By Gemma Morris
11th March 2013

In today’s online world it’s never been easier to apply for a job. There is an ever growing number of internet job boards with recruiters advertising jobs in the thousands. Even just logging in to LinkedIn will tell you the jobs you might be interested in! In a couple of clicks you can very quickly apply for a number of jobs.

At KDR Recruitment, we get an average of around 40 applications for each job we advertise. Disappointingly, we’re seeing an increasing number of candidates taking a blanket approach to their job search and trying to see if they throw enough job applications at us, will one of them stick?

The ease of applying means that a lot of candidates are submitting their CV en masse even though they might not have the essential skills required for the job. It’s also very easy to apply for the same role through a couple of different recruitment agencies without even realising.

Creating the wrong impression

It’s hardly surprising that the sheer volume of information available can leave you feeling swamped at the thought of sifting through every role individually. It could seem easier to cover all bases but this is definitely the wrong approach. The problem is it can make you look lazy or desperate and that you are simply hoping for the best.

What are the pitfalls?

The big problem is that recruiters will start to doubt your commitment and be unsure if they will get your buy in for a particular job. The worst case scenario is that they will dis-regard your application altogether with the view that you are not serious about applying.

KDR Recruitment Consultant Liam Burke expresses his frustration “I frequently see candidates applying for several jobs that require completely different skill sets.  It dilutes the credibility of the candidate”

You are also in danger of having your CV sent over to a client for the same job more than once by different recruitment agencies. Even worse; your CV could end up in the hands of unethical recruiters who will have no hesitation in firing your CV over to loads of clients without your knowledge. Unfortunately, there are still a few recruiters out there that will use the same tactic themselves. They think that if they throw enough CVs at their clients something might eventually stick! This could damage your reputation if hiring managers start to notice they’ve received the same CV several times.

What should you do?

Looking for a new job can be stressful but it’s important to remain focussed on finding the right job. It’s far better to apply for handful of appropriate jobs rather than the comfort blanket of 30 irrelevant applications.

  • Take the time to find a few recruitment agencies that have a good reputation in the industry to work with. Find niche specialists rather than generalist who can give you some real insight into the job market in your sector.
  • Speak to the agencies you are working with to discuss the types of roles and clients they work with. This will help you establish who really knows their market and who is going to be best placed to help you land the right job.
  • Set aside half an hour each day to read through new job adverts that meet your criteria. Only apply to the ones that are in line with your career aspirations, meet your salary/location needs and you have the right skills for.
  • Use a suitable and professional email address; for example 'sapexpert@hotmail.com' won’t go down well if you are applying for a Microsoft business intelligence job.
  • Make sure your CV highlights relevant experience and achievements for the jobs that you apply for. Make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to see at a glance why you are suitable.  For more tips read ‘How to write a great CV’.
  • Check your cover email.  All too often we get an application with an email addressed to another recruiter about another job.
  • Keep a record of all the jobs that you’ve applied for, including where the job was advertised and which recruitment agency is handling your application.
  • Remember that professional recruiters will always have an in-depth discussion with you before submitting your CV and will be happy to tell you the name of the client. If they are not prepared to do this then don’t agree to be put forward.
  • If you find yourself discussing a role you have already applied for be up front and tell the recruiter straight away to avoid double representation.

Don’t

  • Never allow a job board to automate your job applications just on the basis of a keyword match.
  • If you don’t have the ‘essential’ skills, don’t apply! They are essential for a reason and in today’s competitive job market, it’s highly unlikely that your CV would make it through the shortlist. 

Apply for a job

So hands up if you’re guilty of spraying your CV around and are you persuaded to be more careful now?  If not, tell us why.  Has the splattergun approach worked for you?

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