Coach Martin Garrity advises those who have been applying for jobs, but are not getting interviews.
Martin Garrity aka The Jobsearch Coach helps people who are looking for a new job, wanting to change their job and are getting interviews but getting rejected. His service is for jobseekers, job changers, job returners and job starters. Here he outlines advice for those who have been applying for jobs, but are not getting interviews.
The internet gives us so much. We can shop, watch TV or films, listen to our favourite music and read interesting stuff any time.
It also means that when an organisation is seeking new talent, the opportunity might be advertised online. (Many vacancies are not filled this way, as recruiting organisations rely on networks of candidates of whom they are aware already. But that’s a story for another article).
So when a vacancy appears on the internet, literally anybody with a connection can see it. Which in turn means that recruiters may get thousands of applications for a single vacancy.
(Which explains why I often advise my job-seeking clients to ration the amount of time they spend trawling through job boards such as Monster or Indeed to a few minutes a day. It can be soul-destroying to keep making applications and not getting replies)
Recruiters have to find a way to manage the large number of CVs and covering letters.
They use software called an Applicant Tracker System or ATS. If you’re applying for a role online, it’s very likely that you’ll need to navigate one of these tools. They take some getting used to…..
Here are some key tips that will give your application the best chance of clearing this hurdle and being read by a real human being!
The software will probably also review your CV for the right keywords. This is one of the secrets to cracking the ATS challenge.
You can work around this issue by carefully reviewing the job ad with a highlighter pen in hand. As you read through, mark the most relevant and important words. Once you’ve got a list of keywords, make sure that they appear in your CV prominently.
It would even better to make a wordcloud of the job advertisement and of your CV. Worldclouds are a visual representation of text. The more frequently a word appears in text, the larger it appears in the wordcloud.
This is easy and free if you use a tool like wordcloud.com. Upload your CV and covering letter into wordcloud.com and the result will look something like this which I produced using my own CV.
You can produce a wordcloud for the job advertisement as well. Which means that you can compare the requirements of the job with your letter and CV. If the keywords from the recruiting organisation don’t appear in your CV and letter as often as you’d like, you can get to work editing both.
Some CV coaches advise adding multiple repetitions of keywords in ‘invisible’ white text to the CV. Although this trick might get your CV ranked higher, recruiters are unlikely to fall for it – it’s a simple matter to highlight all text and reveal the added words. Once the white words are revealed, your application is likely to be rejected.