Being on the candidate side of the recruitment process is extremely frustrating. You’ve been applying for jobs for weeks, adapting your CV and cover letter each time, and buying endless pant suits and comfortable interview shoes.
But, have you ever thought about how frustrating it is for the recruiter? Hearing the same answers day in and day out, sitting through telephone interviews back to back, and reading 10,000 CV’s for the same job. Here StudentJob presents to you…7 things recruiters are fed up of seeing!
1. Childish CV mistakes
With the number of CV templates and examples out there, it seems surprising how the design of each candidates CV can vary so dramatically. In the UK, the general rule seems to be; the simpler the better. Whilst our European friends often opt for a fancier template with borders, colours and interesting backgrounds, the British style is a simple white and plain CV, kept extremely professional.
Interestingly, the number of CV mistakes our recruiters see is still extremely high. Missing out the entire education section and simply listing your skills is one approach we have seen, or having an A4 document just listing the candidates hobbies and passions. Whilst this should be included in a CV, it is more fitting as a final addition to the bottom of the page, as opposed to taking up the entire application.
2. Inappropriate contact details
The classic error of having an inappropriate email address is very common, examples including mysweetprincess97@ or hannahlovesyou@. If you’ve managed to get a good email address, don’t forget to do the same for your skype name too. This is where a lot of candidates fall short – when they have to send their “@babygirllucy” skype address to the hiring company…
Linking your skype address to your professional email account is the best method. This keeps your details consistent and makes it easier for the recruiter. Don’t forget, the recruiter is your contact person from the company and the person who makes or breaks your application process, so it is best to try and keep them on side!
3. Empty cover letters
Writing a cover letter really can be a strenuous task. To be done properly, it requires in depth research into the company which you then match your own skills to. It can seem tempting to avoid this and simply scribble a few lines down about how you’re a ‘motivated’ individual with ‘excellent communication skills’, but definitely try to avoid this.
According to our recruiters, their number one pet peeve is an incredibly short and generic cover letter, or a long and rambling version, Writing a 5 page cover letter (yes, they really did receive one), is not the way to go. Instead, aim for a single A4 page which is clearly paragraphed and structured.
4. Dodgy phone interviews
Making it to the telephone interview stage of the recruitment process is an achievement in itself. This shows the hiring company sees potential in your application and is interested in learning more about your suitability for the position. So, it almost seems absurd to risk it all by taking your telephone interview in a park, subway or busy high street, right?
To maximise the success rate of your interview, make sure you have a good connection and try to take the call in a quiet location. The recruiter doesn’t want to hear noisy traffic or struggle to make out your answer because the signal keeps breaking up. This is your chance to shine, so don’t set yourself up for failure…
5. Knowledge of the company
The job market in the UK can be extremely competitive and you are often up against a high number of candidates. For this reason, when you apply for a job, you need to have razor sharp knowledge of the company and its products or services.
Our recruiters often interview candidates who have little idea of the company past the information you could find on the original vacancy. This is never a good sign since the hiring company wants their new employees to be motivated to work specifically for them.
If you really want to wow the recruiter, tell them the reasons you are inspired to work for this firm in particular and what it is about the role that made you apply. Try to find an interesting snippet or fact about the company that even the recruiter didn’t know about…this is when you really stand a chance of success.
6. Keeping in contact
If you apply for a job, make sure to check your emails daily. When an employer contacts you for a job interview, they don’t expect wait for weeks for your reply. Furthermore, try to ensure your emails are kept with a professional tone in mind – the recruiter is not your best friend nor are they your mum.
Lastly, keep a document of all the vacancies you have applied for and attach the cover letter you sent them. This way when the hiring company rings you to arrange an interview, you will quickly be able to pull up the information and get yourself in order. After all, there’s nothing worse than calling a candidate and they can’t even remember the job they applied for…
Written by Saffron Shergill at StudentJob UK. StudentJob is an online job portal designed to bring students and young professionals in touch with the latest part time, weekend and summer jobs in their area.