Written by Dave Cullen
The Corporate Executive Board of America conducted a roundtable survey of more than 8,500 recruiters and HR managers, from several thousand worldwide corporations. Their results provide an intriguing insight into the workings of today’s recruitment landscape. Of the recruiters who responded to the survey, 15% admitted that only a little more than half of the CVs they receive are from candidates who meet the requirements for the position they are applying for. In other words, 85% of applicants are not qualified for the roles they pursue.
Furthermore the data showed that given the sheer volume of job applications being received, 75% of recruiters spend five minutes or less reading CVs and cover letters. 28% of those surveyed spent less than two minutes. It’s a harsh reality that the sheer competition for a recruiter’s attention has made today’s job market a tough nut to crack. However by learning to better understand the needs of recruiter’s, candidates can drastically improve their jobseeking prospects
Based on the results of the survey, five recommendations for candidates have emerged.
- Make sure you are suitable: Only apply for positions where you meet the majority of the minimum qualifications and criteria.
- Tailor your CV: Customize your CV and cover letter to the specific job you are applying for. Include keywords in your CV to ensure that the email search filter can more easily find your application amongst the heap. Appropriate keywords can be sourced from the job description.
- Showcase your experience at Interview: When it comes to interviews, recruiters advise that candidates prepare specific examples of their previous experience. For example, they may be ask you to speak about some of the challenges you faced in previous jobs and how you overcame them.
- Read the job description: It may sound like a rather obvious tip, but many recruiters complain that applicants simply haven’t taken the time to sufficiently read the job description. As a result, they fail to fully understand the needs of the role and may proceed to structure their CV and cover letter based on faulty information.
- Proofreading your application materials: Because spelling and grammatical errors will almost certainly disqualify your application, having a second pair of eyes look over your CV is strongly advised.