How to improve your chance of success with your online applications

how to improve your chance of success with online applications

The technology jobs market has always reminded me of a seesaw – there’s either lots of candidates looking for work and not enough jobs, or loads of jobs and not enough people looking.

Whilst this won’t be true for every skillset, when we’re in a recession or experiencing a global pandemic then the market shifts towards there being more people looking for jobs than companies wanting to hire technology experts.

This means that now more than ever, you’ll want your job application to stand out and for you to be the person chosen for an interview and I wanted to give a few hints and tips as to how to improve your chances…

1. Be choosy about what you apply for

When you had to post off a copy of your CV you’d only have applied for a role if you really thought you were good for it. Now, a quick click of a button and your name is in the hat but my advice would be to refrain from that. As a recruiter I’ve seen certain candidates apply for every single role that we’ve had and if you get something really irrelevant then next time you apply it is more likely to get overlooked.

Spend the time ensuring you’re a strong match for the role – you’ve invested years of your life becoming a highly specialised Security Analyst, Cloud Architect or Project Manager so make sure anyone reading will realise that

2. Make sure your CV backs up the application

I’ve rejected candidates in the past who haven’t matched the job description and they’ve contacted me to ask why they’ve been rejected. It would then transpire that they had a particular skill or technology it just wasn’t apparent from the CV.

There’s been a number of studies around how long recruiters spend reading a CV (particularly if they’re inundated with applicants) so make sure yours shows you as the CISO, Business Analyst or Infrastructure Engineer expert that you’re applying for and says what it needs to say.

For help on this, please see our blog on how to write a great CV.

3. Call up the recruiter

Even specialist Cloud or Security recruiters can, in some cases, see upwards of 100 applications per role advertised. We’ll review all of the applicants and probably longlist down to about 10 with the intention of then sending a shortlist of 3-5 candidates to a client (depending on what we’ve agreed with them).

When you speak to someone you build a relationship with them and get to understand them as a person. Having that opportunity to get your personality across will increase your chance of getting your CV sent to the client. We love speaking to experts in Cloud, Security, IT Service Management and Project Management!

4. Follow up on a rejection (note – only if you truly believe you really match!)

As recruiters we make mistakes! We will on occasion reject someone who it turns out is a great match and I’m not afraid to say that in my time I’ve placed a number of people who I had rejected but they subsequently phoned me up to explain I was wrong, we talked it through and they ultimately got the job.

Sometimes it is down to the CV and it isn’t apparent you’re a Head of Projects & Programmes butt sometimes I had just missed something and got it wrong. I’m more than happy to take a call to discuss an application. The technology jobs that we work will have some subtle requirements that can’t always be conveyed in an advert so it also gives us as recruiters a chance to explain further if that is the case

5. Build a relationship

Above all, work with the agencies you’re speaking to in order to build relationships. Most roles are filled by people we have an existing relationship with so as soon as we’re speaking to a company we’ll be thinking of people that we know and trust.

We’re actively seeking to build our communities of Cloud Infrastructure, IT Security, Service Management and Project Management professionals so please get in touch to see if we can help

6. Strengthen your online branding

Make sure your LinkedIn profile backs up the CV, promotes you and that you would be happy for your social media profiles to be seen by an employer.

Best of luck in your search and if you have any comments then please feel free to contact me – ben.leeds@jlaresourcing.co.uk

Ben Leeds
Ben Leeds
With over 20 years’ in the recruitment industry Ben has seen quite a bit and hopes that by sharing some thoughts he can help you to either hire the best person or find the right job!
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