The internet is awash with ‘CV tips’ and it’s not surprising that job seekers can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of information out there on making a job application. What was once a fairly straightforward process, now seems to be a military-grade mission where strategy and tactics to get one-upmanship on your fellow job applicants is just a part of the recruitment process.
Of course, this competitive attitude towards job seeking has become necessary. There simply aren’t enough jobs to go around, despite what Theresa May or the British Government may tell you – and so competition is fierce. The official unemployment statistics look rosy but that’s because they mask the number of low pay low skilled jobs that have flooded the market in recent years, taken up by those who previously weren’t in work. Pensions don’t cover the day to day cost of living, benefits no longer guarantee a roof over your head and if you’ve successfully migrated to this country, there’s no guarantee of a decent job on arrival: in every case, you take what you can get.
Putting forward a strong application has never been more important – but some applicants will have the edge, simply because they follow a few golden rules.
First, every application they make is tailored to the job advert. What does this even mean? Seasoned recruitment expert Martin Carline of CV Template Master explains: “The strongest candidates take time to analyse the job advert and ensure both their CV and covering letter meets the requirements exactly. They focus on what’s important to the employer, bringing out the requested skills and experience in each of their past positions.”
Second, strong applications are supported by evidence – facts, figures, achievements and so on. “Write your CV using words like achieved, established, exceeded, supervised and surpassed,” suggests Carline, “and you’ll find yourself including the evidence that employers are looking for.”
Third, choosing a good quality CV template has never been more important. “Recruiters are using ATS software” explains Carline. “Not every recruiter uses it, but how do you know? The safest bet is to pick an ATS-friendly CV template and know that if the software is in use, your CV will run smoothly through the system.”
90% of Fortune 500 Companies use an Applicant Tracking System, according to Hardik Vishwakarma of Hiring Hacks. But of 1,000 resumes analysed by TopResume, 43 percent were sent in an incompatible file type.