by Sarah Berry Last updated 27th April 2017
You’ve tried everything to get a new job, right? You have spotted the perfect job, put your CV together, added a covering letter, applied with confidence ....
And then what?
You hear absolutely nothing. It feels like a complete waste of time. You are no further forward to getting the job you want.
Does this sound familiar?
If you are getting past this stage, and failing to impress at the interview stage then read my blog on “How to secure every job interview you attend and land yourself a fantastic new job.”
But, if you are not getting to the interview stage, then read on.
If you feel it is unfair, you’re dead right it is. If you have worked hard to gain qualifications and work experience, and the employer can’t even be bothered to reply to your application - even if all you get a is polite “get lost” email, it isn’t right.
So, I am going to explain in detail, step-by-step, the exact procedure you need to go through so the boot is on the other foot. I am going to show you an easy method to get so many interviews that you will have to turn employers down. Does that feel better? And remember, unlike some employers you will remember to reply with a gentle email that tells them, with a beaming smile on your face:
“Thank you for the invitation to attend an interview. Despite considerable interest in the job that you have on offer, on this occasion I have chosen to focus on other interview invitations that I have received …” or something along these lines. And remember once you reach the interview, you can be confident of getting the job if you follow my suggestions on “How to secure every job interview you attend and land yourself a fantastic new job.”
Can this really be true?
Can Sarah really promise that I will get a whole stream of interviews for some really great sounding jobs?
I promise you, you will be amazed by the results.
Let’s give you a quick bit of background, Career Consultants has been providing career coaching to individuals for more than 25 years. We have helped tens of thousands of people like you to secure their perfect job. Our tools and techniques have led to my various books on the subject all of which hit the UK best-seller lists. So, having dedicated years to perfecting job applications and helping people to change career or jobs, at any age, I know a thing or two about securing jobs in today’s employment market.
So let’s get down to business:
You need 3 digital documents - Yes, only three! A CV, a covering letter and LinkedIn profile.
Does this sounds easy?
You would be surprised at how many people refuse to have a LinkedIn profile despite the fact that 99% of employers will check out applicants on LinkedIn before inviting them to an interview.
You would be equally surprised at how many people apply for jobs without a covering letter because they think that it is not required these days.
If you apply for jobs with only 2 of the 3 documents listed above, you can say goodbye to interviews straight away. If you are applying with only one out of the 3, you have to seriously question whether you are really in the job hunting market.
So, before you make another application make sure you have an up-to-date CV, a killer of a covering letter and a really professional looking LinkedIn profile.
I am now going to show you what each of these looks like but before doing so let’s make it absolutely clear that you need a CV, a covering letter and a LinkedIn profile, and that’s all.
You don’t need a copy of your birth certificate, you don’t need to provide a long list of references, you don’t need to list every qualification grade or pay for any “get a job” gimmicks that you may see advertised. All you need is a CV, a covering letter and a LinkedIn profile.
Now get this:
Answer: Employers search databases for CVs these days.
I have been providing career services long enough to remember the days of sending applications by post. I can recount being a recruitment manager opening each individual letter or application and reading it.
Those days are gone. With the introduction of online applications, the employer searches databases for suitable applicants.
What is strange is that most CVs that are written disregard this fundamental change in the recruitment process.
You cannot afford to make the same mistake.
Tip number one: make sure that your CV is keyword oriented.
Just like you landing on www.careerconsultants.co.uk a few minute ago, it wasn’t just by luck that we were top of Google for the search term that you typed in. We apply a whole host SEO principles to get ourselves “top of search” for keywords.
You need to apply the same principles to your CV.
These CV writing principles are things that are never taught at school or even University.
However, it is, no doubt the number one reason why you are not being invited to interviews.
If you are unsure how to add keywords to your CV in order to rank top of search for employers, then consider investing in one of our CV writing packages. Before we write any CV we take time to consider the keywords that employers will be using for suitable candidates and carefully include these with the client’s CV.
The next big mistake to avoid is what I call the “selfie CV”
Most people call in professionals to perform all sorts of important tasks.
Why? The most common reason people give is that it saves them money. However, if your CV fails to deliver results - it is in fact costing you a fortune. Imagine if your CV delivered a job one month quicker how much extra income you would receive? You are talking thousands of pounds.
Writing a CV yourself, is a bit like being a doctor and trying to operate on yourself.
It is impossible for you to separate yourself emotionally from the task in hand. You may see all the benefits of recruiting you rather than someone else but you fail to see it from an employer’s perspective.
For a couple of hundred pounds, you will not only save yourself loads of time but you will discover the huge difference it makes to your career. You can then be confident that you will be found in searches and the you have significantly improved the message that you are presenting to employers.
With every CV there needs to be a brilliant covering letter.
You would be shocked at the number of applications made without a covering letter. Of those who do use one, you would be amazed at how many people use the job-boards default wording that says something along the lines of “ … please find attached my CV” and very little else.
Not including a well-structured covering letter is like attending the interview wearing shorts and a T-shirt. It may be appropriate for a very small number of jobs. However, it is not good practice and will rarely deliver what you are looking for.
Writing a covering letter is a pain. Agreed.
It is rare to write letters these days. However, when applying for jobs it is vital that you learn how to.
Imagine for a minute … you are looking for an employer to invest tens of thousands in you each year. That is the same amount of money as you spend on buying a car or small house. You can’t, therefore, afford to cut corners and not provide the assurances that the employer is looking for.
You need to take care writing your own covering letter. Avoid such things as “I-I” disease - starting every sentence with the word “I” - ‘I did this, I did that.’
Focus on the reason why you are applying for the job and then focus even closer on what the employer is looking for in terms of suitable candidates.
With several of our CV writing packages we write the covering letter for you and take care of promoting your benefits to the employer.
So, you have got your CV and covering letter nailed. Yes?
Now the big one … LINKEDIN
LinkedIn has revolutionised the employment market and how recruiters now recruit and advertise jobs. It is so BIG and so IMPORTANT that you cannot ignore it.
LinkedIn isn’t Facebook or Twitter (although in recent times some people would argue that it is heading that way). It is quite simply the biggest network of professionals on the planet.
It provides you with direct access to employers and recruiters working for nearly ever company in the world. And that is millions and millions of people.
So, why is it that 80% of those people who have connected with me on LinkedIn have less than 100 connections? They simply aren’t helping themselves.
Without blowing your mind with numbers, let me share with you some important figures. Let’s assume you had a LinkedIn account with over 10,000 connections within your network - within time this number is achievable. This size of network will allow you to reach out (directly) to 1,000,000 (1 Million) connections. Those 1 Million second level connections are then connected to a further 100 million people - all within your network.
That’s the population of around 10 LONDONs.
Surely someone within the 100 million people is looking to recruit someone with your skills and experience today.
Having a LinkedIn top 1% profile myself, I can honestly say that it is worth building a professional profile on LinkedIn. You won’t believe the job and career opportunities that it will bring you.
However, it has taken me years to master LinkedIn. We tried teaching clients how to use it but found that it was far quicker for us to manage their account for them.
Within a month, Career Consultants can transform your LinkedIn netowork so that you can start creating direct employment leads quite easily.
Consider this …
If you apply via a job advertisement how many people will you be competing with? It is likely to be thousands of people. Remember the employer can now search the whole job-board’s CV database in a matter of minutes.
The chances of being picked out with an improved CV are therefore greatly enhanced.
However, now consider this …
If you email a recruiter directly via LinkedIn. You have little or no competition.
Your LinkedIn account also acts as a reference point for employers to check you out.
Gone are the days of adding the names and addresses of personal referees to your CV. The employer can simply flick over to LinkedIn and check you out.
It is, therefore, not only the size of your network that matters but also the quality of your LinkedIn network and what they are saying about you.
Some people prefer not to have a LinkedIn account. However, what does this say about them? Would you buy a house without ever seeing a picture or reading any details about it? Of course not, and nor will an employer recruit someone without checking their details first.
Having an average or below average number of 100 connections - doesn’t say much about the candidate either. If all hundred connections are singing your praises and providing glowing recommendations, you can can probably get away with 100 connections. However, most people don’t have this type of praise on LinkedIn.
To sum up
What stands between you getting a job quickly and not getting one at all - three things - your CV, your covering letter and your LinkedIn profile. All three digital documents you have complete control over.
If you improve all three - you will get a job. If you carry on using the same ones that you currently using - and which are failing to deliver the desired outcome - you can be pretty certain that things aren’t suddenly going to change in your favour.
Of course, this is assuming you want a job and are applying for jobs that you feel you can deliver.
If you are applying for a highly technical role with no suitable connections, employers won’t be picking up the phone to call you. However, if your job choices are sensible, applying the principles above, will deliver results for you and usually FAST results.
So what are you waiting for?
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