Aside from my career coaching business, I also work in an HR department.  As part of my job, I help the business fill its vacancies.  I manage recruitment campaigns ranging from administration roles all the way through to heads of departments.

There’s nothing that frustrates me more when screening a CV than wondering why someone has applied for the job.  This most usually happens when the CV just doesn’t match up with what is required for the job.  For example, if you’ve never worked in a sales role why apply for a sales job that asks for 3-5 years of experience in

Help Me Understand

At this point, I’ll go looking for a cover letter to see if there is any explanation for a change in career direction, or an attempt to explain why the candidate considers their background matches what we are looking for the successful candidate to do in the role (given that a lot of roles rely more on transferable skills or learnable content to be successful).  More often than not, the cover letter is missing, or they will have uploaded one written for a different role at a different business.

Top Tips to Minimise Rejection

So here are some of my recommendations so you don’t fall into the same trap:

  1. Figure out what you have the experience to do (directly and indirectly) taking your knowledge and skills into account
  2. Figure out what kind of jobs you could do given your skills, knowledge and experience
  3. Determine if you are interested in changing direction in your career and map out how your knowledge, skills and experience could still give you a strong position in a new career area. This is where your transferable skills become your strongest asset
  4. Craft your CV so it focuses on your results, contributions, and value you’ve added, rather than a laundry list of your responsibilities
  5. Consider writing a cover letter the picks one of two of your core skills and links them to why you would be ideal for the job – especially if you are changing direction

If you take the time to prepare your CV and think about the roles you are applying for, you could significantly increase your chances of making it onto the shortlist. 

Maximise Your Efforts

So the next time you apply to a job, don’t leave the recruiter or the hiring manager wondering why your CV has landed on their desk.  Instead, make them wonder why they didn’t find you earlier.

Good luck with your search!