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Five tricks to get your job application noticed

中国日报网 2014-11-15 10:50




Kunjan Zaveri reckons he's applied for more than 1,000 jobs online since being made redundant earlier this year. But, he said, he heard back from exactly… none.

For some job seekers, hitting the “submit” button on an online job application feels like launching a CV into a black hole, never to be seen or heard from again. For Zaveri, a former human resources analyst for Cisco, it sure feels that way.

“I haven't heard anything from anyone,” said Zaveri in an email.

Zaveri, who grew up in London and now lives in Lithuania, said he wouldn’t mind it so much if the rejection came after an interview. “It at least would give me a sense of satisfaction and present me with the idea of weaknesses and areas to improve.”

The lack of any response at all — even a polite rejection form letter — is jarring and frustrating. So, what should you do if you’re constantly hitting a wall of silence? You won’t likely be able to seek feedback from the black hole of applications, but you can do a few things to improve the odds of your CV being noticed, and getting a call for an interview.

Before You Hit Send

Seven key questions to ask yourself before applying for a job.

1. Can I learn more about the job requirements and the needs of the organisation?

2. Do I meet at least 70% of the selection criteria?

3. What key words and phrases are used in the position description?

4. Can I enhance my resume to make it through the applicant tracking system?

5. Have I made it clear how I differentiate myself from other similar candidates?

6. Does my CV clearly show how I can solve the problem and add value to the organisation?

7. Have I folllowed the application instructions specified in the ad?

Source: Mary Goldsmith

Quality over quantity

For starters — and this might seem counterintuitive when you’re feeling desperate to land a job — be selective.

“No one should be applying for ‘thousands’ of jobs. Or even hundreds,” said Mary Ellen Slayter, a career expert at online job-search website Monster.com, in an email. “It's simply unlikely that someone would be qualified for that many positions to begin with. You're setting yourself up for disappointment.”

Instead, focus on whether you have the right skills and training for the jobs you actually want.

“If not, it's time to find ways to develop them, even if it's through more education or volunteer activities,” said Slayter. “No (resume) formatting tricks can overcome a lack of provable skill.”

Peppering doesn’t work

Many people make the mistake of simply peppering their CV or resume with keywords, thinking that will be enough to get them through the applicant tracking system (ATS) software that 75% of large companies use to screen applicants.

But keywords alone won’t work, according to Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass, a Boston-based job market and career analytics company. ATS software has become much more sophisticated over the past few years – and applicants need to adapt their applications to that. Newer search technology offers a more “holistic evaluation” of your resume or CV than in the past, according to Sigelman. Therefore, your resume should not be a list of facts but rather a narrative that tells a story.

"A narrative resume is essentially what every resume should aspire to be, that is, something that tells the story of your professional life in such a way that it’s clear that this new job — the job to which you are applying — is the next chapter in that story," Sigelman said.

Instead of writing a generic job description for each of your work experiences and leaving it unchanged no matter what job you are applying for, a well-written narrative would adapt each job description (and other sections too) so as to emphasize the specific experiences, skills, and vocabulary that the employer is looking for, Sigelman said.

“Really your resume is an elevator pitch: why you are a great for this [particular] job,” he said. If you have been working as the director of sales and marketing, for instance, and you want to apply for a position as vice president of sales, describe the work you have been doing in a way that emphasizes the sales experience that the vice president job demands instead of the experience you have accrued. “Similarly, you may want to reshuffle what you include in any skill lists on your resume based on what you think would be of value to this employer,” Sigelman added.

Do your homework

Mary Goldsmith’s biggest pet peeve when she was an executive recruitment consultant was applicants “who didn’t bother to edit their resume to reflect the needs of the organisation, or role requirements, even when a comprehensive position description was available.”

Not taking the time to customize your resume gives a really bad first impression.

“It looked like sheer laziness, which can appear disrespectful to the person screening your application at the other end,” said Goldsmith, now a Melbourne, Australia-based executive career coach.

Research the company before you complete your application. Check to see if the organization has a company page on business networking site LinkedIn. If it does, look for clues about how to develop your application, suggested Goldsmith. See if you know anyone working there. If you do, ask them about the company and what they look for in people. Check employee profiles to get an understanding of the type of people they recruit and what they value. “Use this information to modify your application and decide if you're a likely fit and if the application is worth pursuing,” said Goldsmith.

Name dropping

If you have experience at a well-known company (in the case of Zaveri: Cisco), take advantage of it, suggested Steven Yeong, a recruiter coach at Hof Consulting in Singapore. "Continue to highlight your experience [there] in your CV,” he said in an email. And send your CV to all of the direct competitors of the company where you worked.

“Most companies have a tendency to want to hire people who have worked for competitors,” he said.

Always a better way

No matter how well you craft your resume or CV, it still can’t beat a personal contact who can recommend you to a hiring manager or recruiter. “As everything changes in job search, some things remain the same,” said Wendy Enelow, founder and director of Virginia-based Resume Writing Academy, in an email. “Networking is still the number one way to find a new position."


自从库简·扎弗里(Kunjan Zaveri)今年早些时候被解雇后,他网申了大概有一千多份工作。但,他说,他收到的回复是……零。












7.我是否按照应聘广告里说的申请流程做了? (来源:玛丽·戈德史密斯)



“谁都不该申请‘上千份’工作。上百份其实也没必要,”美国在线人力资源企业巨兽公司(Monster.com)的职场专家玛丽·艾伦·斯莱特(Mary Ellen Slayter)在邮件里说道。“根本不可能有人能胜任那么多工作。你就是自找苦吃。”




现在75%的大公司都用求职者追踪系统(applicant tracking system,简称ATS)软件来筛选人才。因此,很多人想当然地以为,只要用关键词美化一下简历,就可以让自己通过求职者追踪系统。

就像波士顿人才市场和职业分析公司Burning Glass的首席执行官马修·希格曼(Matt Sigelman)所言,光有关键词还不够。ATS软件在过去几年已经得到优化,更加复杂——而求职者也要顺应这一改变。希格曼表示,比起以往,进步的搜索技术让你的简历受到“全面评估”。因此,你的简历不应该只是陈述一列事实,而是要化身成一个说故事的叙述人。










如果你有在知名公司的从业经历(以扎弗里为例:思科),要好好利用。新加坡霍夫咨询公司(Hof Consulting)的招聘教练史蒂文·杨(Steven Yeong)建议道。“在你的简历里重点突出你在知名企业的工作经历,”他在邮件里说道。然后把你的简历发送到这家企业的直接竞争对手那儿。



无论你怎么美化你的简历,都抵不过内部有熟人能直接向雇佣经理或招聘人员推荐的。“求职方式变来变去,有些东西还是一样的,”弗吉尼亚州简历撰写学院(Resume Writing Academy)的创始人兼主管温迪·恩尼洛(Wendy Enelow)在邮件中说道。“人脉仍是求职的首选途径。”

(翻译:Juliecy 编辑:Julie)


五招让你的求职信有回音 五招让你的求职信有回音





















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