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What happens to your CV after you click 'Submit' : 11 Jun 2012

Just in case you missed a recent edition of the Phantom Recruiter, here's a recap...

An email I received yesterday made me realise that there is not enough discussion about what happens to your CV after you click 'Submit'.

While the process of creating and sending your applications can seem very automated, it's worth taking into account that the reviewing of your CV is a very human process, often undertaken by people who are particulary 'time poor' (they are, after all, looking for staff).


Here's some valuable insight into the employer's perspective on the job advertising/candidate screening process.


In addition to PT and business committments, Pete Quon (Vital Habits, Camberwell) has been reviewing more than 30 applications over the last three weeks for his available PT role. Like any employer he's optimistic about every CV he opens however the news is not always good.

Pete: We had one guy who was in Brisbane and another who lives in Geelong and doesn’t have a car.

There's no harm in applying for jobs from a long way away, but you need to put it in perspective for the employer. If you're moving, make this clear in the cover letter.

Pete: Among these CV's were two that had no indication of any personal training qualification, experience or interest. One actually replied and asked why he wasn’t considered. When told, he said he had sent the wrong resume.

No obvious quals, experience or interest? I...just...don't...understand... The wrong resume? That's as bad as addressing it to the wrong employer!

Pete: Not only did we have applications addressed generically, as in sending bulk applications, but worse, applications that were addressed to someone else.

If you really want an interview, you must tailor each cover letter and CV for each job. If you're not that concerned about an interview, save everyone's time and effort and catch up on 'Ellen' instead.

Let's say you've cleared these early hurdles and your application is addressed as required, if your spelling, grammer and punctuation are ignored, your application can still be working against you.

Pete: I may be an overly “attention to detail” person but I take exception to CV’s with spelling mistakes, cover letters written in lower case. In my previous corporate life, we wouldn’t have read these applications.

And there are many employers that still don't!

Having sorted the applications and contacted those that were relevant, it's still not a smooth run for an employer to the finish.

Pete: There were 4 candidates that I called and followed up with an email, within 2 or 3 days of receiving their application, who did not respond at all!

A simple email indicating you are no longer available/intersted demonstrates some professional courtesy and helps keep you in the picture for future opportunities.

Pete: Out of our initial interviews, there was one standout who appeared very keen to start with us. I called the next two days after the interview and sent a follow up email and have never heard from her since.

Speechless. Pete puts it best...

I don’t mind if people don’t want the job or have another position, that’s fine but don’t waste my time. Those people will never be considered for a position with us in the future.

If you are taking the time (even if it is minutes) to send in an applcation, aim for the best possible return on your effort. Pay attention to the little things, many employers will happily work around experience and training. Very few will bother trying to change your attitude and behaviour.

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