Times have changed and so has the process of job hunting, and indeed job advertising. Today, there is much more competition for each job, and the decision makers have the arduous task of sifting through applications as they try to create a shortlist of individuals that have caught their eye.
But the key here is ‘individuals that have caught their eye’ and not ‘the best candidates for the job’. Whilst their aim is of course to find the best candidate for the job, they might miss the best candidate along the way due to the high volume of applicants.
Standing out from the crown is the best way to grab the attention of the decision maker, so having a standard CV and cover letter is no longer sufficient. Here are 4 reasons why you’re not being shortlisted.
1. Start or create something
Whilst not everyone has the time to start a new business venture, most of us have some time to create a blog, as described in this article. Creating a blog will demonstrate to the decision maker that you have the motivation, that you’re creative and that you follow through on things. It also may be the key to closing a knowledge gap that you have . For example, if the job you’re applying for requires you to have 3 years’ related experience and you only have 2 years’ experience, then demonstrating your knowledge through a blog might be the answer to your issue.
2. Creative cover letter writing
Oftentimes, cover letters don’t get read, but that does not mean that you should not have one! Being creative with your cover letter may just give you the upper hand, so investing some time in each cover letter that you write could give you the advantage you need to get your dream job!
Ensure that your keep your cover letter ‘short and sweet’ – 3 paragraphs is best, starting with who you are, who the employer is (this demonstrates your understanding of them and the position you’re applying for) and why you and the company would make a good combination.
Think of a cover letter as a synopsis of a book. Compliment your CV and encourage the reader to open it and read further.
3. Approach the employer or decision maker
It is important to be proactive in your job search. One way to do this is to show the employer or decision maker how you can help them to reach their own goals.
Reach out to decision makers via the available social media channels, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, and introduce yourself. Be sure to focus on helping the company and how you would go about this, rather than focusing on yourself and how this job could help you. By having this mindset you will show the employer a much clearer value from the offset.
You can find out more about networking with recruiters by reading our article ‘4 Unique Ways to Network With A Recruiter‘.
4. Supplement your application
It is worth thinking about how you could supplement your application with something to really make you stand out from the crowd. Think about the job and role in hand, and the skills that it requires, then think about how you could demonstrate these skills and your ability to perform them.
The supplement could be, for example, a video or a blog post showing your worth and examples of how you would go about performing the job in hand.
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