- February 2013
- Posted By Jombay
- 1 Comments
What’s the No.1 problem fresh graduates face?
Ask any job hunting graduates and they’d tell you that they have applied to a large number of companies, but haven’t heard back from most of them (Some people don’t even hear back from a single employer).
So, why do employers not get back to the candidates?
There might be multiple reasons, many of them that are out of the job seekers control like
- The job position was filled before the candidate had sent their resume
- The recruiter never received the resume due to technical issues
- Recruiters found a much better candidate
And the list can go on…
However, the biggest reason why most candidates never hear back is because they aren’t any different from the rest of the people who applied.
They did not stand out from the crowd.
How to Stand Out Among the Crowded Applicants?
It’s easier to say that you have to be different to catch the employer’s attention. However, how can you, in practice, achieve that? In this section, I’ll share with you some of the strategies that can help you do the same.
#1: Use Common Sense
You might be surprised that the first tip is to use common sense. Everyone uses common sense, right?
You’d be surprised by how many people don’t even use simple logic while applying to jobs.
- It’s common logic that a .Net developer must not apply to content writing jobs
- It’s common logic that if the job description says only graduates should apply, under graduates aren’t qualified
- Again, it’s common logic that if you are instructed not to send in your resume as the employer end cannot receive attachments, you should do it
Yet, most people simply do not heed these.
Candidates are impatient -They don’t spend time reading the job description in full. They randomly go to job sites apply to 50 or more companies at one stretch and then site back expecting calls to pour in.
I have news for you. It isn’t going to work that way!
Take the time and effort to apply individually to the jobs that match your profile the best. Most importantly, use common sense while applying for the job.
- Read the job description thoroughly. Only if you fit the description apply for the job
- Customize the resume with the employers industry and job role each time you apply for a job
- Follow instructions carefully. Some recruiters ask candidates to send resumes with certain keywords in the subject line. This is done so that the recruiters know the candidate has read the job description fully. Even if you are fully qualified for the job, if you don’t include the keyword, your email will see the trash folder only!
#2: Make Use of Cover Letters
Most job applications posted on job portals might not explicitly specify that they need a cover letter.
However, recruiters expect you to send one in along with your resume.
A cover letter helps you set the stage. It convinces the employer that they should go through the resume and invite the candidate over for an interview over all the other candidates who applied (often in the hundreds or in the thousands range).
A well-crafted cover letter helps you display your professionalism and your real interest in working with the company. If you are not truly interested in a company, you are not going to spend time creating a cover letter; are you?
While your choice of using a covering letter maybe good, equal care must be taken that it shouldn’t be a copy paste version of the many templates you get online. These templates must only be used as reference, not copy pasted entirely and changes made here and there to suit your needs.
Cover Letter Writing Tips
- Keep it short. Keeping it short means making the cover letter as long as it needs to be. Not a word more, not a word less!
- Use personalization. Address the cover letter to the person who’s reading the resume by using their name spelled out correctly
- Don’t make it the same as your resume. It should invite the reader to download and go through your resume to find out more about you
- Include a call to action in your resume. A call to action is something that makes the reader do something. In this case it might be, get back to you via email/phone or maybe expecting a follow-up call from your side on a particular date
- Don’t forget to attach your resume unless the job description says you not to. Cover letter only complements your resume, not replace it
How to Make Employers Get Back to You?
We have covered the part where your resume and cover letter reaches the employer. Here is what you can do to accelerate the process so that you can get a call letter faster.
Most candidates think that applying to the job is all they need to do and the employers will schedule an interview with them.
In an ideal world that should happen for qualified candidates. We, however, live in a non-ideal world where people have so very less time, and there are hundred things to be done.
Recruiters always look to lighten their load and they sometimes don’t get back to the candidates unless they follow up. This serves two purposes
- Their workload is severely reduced
- Only interested and qualified candidates take time to follow-up. These are much better hiring leads to spend time on rather than the hundreds of “give-me-a-job” applicants
#2: Employee Referral
Do you know any employee working in the company- Maybe your seniors, your relatives, or even your professional network on Linkedin?
In most companies, they have employee referral scheme where current employees are rewarded for referring qualified candidates. Therefore, you can rest assured that if someone is willing to refer you, they’ll follow-up on the referral!
You are almost guaranteed a response if you are referred by an employee within the company. Now you know why networking is important, don’t you?
Follow these tips and you’ll drastically improve your chances of hearing back from the employer.
Have you heard back from the employer after following these steps? Let me know in the comments.
Adarsh is a career expert who helps students land the right jobs fresh after college. He also talks about interview tips, resume writing, and dream jobs.