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8 Tips to Jump the Applicant Queue

Dozens of jobseekers apply for each role a recruiter advertises. This means you need to stand out from the mass of applications they need to plough through. As well as having a great cover letter and flawless CV there are some things you can do to boost your chances of rocketing to the front of their queue. The Graduate Recruitment Bureau reveals all...

Dozens of jobseekers apply for each role a recruiter advertises. This means you need to stand out from the mass of applications they need to plough through. As well as having a great cover letter and flawless CV there are some things you can do to boost your chances of rocketing to the front of their queue. The Graduate Recruitment Bureau reveals all…

Say hello

Before you send your application, some recruiters appreciate you making contact with them. Send them an email or give them a quick phone call to let them know who you are and that you’ll be applying to their role. Then, when they come across your CV at the very least they will recognise your name. Be aware that they will have busy times of the day so don’t call them when they will be flustered with a million other jobs, like Friday at 5pm. 

Chase them up

Sometimes it can take a while for information to get passed on to you, purely because of the amount of applicants and work recruiters need to get done. It’s ok to follow up your application, especially if it is after the deadline for any news. Don’t hound the recruiter as this won’t work in your favour. Leave it at least a week between emails to be professional.

Know who you’re talking to

Normally, a specific recruiter will be responsible and the first point of contact for each role. It will say on the advertisement or website where the job is listed. When you contact them make sure you get their name right! You want to make a good first impression which won’t happen if you don’t know their name or call them something different. If you’ve got more than one application open it can get confusing, so make sure you know who you’re talking to and when!

Tweak your CV

For each application you send you should spend time going over your CV and tailoring it to the specific role you are applying for. If you don’t and submit your generic CV then it will not be niche to the role and won’t impress the recruiter enough to take it forward. It may be time consuming but the extra effort to be each recruiter’s ideal candidate will work massively in your favour later.

Stand out

Have a catchy personal profile that paints you in an interesting and intriguing light. You want to be appealing to the recruiter on many levels- academically, professionally and personally. Recruiters have seen hundreds of profiles, so the more unique you make yours the better. Maintain the usual standards though- don’t start cracking jokes or including puns- you need to stand out in a good way, not as an unprofessional fool.

Strategic content

A CV is two pages long, which isn’t very much room to document everything amazing about yourself. Therefore, you need to be strategic with your layout and content. Start with what the recruiters actually want to know- your experience and education- and then move on to less relevant (but still important!) things, like awards or interests. Bulk out each point by adding a few key details, like skills or responsibilities you had at each post.

Stick in their mind

It might feel like a waste of space dedicating a good few lines to your ‘Hobbies and interests’, but be assured it is not! This is where you can show what you are like as a person, beyond the fabulous grades and impressive experience record. Here you can explain what makes you different and fun- companies want sociable people with varied interests so instead of including the usual ‘reading and listening to music’ opt for something more unique.

Get going!

Apply as early as you can to roles. Submitting your application well before the deadline shows you are keen and also demonstrates organisation, enthusiasm and dedication. Getting in there first means your application will be one of the first they see and if they like it the process will be a whole lot quicker. Some roles are also filled on a first come first served basis, so if you see something you like, don’t dawdle!

Anna Pitts is a Marketing Assistant and Online Researcher at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Her work involves PR and outreach and writing informative, interesting advice-based articles for graduates and students.