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10 tips on how to increase your CV response rate

Written by Kimberley Startup | June 8, 2011 | 2 Comments

Are you firing out CVs but not hearing anything back?
Want to know how you can improve your CV response rate?
By using a few marketing tricks and a bit of creative thinking, you can increase the likelihood of a reply.

1. List your ‘unique selling points.’ Use your covering letter to make recruiters aware of what makes you stand out from your competitors

2. Use a ‘call to action’ at the end of your covering letter. For example, ‘Please call me today and I will give you further details on how I can benefit your company’.

3. If you’re applying for a creative position, get inventive. One job seeker got an interview after mailing a potential employer a coffee cup!

4. Make sure your CV is perfect. Any typos or grammar mistakes will see your resume filed in the bin. Try having your resume professionally written using webrecruit’s CV writing service

5. Add keywords. You don’t need to be an SEO specialist to optimise your CV. Think about what skills employers will look for. Try to use different variations too, e.g. ‘H&S Manager’ and ‘Health and Safety Manager’

6. Personalise your applications. Increase your CV response rate by addressing your resume to a relevant person within the company

7. Make an impact by stating your objective at the top of your CV. Summarise the skills and experience you have that makes you a perfect match for the role

8. If you’re applying online, make sure you send your CV as a MS Word or text file (.doc or .txt). If an employer can’t open your CV, they’ll just delete your application

9. Unless you’re applying for a creative job, think function not fashion. Use an easy to read format and a legible font. Find out if your CV passes the test by using webrecruit’s free CV critiquing service

10. Target your applications. Don’t spam recruiters with a generic CV and covering letter, improve your resume response rates by tailoring your application to the job in hand

Do you have any more advice to add to this list? Tell us your tips for getting employers to reply to your CV in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “10 tips on how to increase your CV response rate

  1. leonamatson on Reply

    @Martin You’re right. Too often the simple things are overlooked as people do all they can to stand out from the crowd. The above link is definately worth a read, thank you.

  2. Martin Ellis on Reply

    I have a few….

    1. Your CV/resume is no longer paper document. Get a short list of your key career achievements in before your career outline. Get your strong punches in early before the reader has to scroll….
    2. If you saved the world in 1999, nobody cares. Get your CV/resume to focus on what you’ve achieved recently. What happened last century is gone.
    3. Nobody cares where you live. They need to know the town, but not the street. Save early space (see point 1)

    I blogged a more complete list of ‘dumb’ things to do with your CV at http://fastheadhunter.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/top-ten-dumb-cvresume-tips-45/. Too many people put too much stuff in their CV. They need to do the simple things well to be noticed.

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