By Selipha Kihagi
Do you sometimes wonder why you don’t get shortlisted for jobs you believe you are qualified for? Or why recruiters and employers don’t call you for an interview despite meeting all the requirements? Based on the emails that hit my inbox, I would like to believe that most of you do. And most of you probably concluded the reason you didn’t get shortlisted was because the competition was tough or that employers were unjust during the selection process.
But no matter what reasons you choose to believe, one other thing is certain; if you know what employers look for in a CV, you can always get your CV shortlisted for the interview. How you ask? By making sure that your CV meets the employer’s expectations. And to help you out with this particular issue, I reached out to one of the recruiters for insights on how, as a job seeker, you can get your CV shortlisted by employers.
According to Wanjiru Chabeda, a Senior Account Manager at Corporate Staffing Services, every position is unique in its requirements and a candidate’s CV should the MUST HAVE requirements in order to get shortlisted. “For instance, some jobs will prioritize on the candidate’s experience while others are more particular about educational qualifications or industry worked. In order for a candidate to make it through to the interview, their CV should clearly meet these particular requirements.”
So if you want to proceed to the interview stage for that position you really want, Wanjiru advises that you take note of the following.
1. Understand that employers have specific needs for each position
For every position you come across that you meet qualifications, always take time to consider what the most important requirements are. Some positions will be adamant about candidates having industrial experience above everything else. In such a case, you could have the years of working experience needed for the role but fall short on the industry specifics.
What does this mean? You could be an Accountant with the experience and education level required for an Accounts Assistant position. But if the employer is looking for someone who has worked in the manufacturing industry and you do not meet this particular need, you may not make the cut. So study the job description and take note of the requirements that use words such as Must Have, Preferably, or that say particular candidates will be given priority.
2. Know that employers prefer well-updated and organized CVs
When was the last time you updated your CV? Does your CV contain all the information that recruiters and employers want to see. Some of you are still victims of CVs that don’t say how long you worked in a particular position. You include the name of the company and position but leave out the months or years that you worked in that role. Such a CV will hardly get shortlisted for the interview and most times recruiters will not even take a second look at the document.
Another mistake job seekers make is using a CV that is poorly organized. If a recruiter cannot tell that you meet the job requirements in the 10 seconds they take skimming through your CV, then you will not get your CV shortlisted. Your CV needs to contain all the relevant information and be up to date.
3. Include your email address and phone number on the CV
Sometimes you may have all the qualifications and requirements for a role but if your CV does not include key information like your contacts, you won’t get shortlisted. Remember that recruiters and employers handle hundreds and even thousands of applications for one single position. This means that you cannot afford to slip up and forget to include your contacts.
How do you expect to get the call for the interview if you don’t have a working phone number? This may appear too obvious but many candidates have missed out on opportunities because they did not include their phone numbers or email address on the CV.
4. Employers want candidates who follow instructions
If a job advert is specific about how you should submit your application, don’t start being creative and unique. If you have been provided with a Subject line to use, make sure you write it as it is. If you have been told to only submit your CV for the application, don’t go attaching your certificates in your applications.
While you may think these will add value to your application, in most cases it will be seen as not following instructions. And most importantly, remember to use the email provided or click on the link to apply when you are submitting the application. It is the only way to guarantee that your CV is received.
How to get your CV shortlisted is just a matter of understanding what recruiters and employers want and giving them exactly that.
Got questions about your job applications, remember to leave a comment below.
Selipha is a Communications Officer at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading Recruitment firm that offers CV Writing, Job Placement & Career Advice. If you have any queries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org