Over the last few years with the rise of job boards and the success of Linkedin, it is becoming more easy to apply for roles en masse, but does this ease of access water down the impactfulness of your CV?

An example I have seen this week makes me think that it is time to claim back more control of the process – even if you are not being picky about what roles you go for. I recently had a generalist candidate apply for a large organisation for a specialist position because it had appeared in a search. It wasn’t particularly relevant but they hadn’t gotten on well with their boss that day so they decided to apply. Their CV was not suitable, but six weeks later the same company was recruiting for a different role, one that appeared to be perfect for the candidate. After speaking to them about their CV, the outcome was that they’d be perfect but because they had previously shown a desire to be a specialist, it would be a risk to put forward someone who was not entirely happy to stay in this position.

As an HR specialist recruiter, I sit with candidates for over an hour at a time talking through their CV and giving advice on how to best position themselves to secure the job they really want, rather than just any old way to pay the bills. I am aware it is often easier to give others advice rather than to write your own CV, however in a competitive market where clients and recruiters receive between 90 and 100 applications per role, making your CV as commercial and relevant as possible is key. It could be better to apply for fewer roles, but making sure that your CV is tailored and relevant, rather than applying a scatter-gun approach and assuming that a potential employer will still pick up the phone to you “to more deeply understand the person behind the CV.” When its content happens to be less relevant than 15 others who are also applying, why would they? Taking a little time to target your approach is a much more sure-fire way to ensure you are first on the list for a call when it comes to the jobs you’d really like to do, and also that you will be front of mind when other similarly right roles come up – define your personal brand, and sell it consistently.

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