Applying for jobs can be a tiring process. This is especially true if the job application process requires you to complete a multi-faceted form, with text boxes to input all the information that was in your CV anyway, or with multiple-choice questions that only serve to confuse and catch you out. Not only this, but it can sometimes seem as though the job listing itself requires more experience to gain than that which the job actually offers you progression-wise.
No matter how experienced you are, job hunting is challenging. But it’s even worse when we gain little to no response back from the employer. What could this signify, we wonder… Does this mean our chosen industry is blocking us out? Have we somehow mistaken how strong our application prowess is? Might the attitude that ‘job hunting is challenging’ be harming our approach in the first place?
Well, it can be hard to pin down all the specifics. But if you find that your job applications rarely achieve interviews, let us consider what the causes could be:
CV is over two pages
Writing a CV can be a hard task. Not only may you have had many different jobs over the years, but it can also be hard to know what’s relevant. Do you include everything you’ve gained experience in? If you have a degree, do you need to list the lower qualifications under that? What else do you need to write about yourself, and is it even important to include your interests? Surely that doesn’t make a difference?
The best advice? Keep it to one-two pages if you can. Think of the employer handling their applications. In some jobs, they may have several hundred applications to list through. If you offer them a two page cover letter and a three page resume, they’re unlikely to read them in full. Try to keep the facts to one page and tailor every CV you send to the job you’re applying for. If you’re going for a journalistic role, you needn’t write about how you worked as a fry cook one summer between college semesters.
Your application isn’t complete
Some applications require more than the standard CV and cover letter. It could be that sending a demo showreel/portfolio and professional actor headshots could help you stand out to a recruiter or amongst other applications, depending on the industry. Consider the kind of work you do, and be sure you’re committing to the professional standard.
Keep trying. The nature of looking for work is difficult by definition. Don’t give up in the process, and continue gaining relevant experience where you can. For example, if you’re looking for a staff writing position in the video games industry, running your own blog about trends, posting critiques and publishing your own content could help you gain your own experience, reach an audience and help your application sit more strongly. There’s always something you can do.
With this advice, we hope you become contacted for the jobs you want.
This is a collaborative post that was ghost written for More From My Career.