If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. In the UK, the average job recieves 25 applicants with some highly sought after roles receiving hundreds of CVs.
Recruiters can be overloaded with applications, many of which might also be below the required standard for the job.
Likewise, there are ways that recruiters can seek out candidates using online tools, without the need to check the CVs in their inbox.
So, if you’re applying for lots of jobs but never getting an interview there are a few things you should check over first.
1. Is your experience a match?
Sounds obvious right? But if you’re not getting interviews after applying for jobs, this might be the first thing to check.
If you don’t have the experience, how can you present the information on your CV in such as way that it looks like you are a good match?
For example, try to use positive language and experiences in your CV.
Instead of saying: “I worked in a supermarket stacking shelves and manning the checkout”, try saying:
“Managed inventory and carried out routine stock checks. Face to face customer service duties and cash handling”
The difference between the two is that you have used specific language to highlight your experience beyond the simple activities. Take a moment to sit down and look at any of your work experience to understand how you can word it better to highlight your benefits and experiences, *without lying about it!*
2. Clean up your CV
The problem with most people is that their CV looks like shit. Sorry, but it’s true.
The best thing to do, is to use a CV template which you can get in Word or Google Docs for free.
Then customise your CV and try to keep it as simple as possible.
Avoid blocks of text, and instead use bullet points to highlight specific sections of experience. For example:
Receptionist/concierge (company name) – Dates worked
- Welcoming visitors as front of house/customer service.
- Phone based customer service, inbound, routing calls and taking messages
- Mail-room management, including collecting and distrubutuing incoming mail and franking and sending outgoing post
- Diary management and personal assistant duties for centre manager including during special events
You’ll see from the above that I have vaguely highlighted some common duties for receptionists. But the way it is worded and structured makes it easy for a recruiter to skim read and search for specific experience.
Try to keep the structure simple and use less words when possible.
3. Your cover letter sucks
Nobody likes writing cover letters. So by default, pretty much all cover letters suck. And when you have to write one for every single job application, it gets long very quickly.
Remember, cover letters don’t necessarily have to explain your credentials for the job. Your CV does that. But the aim is to convey a bit of personality AND explain some of the benefits of hiring you.
So here is a hack to write an awesome cover letter and make it customisable.
OPEN – My experience is this, and I am looking for this. i.e: For over 5 years I’ve been working as front of house for COMPANY, and I’d love to move into NEW ROLE.
EXPERIENCE – This is where you should say that you’ve done something awesome. “While working here I have optimised the processes around mail dispatch, and improved the layout of the waiting area”
SOCIAL PROOF – If you have something that backs up how awesome you are, that helps too. “I am regularly praised for my hard working ethic and I am a strong team member, regularly helping to ensure processes run smoothly beyond my own remit”
WHY – Why are you looking for this new job? “Although I love working for COMPANY, I am very keen to progress in my career and have seen JOB ROLE that I believe I would excel at”
BACKUP THE WHY – You’ll be great, obviously. But tell them why… “With my experience of first class customer service, self-starting attitude and capacity for efficient time management, I would love to build my role as a personal assistant at your firm”
SHORT SIGN-OFF – Talk a bit about you. “Outside of work I like to crochet and start fights in the pub”.
And that is how you write an awesome cover letter. The best thing is you only need to adjust it slightly for each role you apply for.
4. Know how to use job sites
If you’re applying for jobs and getting no interviews, the best thing to do is leverage the power of the job sites.
The way you use these sites to your advantage is to sign up for your profile and upload your CV. You should make sure your details are completely updated, at least as much as possible.
Put your contact details on there, explain what you’re looking for and have as much info as you can get on there.
Next, login to each of these sites at least weekly. Update your profile, even slightly, and apply for jobs when you see something relevant.
As recruiters regularly search these job sites, if you have a well optimised CV and profile, they should eventually start coming to you.
5. Use Linkedin/social media
If you’re not using social media to hunt for jobs, then you’re missing out. Linkedin especially is more important than ever.
Like your CV, you should optimise your profiles and understand the benefits of each social media platform.
6. Get a job
Now this might sound like a useless or silly suggestion, but sometimes if you’re trying to get a job, just having a job in the first place removes the strain.
Working part time at the local shop, pub or cafe gives you essential experience and – obviously – money.
Many of these types of jobs are transient anyway, meaning people only do them for a short while before moving on. So if you have a job as a waiter in a restaurant, or as a delivery driver for Deliveroo, this can actually benefit your long term prospects.
This is especially true if you’re young and starting out looking for work. Some experience is better than no experience.
So if you’re applying for loads of jobs, but getting no interviews, try these suggestions.
Also, check out our tips for setting up your own freelance job.