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Are jobseekers failing at the first hurdle?

Written by Kimberley Startup | November 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

When applying for a vacancy, do you tailor your CV? It’s a question often put to jobseekers and whilst we all know we should to increase our chances, not everyone does.

Statistics from webrecruit’s latest Jobseeker Survey has highlighted the issue, revealing that just 30%* of job seekers always tailor their CV when applying for a vacancy.

In light of latest news that UK unemployment rose by 129,000 in the three months to September to 2.62 million, it seems that this crucial step is being overlooked in the application process.

Phil Roebuck, CEO of webrecruit, commented: ‘This statistic is especially concerning considering just how fierce the competition is for jobs.  To put it into context, we’re seeing an increase in applications for all our clients’ vacancies across the board.

‘For example, a vacancy for a PA role in London received over 230 applications in just one week; a sales and marketing assistant saw over 700 responses. When you’re manually screening this volume of interest, you need applications to be tailored to get the employer’s interest’.

Whilst the survey showed some positive signs with over 60% of respondents always sending in a customised covering letter, and the number of resources used to find a job increasing, job seekers are running the risk of failing at the most crucial stage.

Lee Tonge, one of the industry’s most respected professional CV Consultants and owner of The CV Store, lent his suggestions to candidates:

‘With the significantly increased number of applicants for each vacancy, tailoring your CV for a specific role is a no-brainer. Take the effort to analyse each job specification and extract the relevant keywords for inclusion within your CV.

‘Recruiters will know who has / hasn’t taken the effort when making an application.  It’s surprising just how many CV writing clients we see who tell me they’ve been applying for a specific role with no feedback, when, upon reviewing their CV, they’ve been distributing a generic CV to literally hundreds of companies with no thought for the position they’ve applied to.’

Sian Bradley, a recent Masters graduate in Architecture, has been out of work since September. After months of searching for her Part 2 placement, she’s changed her approach and designed an original approach to job hunting.

She said: ‘Especially in my industry where jobs are scarce, it’s really important to get the hiring manager’s eye.

‘Prospective architecture practices must receive a vast amount of email or paper CVs, so I chose to create a mini hard copy portfolio showcasing the skills I have learned that are relevant to the practice in question. I’m hoping this out-of-the-box thinking will make my application memorable’.
*Webrecruit Jobseeker Survey – 31.7% of candidates answered ‘yes, I always adapt my CV’.

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