How to be noticed in an overcrowded job market
Imagine that you have been hunting for a very specific pair of Nike shoes. You have been searching high and low for months but every shop either has the wrong size or colour. One day you filter through your post and notice a bright pamphlet amongst the usual mail and your shoes jump out at you, how exciting, a new store in the area is selling them! You try to ignore the numerous spelling error on the pamphlet and smudged ink and you search for a number to call. You call the number and there is no answer, you assume that they must be busy and call again the next day. Again, no one answers or calls you back. Eventually, after calling a few times you get through to a very disinterested salesperson who leaves you with more questions than what you started off with. You feel the hope slowly leaving you but you must persevere and give them the benefit of the doubt. Eventually, you decide to pop by on the weekend. The first thing you notice is how poorly the shop is presented, the smell of cigarettes is overwhelming and everything is untidy. When you present the picture to the salesperson they shrug and point you in the direction of shoes that are clearly not the same. At this point, you can either laugh or cry.
Welcome to the world of recruitment and the point of this story is to explain the importance of first impressions.
The first impression you will create when applying for a job is the email you will send with your CV. It is not just enough to send your CV to the company and hope for the best. Your email needs to be strategic and customized. Here are some mistakes that people often make when sending their CV:
- They don’t address the job or the person to whom they are applying.
- Their email is generic and could be used to apply for any job. Normally this happens when people CC or BCC multiple people.
- Spelling and grammatical errors.
- Long-winded email with unnecessary information. Often people will tell their life stories with their job applications.
In summary, keep your application specific, short, and remember to only apply for jobs that you are suitable for.
The next line of impression is your CV. Keep in mind that the person that you are sending your CV to has likely received hundreds, if not thousands of CVs before they look at yours. If your CV does not catch attention and is easy to read then it may be looked over. We have a video to explain how to create a good CV, please watch it to learn more: https://youtu.be/oy3J1_Rge_A
If you happen to be one of the lucky few to get a call or email please respond on the same day. Remember to keep your tone formal and professional and always think carefully before answering. Every word that you say / type will create an impression of you.
After the initial engagement If you get an interview you need to work on creating the best impression you can, the interview stage can make or break this job opportunity. We have many videos on how to prepare and present yourself for an interview: https://pro-talent.co.za/blog/.
Lastly, remember that although you may always put your best foot forward things will not always go your way. Try not to take rejection too hard, keep your chin up and keep moving forward!