By Lilian Wamaitha
Has it ever occurred to you that how you apply for a job matters?
Here is one little known fact; it’s okay for your job search to drag on for a few months but if it drags on for years, there is something you are not doing right.
After all, how many people do you know who started out with you and are now happily employed?
You want a job; that’s for a fact, if only job search was as easy as making that decision.
Job search can be intimidating and very frustrating but there are things you can do to make it even less tedious.
In this article, I will take you through several job search facts that will make you re-think how you apply for your next role.
1. You are not the only one applying for that role
Here is a sad fact; one job post attracts up to 200 applications.
Now imagine competing with all those people for a single job; and to make matters worse, the employer is only looking to hire one person.
Chances of your application being seeing are therefore very slim – unless your application is one of a kind.
One thing you should always have in mind when applying for a job is that, you are competing with both qualified and less qualified candidates.
Among those applications is someone who meets the entire employer’s qualifications, has an outstanding CV and has brought out clearly how they are the perfect fit for that job.
Among those applications are also people who have been referred by others for the job.
And in that pile still, is an application from someone who doesn’t even meet 20% of the requirements?
So what would make your application stand out enough to beat the qualified and the referrals?
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2. A majority of the jobs are never advertised
Most people assume that because an organization has not advertised a position then there is no opening available.
Do not limit yourself by believing that the only jobs out there are the ones advertised.
Sometimes companies may not know they need someone with your skills and your application may show them that you will be a great addition.
3. Employers don’t read your CV
Employers receive hundreds of applications for each job they advertise, which means that they have very little disposable time to go through every CV thoroughly, to look for the perfect candidate.
That said, the urgency of filling the position also means that only the most eye-catching CV’s get into the shortlisted pile, while the rest are binned.
An employer will spend on average 7 seconds reviewing your application before moving on to the next.
4. While you know you can do the job, the employer doesn’t
When you are looking for a job, this is the best time to really think about your career and the direction you want it to take.
Maybe you have been a salesperson but love communication and you believe you would do really well in that field. So you see a position and apply.
You know you can do the job if given the chance but the employer does not know you and they are probably interviewing a lot of candidates who have communication experience.
It’s up to you to prove yourself and you can do this by drafting a killer cover letter explaining your passion for communication or having a separate CV specific for communication jobs.
The bottom line is; you will have to do more than just send your application with the same CV and cover letter you use for all jobs.
5. Knowing someone on the inside can actually get you hired
Maybe you know what company you want to work for and have just seen a job that you would be a perfect fit for advertised online.
While applying for that job is the logic thing to do, it doesn’t mean that you should keep your interest to yourself.
Like I said, a single job post may attract over 200 applications; hence having someone who can refer you for the job will go a long way.
This is because a majority of the companies often rely on these referrals to fill certain positions.
So go out, network with these people who you know can help you land that job and when the time comes when you will be applying for one, you will have it easy getting shortlisted for an interview.
At the end of the day, landing a job might be as simple as you changing your ways. All the best in your job search.
The writer is a Communication Officer at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR firm that offers CV Writing, Coaching, Training and Free Job Placement. Visit their website www.corporatestaffing.co.ke.
By Lilian Wamaitha