Up to 250 applications received for an advertised position and only one candidate will be selected! This figure is daunting but remains a frightening reality. In a context where the market is flooded with many talents who tirelessly try to get noticed by recruiters, places are scarce. But all is not lost! If you have a clear career goal, you have the required skills and are absolutely convinced that you are the ideal candidate, why is your CV still being ignored by recruiters? There are surely some tips that you can get from this post.
- The format of your CV is not suitable
Recruiters use different softwares which allow them to go through hundreds of CV as quickly and optimally as possible. If your CV has too many images, characters and logos, it will not be screened efficiently and will never fail on a recruiter’s desktop. The best format for your CV is the Word or PDF formats and I also advise you to refrain from using too much graphics and imagery. Being original is great as long as it does not compromise the clarity and transparency your CV needs to convey.
- Your job profile and summary have nothing to do with the job you are applying for
As I mentioned in my previous articles, recruiters only need a few seconds to get an idea of your suitability for the prole. They will need less then 10 seconds to figure out if your CV is worth reading or not. You have 7 seconds to capture their attention and keep their focus on YOUR application. Imagine the impact your CV will have if you apply for the position of “Marketing Manager” and the title of your CV or your most recent experiences, show expertise as “Event Coordinator”? Your CV will systematically be rejected. Make sure your career summary and your experience are perfectly aligned with the targeted position and choose a title that will reassure the recruiter from the outset!
3. You do not use the right keywords in your CV
Remember this! Recruiters are mandated by their clients to identify the best candidates in record time. To do so, they use what we call Application Tracking Systems (ATS), a CV screening software which allows them to identify the best CVs, using just a few words. If you do not know the algorithms used by these machines, your CV will automatically fall between the cracks. The best way to prevent this is to use the right keywords in your CV, including the right title, your knowledge of a specific software (if it is required), your location (if it is a selection criterion for the employer), or your industry knowledge/expertise… Everything must appear! And all of these clues are listed in the job postings published by employers/recruiters. So please, take the time to study the job requirements before you start sending your CV!
4. You give too much personal information.
Do not encourage the recruiter to question your skills and abilities by sharing information that is too personal and does not add any professional value to your CV. Here is a small list of information that should never appear in your CV, but that I have read in some applications that were presented to me: Divorced with 3 children 2, 6 and 11 years of age; single 2 children; widowed since 2016; contract interrupted because of redundancy; contract ended due to work accident … All of these elements, although honest, take recruiters’ attention away from the most essential part of your CV and encourage them to create a picture of you, judging you on a personal level before you could even prove your ability to do the job. Do not give them this chance.
- You have been unemployed since 2015
It’s a safe bet to say that if you have not worked for more than 2 years, recruiters will be hesitant to consider your application. It is perfectly acceptable to have 1 or 2 years of inactivity but a longer absence from the job market might substantially impact your employability and many recruiters will see it as a red flag. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, I am thinking in particular of professionals whose reputation is second to none and are constantly being headhunted, or those with very rare expertise. It will also depend on the industry in which you operate; some sectors are evolving very quickly and too long a departure will imply that you are a little disconnected from the latest trends. However, there are some very simple things you can do to write a good Curriculum Vitae despite having such a big gap in your career: Opt for a skills-based or achievement-focused CV instead of a chronological CV (which will focus more on the gaps in your career history), stay informed of new technologies and trends through training. Volunteer or offer freelance services. There is no miracle recipe, inaction will not solve your problem, so you will have to be creative to add value to your CV.
I hope this post will help you have a better understanding of what you need to work on to make sure you get noticed by recruiters. Feel free to share your comments and share this post with anyone around who is actively looking for a job so they don’t make the same mistakes!
And next time you need to apply for a new position
Write a CV so good can’t ignore you!
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