We recently joined The University of Manachester for their MBA careers event where we were selected to be part of an expert panel and Q&A session. The common thread was that many job seekers find a job online, hit ‘quick apply’ and expect to get the job.
The Reality of Online Job Search
There can, and will be thousands of people who may apply for the same job as you. Both the A.I. and real recruiter will filter the main bulk of applications by using keywords.
Let’s just use a Project Manager job as an example.
Project managers can come from a huge variety of industry sectors such as IT or Insurance, Construction, Schools or Sporting Events. The recruiter will select certain criteria that the applicant must have to be longlisted. If we were looking for a project manager to work in the Events industry, we would be likely to use words such as “exhibition” or maybe “Event project manager”.
If your profile does not include any of these key words you would not be ‘found’.
When you see a job you want to apply for – ensure that your profile matches the Job Description perfectly.
How to stand out in the Virtual Crowd
In order to make an impact, you cannot just hit ‘Easy Apply’. Make sure you are a good match for the job, do not waste your time on jobs that are not suitable. It is disheartening for you and not the best use of your time.
There are a number of things you can do.
- Make sure your profile on any websites is up to date. No point in drawing attention to an outdated profile.
- Highlight some achievements you have relevant to your industry, eg sales, people management, education.
- Make sure you’ve thought about keywords search and you have included any relevant words/phrases on your profile.
- Find the hiring manager or the recruiter, send an email or InMail – but make sure they are the right person and be specific. Highlight why you are a match to the job.
- Feeling confident? Phone up the company, let them know you are eager – leave a message if you can’t get hold of the person you need to contact but again, be specific – explain why you are perfect for the role. **Please note that this is not an easy option as many people are still working from home, and therefore difficult to reach through the office switchboard.**
- Be persistent – if you are perfect for the role the recruiter/hiring manager DOES want to hear from you – but you need to keep trying, they will be busy with many other candidates.
- Don’t get disheartened – remember the numbers of applicants a recruiter will be wading through; they will get to you – but continue to make contact – get your CV to the top of the pile.
It’s great that sites like LinkedIn and many career sites have made it easier to apply for jobs and in an age when we’re used to online shopping with one-click checkouts and a delicious selection of food can be delivered within the hour all from the touch of a button on your phone, we can see why they are popular. However, consideration must be given to the market. In a ‘candidate rich’ market like we are currently experiencing each job can get thousands of applicants, work must be put in to every application. Treat finding a job ‘like a job’ – be persistent – work on your networking, research and personal marketing skills to make the right connections and land that job.