If you’ve never applied via a recruitment agency before, the process can be a little confusing. Who are you applying to? Do you tailor a cover letter to the recruiter or the business? What is happening with your application behind the scenes?
Well, fear not. We’re here lift the lid on some industry secrets and share our tips and tricks to make you stand out from the crowd.
To PDF or not to PDF? That is the question…
PDF CVs have become all the rage over the past decade. They’re considered to be more secure, and open up the opportunity to create a well-designed CV. The problem with this, however, is that you could be harming your own application without even realising.
A beautiful CV is only good if it gets in front of a hiring manager, and an overly designed one may not get that far. Many recruitment agencies upload CV applications into a CRM programme (Customer Relationship Management), which will then use key words and phrases from your CV to see if you are suitable for the role. Many CRMs struggle to pick out key words and phrases from PDF documents, meaning your CV and application could get missed out entirely.
Our consultants review all CV applications personally, but we do load applicants into our CRM too. This means that we can contact the applicant if a role comes up in the future that they would be suitable for. Again, a PDF might not load into our system correctly, meaning you could miss out on future opportunities.
“Keep it simple, concise and to the point. Achievements and fact based. If in doubt, ask us!” – Lindsey Wroe, We Are Adam Principal Consultant.
Should I tailor my CV?
Yes! The job market in 2021 is set to be incredibly competitive, and the best way to stand out in the crowd is to make it clear why you are the right person for this job.
Which aspects of your experience relate to the role you’re applying for? Can you showcase the skills required for the role on your CV? Hiring managers and recruiters have a limited amount of time to review CVs, and your aim should be for them to see why you are suitable for the role immediately.
Keywords are also a large part of this. As mentioned earlier, some recruitment agencies (not us!) rely solely on a programme to pick out keywords from CV applications. If your CV doesn’t contain many keywords that would match the role, then it’s unlikely that your application will progress.
Did you know?: You may have ten years retail experience before you started on your current career path, but unless those skills are relevant and transferable to the role you are applying for, there’s no point in taking up a big chunk of space on your CV for it – a quick one-liner to state where and when will suffice!
Why am I not receiving feedback?
It can be incredibly frustrating to spend all that time perfecting your CV and checking your application, only to hear… nothing. We get it – we’ve all been there!
At We Are Adam, our recruiters strive to give as much feedback to our candidates as possible. (We even give feedback to our clients, on what impression our candidates got of the business!) However, sometimes it just isn’t feasible.
Some roles receive so many applications that the recruiter spends all their time sorting through the CVs and they can’t personally respond to everyone. Sometimes, if we’ve submitted a CV to a client and the client hasn’t given us feedback, then we have nothing to pass on (although we will usually let you know that this is the case).
Or some recruiters just don’t bother. Unfortunately, not all recruiters are equal.
What on earth is a KPI?!
‘KPI’ is a term used a lot in the recruitment industry. It stands for Key Performance Indicators, and these are often used to track a recruiter’s performance. Common KPI’s in this industry are how many CV’s have been reviewed, how many candidates have been screened, etc.
This can, however, have a detrimental effect on the quality of a recruiter’s work. We’ve heard tales in the past of recruiters rushing to meet unattainable KPIs and end up submitting candidates for roles they are unsuited for, or sending candidates to interview at jobs they have no real chance at getting… just to hit a target on a whiteboard. This is ultimately a waste of everyone’s time – the candidate, the client, and the recruiter.
It’s for this reason that we don’t use these types of KPIs at We Are Adam, and we value our recruiters for the work they’re doing, as opposed to an arbitrary number their manager chose.
Why didn’t my recruiter choose me?
Unfortunately, the final say for the hire lies with our client. Even if the recruiter believed you to be the front-runner, they don’t make the final decision. Our recruiters will always try and provide you with plenty of feedback to help you understand the decision.
Keep in touch!
If you’ve found a good recruiter, don’t let them go! Stay in touch, by email, LinkedIn or even a text, regardless of whether you are actively job hunting. You never know when you’ll need them on your side, and they’ll be better placed to help if you’ve built a real relationship.
You may think that a recruiter must deal with so many people that they can’t remember one person. Wrong! Recruiters tend to have excellent memories, so by building a relationship with them you’re likely to be front of mind when something suitable lands on their desk.
Please…. Be polite.
You may be disappointed that you didn’t get your dream role, or that your recruiter chose not to submit your CV to the client, but this is no excuse to be rude.
Recruiters will remember how you were rude to them, and this will make them reluctant to contact you when a new, exciting, and suitable role comes up.
Tips and tricks
There are other very quick, simple things you can do to make your application stand out to a recruiter. They may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how often they get overlooked!
Put your postcode on your CV. Many recruiters, when searching their internal database for registered candidates, will search using a radius from the job. If there’s no postcode on your CV, it’s likely that your CV won’t appear in the search results.
Keep track of where you are applying. You’d be surprised at just how many double, or sometimes triple, applications recruiters receive! This can make it seem like the candidate is disorganised and gives a negative impression.
Put your contact details on your CV. This sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, it is shockingly common to receive a CV application with absolutely no contact details on it! If there are no contact details, the recruiter has no way of getting in touch with you to progress your application, no matter how good your CV is!