You’ve applied for a role advertised on the corporate website that fits your skills and experience. You get a slick response to say thank you for your interest and that your application is being considered. So far, so good, but then weeks or months go by until you receive a generic email to say that it is with regret that you’ve been unsuccessful on this occasion.
Sound familiar? You, Ms Star candidate, have been swallowed by the gravitational well of the recruitment Black Hole.
There have been some good articles as to why the black hole exists – e.g. Why the black hole of resumes exists by Scott Weaver.
However there is little advice on what you can do to avoid dropping your CV into the applicant tracking abyss.
I would recommend building a long term relationship with a specialist recruiter that is well networked in your niche market and has a proven track record of working with your target company. But, given this is what I do for a living, I could be accused of being biased.
So, before going into hyperdrive and launching your CV through a company career portal, here are some Do’s and Don’ts that should help.”
Don’t apply to a generic ‘catch all’ advert on a corporate website. In-house recruiters are under pressure to deliver on urgent requirements so are unlikely to prioritise generic applications…no matter how talented you are.
Do follow companies on Twitter and Linkedin that you are interested in working for. Your currency will be highest when they advertise specific roles that match your skill set.
Don’t apply to an advert where there is no named contact/human being with whom to discuss the details of the opportunity or the progress of your application.
Do identify who is likely to be accountable for hiring the best person for the advertised role and reach out to them. If they are not accountable then they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Don’t assume the recipient of your CV will be fully versed in your niche skill set or read your covering letter. CVs will be skimmed for facts and buzzwords – not for a well-crafted description of your unique characteristics.
Do have an awesome CV which is short and punchy and full of facts. It should show specific metrics where appropriate, years and months of employment and pre-empt any questions around career gaps or poor performance. Ensuring that your CV is presented in the best possible light is one of the ways a good recruiter will add value for you.
Do check the data protection policy before you apply. Remember by applying directly that you could inadvertently lock out any 3rd party recruitment agency with the right connections to represent you with that company for 12 months or more. Ensure there is a contact/instruction for removing your details at any time upon your request.
Also look out for:
No specific roles advertised on the careers page. The company probably hasn’t invested time or resource in streamlining their application process…or are not hiring!
Too many roles advertised on the careers page. Unless they have a really slick process it is unlikely that you will be heard above the noise. At best, do not expect any special treatment.
Remember next time you embark on a recruitment voyage it can be helpful to have a good wingman. If you would like to have a consultative conversation with a human being about your career goals reach out to us at Teem or Follow us if you’d just like to stay on the radar.