One of the top gripes I hear from candidates is that they send off CV after CV, application after application and don’t get any replies from recruiters. I understand how frustrating this must be, however, as someone who has been involved in the hiring process for many years as a manager, employer, recruitment consultant, career coach and CV writer – some applications just don’t warrant a reply. Yikes! How rude? Perhaps, but, you know me; I want to help you to succeed, so if we flip the boot onto the other foot, here’s what drives me (and most other recruiters/ hiring managers) potty and why you may not be receiving the replies you crave.
Now, this may seem like stating the obvious, but in order for someone to contact you, they will need your contact details. When I am recruiting, I come across at least 2 or 3 CVs where there are either no contact details or the ones included are incorrect. This is just a waste of time for everyone. Don’t rely on the fact that your details are on your job board profile. Depending on the site, recruiters may not have access to this information. Make sure your email address and mobile phone number are on your CV and are correct. It’s always best to include your mobile number rather than just your land line as recruiters often work speedily, so are more likely to catch you on your mobile.
How to Apply
It’s imperative you read the job description – I mean fully read the job description as it may include details on how to apply that you may not expect. It’s easy to adopt a scatter-gun approach to job applications as job boards make it easy for you to click the “apply now” button BUT and it’s a big BUT…there may be another way, for example, a recruiter may have added their email address for you to email them directly, or perhaps have added a link to click on, which will take you to a page where all applications are collated. If there are further instructions that you have ignored because you haven’t taken the time to read the job description fully, it may be perceived by the recruiter that you are not serious about the job role or you will be sloppy in your work. Bottom line is – if you can’t be bothered to apply correctly, then it’s unlikely the recruiter will be bothered to contact you.
Check the Checkboxes
Often, a job description will include a pre-screening checklist where you have to tick boxes to show that you meet the criteria. So, let’s say, for example that the role requires 3 years’ experience, fluency in French and a full, clean UK driving licence, it is an expectation that you will put a tick in each of these boxes before you send your application. In other words “If you don’t have these; don’t apply.” Why would a recruiter take the time to call or write to you if you have ignored their request? You don’t meet the job role requirements and you have just wasted your and their time.
I really don’t like an objective statement on CVs or application forms as they dictate to the prospective employer what you want as opposed to showing them you meet the requirements of the role and would be a good hire. Personal preference aside, if you do choose to have an objective on there, make sure it is relevant to the role. There’s no point in stating “Looking for my next role in Finance” if you are applying for a position as a Help Desk Engineer. The recruiter won’t think you are serious about the role and may assume you have taken the scatter-gun approach I referred to earlier. If you haven’t taken the time to make your CV bespoke to the role to which you are applying, it will greatly reduce your chances of a reply.
If the job description invites you to apply with your CV and cover letter, make sure that you include a cover letter. Seems obvious, right? Even if you haven’t been asked for one, it is good practice (and polite) to include one anyway, as these can be invaluable in providing an insight into what’s contained in your CV. It can save time if a recruiter is pushed for time, as they can make a decision on whether to open and print the CV or reject. Once again, if you haven’t followed a basic instruction, it’s unlikely that a recruiter will take time out of their busy day to contact you.
I Rest my Case
And lo and behold, while I was writing this blog post, someone has emailed me to ask what the salary is for a position I am recruiting for. It’s at the top of the job description! Did I reply? What do you think?
Like my page on Facebook for more career topics. https://www.facebook.com/juleshalliday
Or follow me on Twitter @juleshalliday
Are you not getting replies from recruiters? Comment below.