Following this guide will improve your chances of getting job interviews which will ultimately help you to find a new job. Notice how I use the word “interviews” in the plural and not “interview”. Getting one interview is great but you will probably need to attend a few before you find the best possible role for you.
There are a number of techniques for improving your chances of getting job interviews. Here are ten that I guarantee will ensure that more recruiters than ever will contact you for a friendly chat.
- Create a kick-ass CV / Resume
- Create a kick-ass cover letter
- Make multiple job applications
- Tailor your CV and cover letter for each application
- Register with multiple job search sites
- Contact hiring managers directly
- Build a rapport with employment agents
- Utilise Social Media
- Get referrals from existing employees
- Provide a professional email address
1. Create a Kick-ass CV / Resume
CVs or resumes as you’ll know them Stateside, are usually your first foot in the door when trying to secure a job interview. A Kick-ass CV is essential if you want to get any attention whatsoever in the jobs market. Recruiters may have hundreds of CVs to sift through and will find easy methods of cutting these numbers down through ruthless binning based on typos, poor layout and irrelevance. Automated technology makes matters even worse since potential recruiters may not even ever see your CV if their filtering software decides that your CV doesn’t match closely the advertised role. In short if your CV isn’t up to scratch no employer will know you exist. Don’t worry though because if you follow this guide on How to Create a Kick-Ass CV, you will shine like a beacon in the inboxes of 100s of recruitment managers.
2. Create a Kick-ass Cover Letter
A cover letter is the more human readable form of a CV that adds a little finesse to your approach to getting job interviews. With a cover letter you can demonstrate your ability to write beautiful English, luring recruiters to grab your CV while succinctly embedding messages into their minds to convince them that you are the right person for the job. I’m not aware of any computer programme in use today that can read a cover letter so it’s really important that yours appeals to real people by being nicely presented, professional looking and relevant to the role you seek.
Your cover letter is an opportunity for you to describe yourself without using lists and bullets and gives an insight into you more as a person rather than a product. Don’t get too carried away though, keep your cover letter down to 3 or 4 paragraphs including an introduction of your intention to apply for a particular role, a quick heads up on what you are currently working on, a strong summary of the skills you have relevant to role being applied to and conclude with why you think the firm is so great that you can’t wait to work there.
3. Make Multiple Job Applications
Finally getting a job interview after hours of perfecting your CV and cover letter is a great feeling, but don’t stop there. The chances are, and I’m not being pessimistic, that you probably won’t be hired after just one interview. Not necessarily because you didn’t perform very well during the interview, but perhaps you decided you didn’t really want the role. After scouring various recruitment related forums and websites, I’ve found that for job hunters receive and then accept 1 offer for every 10 final interviews they are invited to attend. Straight away you can see why only making application will narrow your chances of eventually getting hired.
Another common oversight job hunters make when applying for jobs is where they’ve found the perfect job advertised and put all efforts into applying for that one role, then sit back and wait for the call. Madness! They may never ring, they might not like your CV, they may not even ever get to see your CV. Keep applying until you get an interview and keep applying while you’re preparing for your interview and then keep applying while you’re waiting for a result for your interview. In short to really improve your chances of getting a job interview for the job that you’ll eventually get hire for, send a continuous stream of applications until you have signed that contract.
4. Tailor Your CV and Cover Letter for Each Application
During your job search, you’ll notice that every job advert is worded differently even where the job titles are exactly the same. As I mentioned earlier, when you send your CV to potential recruiters and job databases, it is usually the case that before anyone sees it, a computer programme will scan your CV to see if it matches the job description. If there isn’t a close enough match, then your CV will be discarded never to be seen by human eyes. In order for your CV to pass this automated filtering stage, it will need to contain a high percentage of the keywords that are found in the job spec. What this means in practice then is that you will have to put some effort in to edit your CV so that it contains the important words and phrases as specified in the job advert so that the recruiters’ scanning software gives your CV a high relevance score. It’s not good enough to use one CV for every application you make. To improve your chances of getting more job interviews, you must create tweaked versions of your CV that are laser focused for each application you make.
In addition to customising your CV / resume it is important to tailor your cover letter for each application. It’s fine to use a standard template, however the cover letter is inherently more personalised since it will contain details specific to the job being applied to.
5. Register with multiple job search sites
Increasing the likelihood of your getting more job interviews depends heavily on how many potential recruiters are aware that you are actively seeking new employment. Sending the odd CV off here and there in response to job ads will not sufficiently raise this awareness. With today’s internet technology however, we are blessed with dozens of job search sites which not only list jobs ads but allow you to upload your CV and create a profile which potential recruiters will have visibility to if your profile matches criteria that they are looking for. To up your interview invitation chances, register with as many of these job search sites as possible and enter as much relevant detail as you can into your profile. The leading job search sites are Monster, Indeed Simplyhired, Glassdoor and Linkedin. Sites may vary in your region so just do a Google search for “job sites” for a selection relevant to your location.