Applying For The Right Jobs

Agony Aunt 17 Jan 2013
Applying For The Right Jobs

This week’s question is about applying for the right jobs, and how choosing the jobs you apply for and adapting your CV to suit each job application can save you a lot of time and rejection. The job application process isn’t about quantity, but quality – this is to say that getting a job doesn’t come down to how many jobs you apply for, but which jobs you apply for and how!

Applying For The Right Jobs

Dear Emma,

Recently I have been applying for lots of jobs according to my work experiences, however I have not been receiving any kind of acknowledgement or response. I have no idea why this is, is there anything that I can do to improve the number of responses I get?

This question comes to me in many forms, from very junior clients through to even the most senior and is by far the most frequently asked question. The recruitment industry has changed alot over the years and with the internet many more people are able to apply to jobs they would otherwise never even have heard about. This is great in some ways as it opens borders and gives people new opportunities and experiences. It can also however be at best a time waster and at worst a giver of false hope.

When looking for a job you can spend hours trawling the internet looking for something better and applying for many jobs that you feel you would be perfect for, but this is not always a good idea. As many of you found out despite an unlimited number of jobs being applied for there is still very little feedback or at least an acknowledged response. If this applies to you then at least you can be sure that most other candidates are experiencing the same lack of response. With such a huge number of people experiencing the same problem this tells us that sending off unlimited amounts of job applications is not an effective or efficient use of your time and the chances of a job at the end are slim.

So, to improve your strike rate you must get smart (and honest) and start thinking before applying. Some general advice would be never apply for a job unless you fit at least 80% of the job description, anything less and it is simply a waste of your time; you will never get the job, let alone a response. Remember there will be plenty of candidates out there who will fit the job description 100% and so you should spend your time more efficiently. You must also think about where the job is – do you need a work permit? Do you speak the right language? If the answer to these questions is no then you are reducing your chances of a response.

There are two greats tips to generate feedback when making an application. Firstly make sure you alter your CV for every job you apply for. The employers tell you what they are looking for in the job description so use it as a guide and make sure as much of that job description as is possible is on your CV, this will let them see immediately if you are right for the job. Secondly if there is a name of the company dealing with that job then search the internet for the name of a consultant who might be handling it. Give them a ring – go direct to them and have a chat; it will allow you to gage very quickly if you are right for the job and whether it is worth pursuing. It also means that you can send your CV directly to them and they are much more likely to give it the time you deserve and to give you a response, whether it be good or bad. Remember, by going direct, even if you are wrong for one job, it allows you to build a personal connection with that recruiter so if they are looking to fill another job that does suit you they will give you a call.

Always fit your experience to the job you are applying for and always go direct – this will save you time, energy and get you a job quicker!

Emma Foster, Senior Client Relationship Manager

Have a question for Emma? Be sure to email Emma here. Alternatively you can follow Emma on Twitter here.

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About the author


Emma is the Senior Relationship Manager at Career Intelligence. She is also the Agony Aunt for the Career Intelligence blog, helping with any questions or issues that expatriates moving abroad may have.


  1. Yirenkyi David
    November 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    how can i get your contact to call you,am looking for job

  2. Jamie
    February 18, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Hi Yirenkyi,

    The best thing to do is visit and enter explain your job hunting issues in the comment box. Someone will be in touch with you ASAP to assist you.

    Many thanks,