By Tiernan Cannon
Job-hunting can be a slow and gruelling process. It can be an extremely frustrating time, and difficult to ensure you put your best foot forward in each and every application, but ultimately it’s down to you to ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
So, we take a look at some tips to ensure that you do.
Polish your CV
First things first, make sure your CV is up-to-date and attractive for employers to read. An employer is likely to be overrun with CVs when advertising for a new role, so make sure yours is easy to scan through – no Comic Sans allowed.
Include a simple summary – a short and snappy introduction that highlights your career progress and skillset. Relevant experience, education and references should also be included, and don’t make it too wordy.
If you need some help, there are a multitude of free CV templates online that allow you to simply input your personal details and experience into a simple, yet attractive format that won’t instantly put off potential employers.
Tailor your application
Sending a tailored cover letter is a well-known job hunting tip, but it’s also good practice to alter your CV depending on the specific role you are applying for. Whenever you apply for a role, take a few minutes to check your CV against the job advert and look for any potential improvements you can make, or any experience that could be highlight above the others. For example, if you are hiding a crucial qualification at the bottom of your CV, make it more prominent.
Tailoring your CV for every application may take a little more effort, but it could do more to land you an interview than sending out generic CVs that aren’t directly relevant to the job.
Broaden your horizons
Job websites are clearly a wonderful source of vacancies and should definitely feature in your job search, but the adverts on major job sites receive extremely high volumes of applications, meaning your CV can often get lost among the sheer numbers of other applicants.
Online networks such as LinkedIn are a great alternative, with plenty of recruiters actively searching for candidates.
Similarly, tracking down potential employers and sending speculative applications is a great way to sidestep crowded job boards, or at least get your name on their desk should a suitable role arise. Not every company you approach will be hiring, but it only takes one successful approach to land an interview.
Don’t neglect print media. Local and national newspapers generally carry a number of job advertisements, and your next job could be hiding among those pages.
If you find a job that you would like to apply for, take a step back. Don’t immediately send off an application – instead, research the company and the professionals who work there, and see if you know anybody working there. LinkedIn is a priceless resource for tracking down and getting in touch with contacts, but Facebook and Twitter can also be useful.