Best tip to shortlist a candidate

A job post can easily attract more than 1000 applications from highly qualified applicants. This makes it hard for most employers to shortlist the most suitable candidates. Recruiter technically take approximately 7 seconds to peruse through a CV to find out key information required. It is therefore important to make your first seven seconds counts.

Employers always scan through the CV to looks for those attractive sections which a candidate lack. This reduces candidate chances of getting shortlisted should they forget to include those key areas. Below is what makes you stand out for any job you applied for.

1. Achievements

With increase in population and education, the job market has become very competitive with the opportunities available are very limited. Many graduates are on street looking to grab any opportunities that they may come across. To thrive in such a competitive environment, high degree of uniqueness is required. This is what is known by most marketers as Unique Selling Point (USP). Don’t just indicate your duties in the CV but go extra miles and include your achievements. For instance, make sure your achievements are visible enough for anyone passing through your CV. If you are an accountant, show how you managed to reduced the costs by 17% through innovative cost reduction strategies and use of accounting systems like Navision or SAP.

2. Relevant work experience

Make sure you include relevant experience to mention relevant industry, location, experience, related skills. Present your self to employer as someone who will not needs extra training on landing the new job. If, for example, the company is hiring sales officer, show in your CV how you have improved company sales during a hard time. Use the right qualifications to apply for the job. This will increase your chances of being shortlisted among hundreds of applicants.

3. Employment Status

Your current employment status may either work for or against you. A number of positions requires urgent placement while others are flexible for candidate to give notice. This calls for your maximum attention in understanding the adverts in details to avoid missing out such important information. If you have spent several years without any formal employment, this raises questions as to why you quit your previous job and why you have taken long without getting anything to do. Most employers are curious on candidates who are not working making them hesitant to shortlist such candidate. If you have searched for jobs for several years without success, consider taking up a volunteering or internship to increase your chances.

4. Referees

Any employer to hire someone with high level of credibility. Make sure you have relevant and respected referees who can not only let you down but can also go on and market you to the employer. Make sure one of your previous employers is included among your referees. If you don’t include any, it raises doubt on your previous work history and why you left those organizations.  Always include some of your previous employers or colleagues as referees. This proves that you do not have anything to hide. Unless you are fresh from college, remove your former lecturer and anyone who is not work-related from your list of referees.

5. Gaps

Check your CV for any gap. Try minimalizing them as much as possible. Don’t let recruiter label you a job hopper. It is important to explain in your CV why you left each of your previous employment and what you were doing during the period to left the company.  

Don’t make your CV tell recruiter that you don’t stay long in employment and employers don’t want instability since recruitment is very tedious and is very costly in terms of time and money. Make sure you do not apply for job while still under probation. If you were hired in June this year and you are already applying for other jobs know that few or no employer(s) will take you seriously.  It is common knowledge that everyone would like to take that high paying job, but employers do not want to risk with someone who is seen as unsettled at his workplace.In such a case, you could embark on networking so as to get a chance to explain yourself even before you share your CV with a potential employer.

All said and done, make sure your CV is appealing to your own eye. Check all errors including misspelling, presentation, layout, and word fonts. The recruiter will surely judge you basing on your CV presentation so a lousy CV will easily be rejected.  It even becomes more critical as you advance in your career. Employers will easily shortlist candidates who can package their CVs in such a way that they will get as much information as possible at a glance, and without any struggle. Make sure the CV you have sells you as much as it should.

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