It surprises me the number of times that a career coaching client will say that they sent in a CV for a job 3 weeks ago, but have heard nothing back.
There sometimes seems to be a faith that having sent the CV in that it has reached the right person and that it has been read and carefully considered. Sadly with the number of CVs recruiters receive for a specific job, or on a speculative basis, there is absolutely no guarantee that your CV has ended up in the right place.
So what do you need to know in order to avoid the CV black hole?
Some organizations scan each CV that they receive. This avoids the need to store, copy and move large amounts of paper. The problem is if you wrote your CV in a what you thought was a smart or artistic font in a coloured font, by the time your CV is scanned it may not be readable.
So use a classic font such as Ariel or Times New Roman and make sure you use a black font.
Automated CV Filters
Once they have been scanned some organizations will use automated filtering to get the number of CVs down to a manageable number. So it is essential you include all the points that are listed in the job advert. So if they want your exam grades include them on the CV, if you need a driving license make sure you list this. If they want a certain degree classification it’s important to have it on your CV.
If you don’t get through the filter your CV can languish in a holding file until someone has got the time to respond to you,
Wrong Person, Wrong Place
If you are sending in a speculative CV make sure you address it to a specific person rather than Dear Sir, Dear Madam. If you don’t do this someone in the post room will make an arbitrary decision as to where to send your CV goes. This can result in a CV being sent to literally hundreds of people in different parts of the organization.
In your covering letter or email make sure you say what kind of role you are interested in. This acts as a good way of ensuring it ends up in the right place. Don’t just send in a CV saying you would be interested in any suitable vacancy – a lot of people make this mistake.
You Committed a Cardinal Sin
Whatever you do make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors on your CV. One study showed that people who made no errors were 60% more likely to get a response and 25% more likely to get an interview
Make sure that you have got the essential requirements for the job. If a recruiter has a lot of CVs to go through (and most do) they will start the sift by taking out those that do not meet the minimum requirements
Contact the Recruiter
If you do nothing else make sure you contact the recruiter. Try and build a relationship and show your interest in the role. As a rule of thumb you should do this within 7 days of sending in your CV. Ask them if they have received it and when you are likely to hear if your application will be progressed to interview.
In this way you know your CV had been received and how long it is likely to be before you hear anything.
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