For students, finding a job after graduation is becoming more competitive. With advancements in technology, students no longer have a geographical advantage when applying for jobs in their area. With these advancements comes a change in the way jobs are posted and advertised. Guest blogger Vincent Karremans, Founder and Director of the on-line graduate careers network Magnet.me, highlights the strategies students can adopt to network and approach employers and hiring managers.
Every year, thousands of students apply for hundreds of job vacancies online and get nowhere. However, every year, students are applying to jobs not really sure what they are applying for. Instead, the best thing to do is actively look for jobs that interest you and look for quality over quantity.
With this perspective in mind, here are the 3 best ways to boost responses when applying for jobs online:
Not a close match? Then it’s best not to waste your time
It is important to understand that if you are not at least a near perfect match with the job description, you are more likely to be rejected by the computer or HR personnel reviewing your application. Therefore, depending on the size of the company and the number of applications it receives, if you don’t closely match the job criteria you will be automatically screened out. While you know you would be fantastic at the job, if the job in question is asking for candidates with a 2:1 or higher and you have a 2:2 you will be screened out of the process.
So it is important to prioritise your valuable job search time. Sure, you can apply to those job postings where you’re not a close match and still maybe get an interview. However, it is not the best way to prioritise your time.
Be sure to minimise your time spent filling out the application
It’s in your best interest to minimise your time on the application. In fact, filling out the application too thoroughly can sometimes hurt your chances. Here are some pointers:
Don’t regurgitate your CV on the application
On job applications there are questions that will be different to the information you provided on your CV and/or cover letter. However, some information may be asked that appears on those documents. Instead, either take it out from your CV or cover letter and add it in the space provided on the application form. Alternatively, state on the application “Please see cover letter for detailed description for the information required above.” In your application, you don’t want to be repetitive with the information you provide, ensure it is informative and precise.
Don’t give out references information to all applications online
This is a very sensitive part of the application process and even more so through applying for a job online. Employers and hiring managers will often hire a new graduate dependent on their references. On some occasions they might never follow up on the references they provide. If you are not willing to disclose of your references information, then it is best to state “references available upon strong mutual interest”. It is important to do this to protect your references provide information. In addition, you also don’t want each of your references being called or contacted unnecessarily. Finally you want to inform your references that they may be contacted from an employer or hiring manager regarding your job application.
Reach out to the hiring manager directly
Don’t just rely on the job post to explain how you apply for the job opportunity. Instead, take the extra step to find the hiring manager (or boss of the hiring manager) and reach out through the online careers network like Magnet.me or through email. Use the job posting as a basis for the content of your email. This approach shows initiative and the hiring manager or employer may invite you to apply for the job as a consequent result, increasing your chances of being appointed to the vacant job opportunity.