Job searching is exciting and terrifying at the same time.
Finding a new job takes a lot of work – writing a CV, drafting a cover letter, interviewing and so much more. With so much information and advice on the internet, you may be left with more questions than answers.
After going through the frequently asked questions by our readers, I sat down with Ms Carolyne Kariuki, a senior recruitment manager at Corporate Staffing Services, to answer them.
1. Should I apply for the job if I don’t meet all of the requirements?
If a position asks for 10 years of experience, for example, and you just graduated from college, you should continue your search for a position you’re more qualified for.
The rule here is to ensure that you apply for jobs that you qualify for, by at least 80%. This way, even though you may not be fully qualified, you legitimize your chances of eventually landing the job. Ultimately, you never know what could happen.
2. Can I use the same CV for every job application?
It’s always best to tailor your CV to whatever job you are applying to. This is because different jobs have different requirements, responsibilities, and points of emphasis. Also, different companies have different cultures and working styles.
In your job search, your primary goal is to prove that you are a perfect fit for the position and the employer. It is, therefore, going to be hard to prove this if you use the same CV to apply for every job you are interested in.
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3. How can I optimize my CV to make it through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)?
Your CV should be customized to the job you are applying for. Carefully examine the keywords in the job description and adjust your CV to reflect them. This is because many ATS systems filter out CVs that do not contain enough relevant keywords.
Therefore, go through the job description and pull out words or skills that are mentioned repetitively or seem extra important for the role you are applying for. Do they mention “Photoshop” numerous times? Or, have they placed a lot of emphasis on the phrase “skilled communicator,” for example?
Make sure you weave those exact words and phrases into your CV to optimize your chances of landing that interview.
4. I really want to work at a specific company. Should I submit my CV for every job I’m interested in?
Most companies track CVs in a database and can see how often you’ve applied. If you think you are qualified for more than one role at a company, apply to the role you’re most likely qualified for.
If you really are a good fit for multiple positions, it’s okay to discuss more about your broad skills and experience once you’re invited for an interview. Be strategic and show them you’re the best applicant for the job!
5. I keep hearing that I should reach out to my network. What should I ask them?
Being proactive is what will help you through networking, as most of them come to fruition after prompting. Be open and accommodating. Take the time to clearly request and specifically describe what you are looking for. This way, your contact is more likely to provide what you need.
Do you have another question that you want to be addressed? Let us know in the comments.