1000 Job Applications, No Job

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 - career transition, Job Advert, Job Application, Professional CV, professionalism, tutorial


1000 Job Applications, No Job

wow so many watts

Thomas asks: I have sent out over 1000 CV’s and Job Applications, so far with no job offers. I am in the Armed Forces, I have a degree, I have experience and I am willing to move. I find jobs all the time. What does society want from me? Why in interviews does the company say they will, ” call you back next week and let you know,” but then never call? Help!

In answer:
Thomas: sorry to hear about your pain – I have great sympathy. Thank you for serving your country and our world, so lets see if we can help you here.

I read your CV, and it says: “My objective is to obtain a career working with young people within a community.” I read your question here and it opens: “I sent out over 1000 CV’s.”

Taking a military perspective here to an easily solved employment problem, its sounds like you are using a blanket bombing technique that has no clear objective.

Communicate the Solution

Let me explain: employers want solutions to problems. They create a business plan, agree its needs staffing, create a job description with at least five skills in it, and use those as both the basis of their advert and their five key selection criteria.

If your success ratio is less than 1 interview per 5 job applications – yes, even in the present economy – then you are either choosing the wrong jobs or to apply for are not communicating in your CV or Job Application, and not following through in interview, that you have the required 5+ skills: its that simple! If you are using that same CV for every job application, then I can understand that anyone will go through 1000 job applications without success: it is not specific enough, and as an employer I wouldn’t have a clue what you could do for me.

Be Specific

If we come back to your unspecific career objective, how many organisations within say a 30mile commute distance of your present or desired home base would fulfil that criteria? (NB: employers will nominally reject you outside that radius, unless you use a local address). Create a list, and doing some simple research finding out which ones are:
interesting
expanding, or recently gained local or national level funding.
Then, use social networking sites liked LinkedIn to find contacts in that organisation The aim is to write to the CEO/board with specific reasons that you want to work for them and how you could help them, asking for an Informational Interview. Yes, its a sniper technique, but its very effective.

The employment world is tough, and as a military man its tough adjusting to civilian life – I know, we employ ex-British Army people. But is a different and more subtle application of the same processes you have learnt in the army.

If I can help you, please just ask, and Good Luck!

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