You’ve spotted it. The job advert to beat them all. The one you’ve been waiting for. Sifting through emails upon emails of ‘similar type roles’. But now you’ve seen it. Your dream role.
But how do you go about making it yours? Because let’s face it, this isn’t the first time you’ve been here.
This seemingly endless rotation of spot, send, sit patiently, and repeat can be tiring. Not to mention disheartening. And in this continuous cycle, you want to do all you can to try and secure that dream job. The one so absolutely perfect for you, you can’t bear the thought of somebody else being offered it. If only there was some way of standing out and really proving to the interview panel that you can make this role yours.
Well, as luck would have it, there are steps you can take to get yourself out there a little more, in the hope of turning those hiring managers heads. Don’t throw in the towel just yet. Because with a few out of the box ideas, and some charming creative tweaks, you may be able to find a way to make that dream job yours.
Let us show you how…
Think about the key criteria
Recruiters and hiring managers want to find the perfect candidate for the role. But they also want to do it quickly. With recruiters spending an average of around 6 seconds looking at a job application, and most opting for automated computer screening options, you’re already fighting a difficult battle in the job arena.
How do you work this to your advantage? Simple. Inject a little creativity and move things around. Don’t make it an effort for the hiring manager to realise just what a perfect match you might be.
So, list all of the key criteria or role requirements right at the peak reading moment. Whether it be adding in an extra introductory page at the start of your CV, moving only your most relevant jobs to the top and sorting into chronological order, or demonstrating how you fit the criteria for this role under every previous job. If the recruiter can spot where your skills match up, in an instant, you have more of a shot of getting a foot in the door.
Oh, and make sure to save it as a pdf. With all the different versions of Word floating around, and your version potentially coming up as a formatting nightmare, this is yet another potential block to make the recruiter shout ‘NEXT’.
Turn your CV into something more…
If the beckoning dream role is one in a creative industry. Such as art, writing, photography or music to name but a few. It’s time think outside those four paper walls and transform your ordinary application into something a little different. You’re a creative one, after all.
If you’re applying for a role as an illustrator or designer, turn your CV into a literal piece of art in the form of an outstandingly eye-catching infographic. If you’re trying to get a foot in the door of the music biz? Turn it into a gold disc. Or print your CV on transcribing paper.
Going for a job in the publishing industry? Why not turn your CV into a book? Okay, maybe not literally. But you can inject some fun. Add in a spine down the side, write your name as the author - the job as the title. And turn your experience section into a review. The key is to be creative.
Don’t get caught out with clichés
You’re really enthusiastic about the role, right? You’re a great team player, with plenty of passion for what you do, with reliability oozing out of every pore. Oh, and you’re so punctual.
Uhuh. So is everybody else on paper.
It may sound unreasonable, but generally speaking, ‘Buzzwords’ such as those aforementioned are often viewed in a dim light by recruiters. They are so overused, they become almost entirely meaningless. And that’s definitely not you. According to data from TalentWorks, those who reference buzzwords specifically relating to collaboration on their CV at least once or twice, are 50.8% less likely to be called in for an interview. Don’t be part of that number.
Instead of saying: “I have strong communication skills and work really well within a team”
Try: “I recently undertook a project which involved the ongoing communication with colleagues of all levels within the business. This also involved reach out to external stakeholders where appropriate.”
Spot the difference? Great. Hopefully, so will the hiring manager.
Make it live
Paper applications are great. They’re the norm and they get all the right info across. But, they don’t necessarily showcase your strengths and abilities in the best light.
So why not try a video CV or portfolio for your work? Make a presentation or create a YouTube clip of your relevant skills and experience. Discuss why you want the job and throw in a few good ideas of what you would do in the role if offered the opportunity. Not only does it show tremendous creative skills, but it offers a much better insight into the passion you have the position.
The clue is in the title
“Please find attached my CV for the position of Senior Sales Administrator - Jenny Lewis; Curriculum Vitae 12.07.2018.”
Snooze. It’s boring, right? Whilst the job may be for an administrative role, this doesn’t mean your application needs to be routine. Spice it up. Why not try “Sarah Ward - Proactive Senior Sales Administrator” or “Senior Sales Administrator Expert - Glen Jones”.
Usually, you’ll find that the more creative the job or industry you’re hoping to enter, the more you can play around a bit with renaming.
Although probably best not to write “All Singing, all dancing Jasmine Adams” if you’re going for a front desk position. Want a job in the West End? Go for it.