s the worry of how you’re going to keep food on the table and a roof over your head. Thirdly, and this one might be a little controversial, employment – particularly if you’re lucky enough to have a job you enjoy – makes for a more fulfilling life.
So, if you’re sending off CVs and application forms by the dozen and receiving absolutely nothing in return, here are a few of the potential reasons why.
1. You’re not good at bragging
Studies have shown that shameless self-promoters do less but still end up in the top jobs, and it’s certainly not because they’re performing better at work. Some of us are simply not very good at bragging and that can lead to a CV that’s full of responsibilities but no achievements.
In the employment history section of a CV, many people simply list what their responsibilities at previous roles were, but all that’s doing is telling a prospective employer what your boss told you to do. Instead, you should list achievements, and achievements start with verbs.
• Led a team of five and achieved…
• Grew the company’s social media following from…
2. You’re completing applications too quickly
You might be on your fifth application of the day and be desperate to go out and walk the dog, but the hiring manager doesn’t know that. They want to see an application that is tailored to the role, completely error free and shows exactly how you meet the requirements set out in the job description and person specification.
It’s much better to send out 10 applications a week and get three interviews than it is to send out 20 and get one, so in this case, less is more.
3. You’re applying for positions that aren’t the right fit
As time goes by and you get more impatient, it is more likely that you will apply for jobs you know you’re not a good fit for. Although you don’t have to meet all of a job’s requirements, you should meet 70-75 percent of them as a minimum if you’re going to apply.
4. Your CV is too long
Your CV should be short, to the point and easy to read. Two sides of A4 is generally accepted as the maximum length, particularly in the first 10 years of your career. Your paragraphs should be no more than 2-3 lines long and you should avoid any big chunks of text if you want your CV to be read. Your spacing should also be consistent, with enough whitespace to make the information easy to digest.
Looking for bilingual job opportunities?
If you speak English and a second language fluently, you possess an in-demand skill that prospective employers across the south coast of England are looking for. Take a look at our current vacancies and submit your CV today.