Not getting interviews? Here’re some tips on working with a recruiter

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The first thing to understand is that recruiters are usually working very quickly. We have to deal with hundreds of people and CVs every week. This means there isn’t really a lot of time to pick apart your CV in great detail. You need to make a strong impression, fast.

Even if you’re dealing direct with an employer this holds true. A hiring manager is trying to do their day job while taking time out to read 10+ CVs. Studies show you’ve got less than 30 seconds to get your message across or the person reading your CV is gone and onto the next one.

So what can you do?

When applying for jobs

1. Ask yourself, can you honestly do this job? It’s important to think before applying – if you apply for too many jobs you’re not quite ready for, chances are people will notice and not take you seriously for the jobs you can do.

2. If you can do the job, why? Don’t send a generic cover letter, send a cover letter that passionately explains why you are right for the role. Point out where you have relevant experience that the ad says you must have. So many people miss out on jobs because they have not shown evidence of why and where they have gained the relevant experience.

3. Your CV must show relevant experience that is asked for in the ad / job description. Check your CV to make sure it says you’re an obvious choice for the role. Highlight your relevant experience, make it prominent (ideally first page!).

4. Put at least 3 key achievements in your CV for each job. Doing the job is one thing, measurable results are something else entirely! Stand out from the crowd with what you’ve achieved.

To attract headhunting calls

1. You have to market yourself – it’s no longer about who you know, it’s about who knows you!

2. There’s a variety of great online resources (like Linkedin) that help you do this. Make sure you have an online profile(s) that’s easy to find and keep it up to date.

3. Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, it’s always worth understanding what the market is doing and building relationships you can leverage at a later date. As they say, you create your own luck!

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Phone: 03 8637 7316