How to succeed your job application
Are you looking for a new job? Are you perhaps considering a change of career? Whatever your case may be, if you are reading this article is because you are in the tedious process of applying for a job. You know how it is, it gets repetitive, you have to fill in many application forms, cover letters customized according to the company, you set up alerts in a few job boards, you spend hours in front of the PC and then you reach the point of despair and you start applying to every job post you come across.
Nowadays, there are many new technologies that make the job application processes easier for the candidates and for the
Human Resources departments. However, the search process is still a heavy one. After having worked in the HR department and after being a candidate myself many times before, I have gathered a few tips that I use in my coaching services that can make your application process easier and more effective.
As I always say in my articles, the key in life is to have clarity of your highest values, skills, goals and career objectives. As long as this is clear crystal to you, you will find many job positions and companies that will suit your needs and help you achieve your goals. When you are looking for a job, try to think of it as a vehicle that will help you move forward in your career. Unless you are in urgent need for money, I think you can make the time to actually plan your life and career path and then look for a suitable job.
See what is behind the curtain
Hiring is a two way street. As candidates, we only care about what concern to us but we do not even think about what is behind the curtain, what is the recruiter looking for and how is the hiring process. I think that understanding what happens on the other side might help you to have a bigger picture and to make a more effective application. After having worked at a HR department, I can give you an insight of the recruiter’s side:
- The recruiter knows exactly the profile he is looking for: The RH team is formed by career experts who know how to find talents. Usually the skills that are requested in the profile of the job post are the ones the recruiter is looking for. It is true that if the candidate does not fulfill all the requirements but the profile is still good, he/she might be invited to an interview. But if there are at least 3 criteria that your profile does not fulfill, it is almost for sure that the recruiter will discard your application. In this case, it is better to move forward and to use your time on another application.
- Information Systems and other technologies: The largest companies usually count on information systems and other technologies that allow the recruiter to filter the candidates by using keywords. Your application will arrive to the data base when you apply for a specific job (Or you can do a speculative application in some companies). Once the information is in the database, the recruiters can easily look for candidates according to certain skills. My advice here is for you to make sure to include all the keywords of the skills, education, domain, languages and other criteria that are aligned to your career goals and from which you might want to be called for.
- The HR department cares about times of processes and statistics: Even though as candidates we have the impression that all the hiring processes are long and that the companies do not care, I can assure you that the hiring time is important for them. Not only because it will impact the statistics and the company’s KPIs but also because the person who will be hired is actually needed in some department. Having a vacancy in a department create delays, workload accumulation and stress among workers, which also impacts the company’s goals. It is on the company’s interest to find a person as soon as possible (taking into account the interviews and approval processes).
Having this said, it is important that you make the job application as structured as possible. Make a CV easy to read, clear and complete. Make a well structured cover letter that will allow the recruiter to go through it fast and to understand your career orientation. It is my advice to write down the skills that you actually have or that you are in the process of learning. Lying or exaggerating on your CV will only put you in an awkward position if you are invited to an interview, which causes delays in their processes and for you it represents a waste of time and energy that you will need for another interview that might suit you better.
Focus your energy on the right job application:
I have one more advice for you, focus your energy on the right job and company. I understand that when we look for a job we usually send as many applications as possible, no matter the company or if we fulfill all the requirements. It is a myth that the more applications you send the more interviews you will have. It is the quality of the job applications what will make the recruiters to call you. If the information is accurate, clear and well structured, the recruiter will see it, and when you are called for an interview you will be able to handle it well.
It is not nice to receive rejection emails, or go to an interview and leave it with the feeling that we made the fool of ourselves. This is the consequence of sending random applications. The emotional impact of doing this is huge: we feel down, our levels of energy will decrease and so will our self-esteem. I recommend that you target your job applications, spend the right amount of time and energy on the ones that are actually good for your career and make a high quality application.
I hope these tips are useful! I wish you all the best on your career and feel free to contact me for more advice and career coaching!