Are you sick of missing out on roles you really wanted? While the disappointment can be a good learning experience perhaps you need to look at what you are applying for to increase your chances of success?
In my experience in recruitment too often people apply for roles they were very unlikely to get. It is really important to think very carefully about your competitiveness before you apply for a role. Otherwise, you might be setting yourself up for failure and missing out on a role you really wanted can be very disheartening.
The first thing to take into account is that it is a competitive market. For every job advertised there are plenty of applications. So, it is prudent to think about your chances before you put an application forward.
Before you start looking, you need to have a good idea of what you are looking for. Whether it is a more senior role, a different industry or a complete career change, have that clear in your mind when you start your job search.
When you start looking at vacancies, read the ad carefully. The ad should contain a few key points on the requirements of the role and the experience they are looking for in an appointee. If you don’t meet all of those to some degree, I would suggest passing on that opportunity. There is generally limited space in ads, so what is written there, while designed to appeal to candidates, is also going to contain the most important aspects of what they are looking for. If you can’t make a solid claim to all of the requirements, it is highly likely someone else will and they will almost definitely go with them.
If you do feel you can meet those requirements and more information is available, seek that and again read it thoroughly and ensure you can lay a claim to most of the criteria. Make sure you can meet any essential criteria and qualifications. If they require a specific qualification and you don’t have it, don’t waste your time. If there are one or two desirable criteria that you don’t feel you can claim competency in, make sure you think about how you would gain that competency. It is less important that you can meet all the requirements of a more detailed position description as this often contains more of a ‘wish list’. Having said that, the reader will be using this checklist and the more boxes you can tick, the more likely you are to progress to the next stage.
If there are important aspects of the role that you don’t have the required experience but you are still really interested, want to apply and feel you could perform the role, you need to address the gaps. Don’t assume the reader will see the links. They will be reading lots of applications and it will be the ones that stand out as suitable that will make it through to the next stage. If your CV and cover letter look like they are not a good fit for the role, you will need to prepare a compelling case and spell it out clearly and early in your cover letter if you are to have a chance of making the next stage when you will get a chance to sell yourself in person (or over the phone/zoom).
There are people out there who will give you a chance even if you might not seem to be a traditional fit for a role but be prepared that the majority are looking for a safe pair of hands, a low risk appointment that has already proven they are capable of performing the role. Be discerning about what you apply for. If you want to get on a company or recruiters’ radar, applying for a role you are not qualified for will simply leave the impression you have poor judgement and it may impact on future opportunities you are more suited for.
Applying for a role you want but are not necessarily a good fit for is always going to be a risk. Be prepared that you may not make the cut and use missed opportunities as a learning for the next one. I am a firm advocate that you should always have a go if it is something you want but be prepared, it might not work out and if you clearly cant meet the requirements of a role perhaps you should work toward filling those gaps before attempting to make the move.
We can certainly help you find the right people for a role or frame your application to make the most of your skills and experience so feel free to contact us