How To Get a Better Response from Job Applications You Submit

Have you been sending out a heap of job applications and just not getting anywhere?

Applying for numerous roles with no response can be extremely disheartening for you as a candidate during your job search. What we’ve found from our end as a Gold Coast Recruiter, is that often there are many reasons stopping your application from proceeding. Some of these could include:

Applying for roles that don’t align with your experience / qualifications

The term ‘Fake it till you make it’ doesn’t always work when it comes to applying for roles. As a Recruiter, our client pays us to find what they are looking for and that means if you sit too far outside the scope or specification of the role, your chances of being shortlisted are slim. Yes, if it’s a role whereby we have stated that our client is open to training a person into the role, by all means, apply. However, if we are requiring a candidate that is experienced in the role, our expectation (and our clients’) is that we will have applications from candidates that align with the skills and experience outlined. To save disappointment and increase your chances of getting shortlisted, it’s imperative that you apply for roles that align with your skills, qualifications and experience.

Not tailoring your resume and/or cover letter to a specific role

This is quite common. From our experience as a recruitment agency, we can often read between the lines when looking at a resume to get a picture of what you’ve done in previous roles however, an up to date, well laid out and detailed resume will always win for the reader. When we can get a clear indication of how you match the role we are recruiting for, it makes it very easy to put you in the “YES” group of candidates in our shortlisting process.  

A lot of cover letters that we see  could be summed up as saying to the reader: “I am applying for the role” – yes, we know, you submitted an application to us! Your cover letter can sometimes be a secret weapon to get you to the next stage and should always be tailored to the role you are applying for – treat it that way. Look at the job advertisement closely, note down the requirements in bullet point form and then outline your relevant skills and experience on the cover letter, cross-referencing them with the list you formed from the ad – this will ensure that you address the criteria for the role to the reader. The cover letter also gives you the opportunity to outline WHY you are interested, what you can bring and what makes you the right choice for the role.

You may have a large unexplained gap in your employment

There are numerous reasons why an individual may have a gap in their employment history; whether it is taking time off for children, recovering from an illness, looking after a family member, further studies or a difficult job market due to COVID-19 factors. The reason doesn’t matter as much; it’s more about highlighting the actual gap on your resume to explain it. It removes any red flags as it is addressed to the reader rather than leaving them guessing. Longer term unemployment can be a tricky one though and will require good narrative to explain this to the reader.  

You aren’t following up after you apply

Once you have submitted your application, follow up with an email, a phone call or reach out via social media (LinkedIn is highly preferred for business). This is an opportunity to introduce yourself, ask more questions about the role and to thank the hiring company in advance for considering your application. This will put your name in the employers’ mind, which will give them a sense of familiarity when reading your application, potentially improving your chances. 

By reaching out to the company and following up after you submit your application, you are proving to the employer that you are interested and that you’re showing initiative. 

Job hunting can be really tough mentally, especially if you’re applying for numerous roles and not hearing back from any. Keep in mind that depending on what you do,  you may sit in a candidate pool of hundreds, This means that the companies you are applying to may have a large candidate pool (your competition) to screen through. Make the changes in what you send and what you do now to give yourself the best opportunity to be shortlisted, hopefully get selected for interview and ultimately, win that job! Stay focused, be positive and stick to a job search strategy that works.

Over the comping months, we will be dropping job search products, interview tips and other employment-related ebooks, templates and forms on our Resources page to help both candidates in their job search and employers on the recruitment side.