Improving the odds

Those who have not applied for a job in recent years, for whatever reason, will find that the job seeking is now very different.  The biggest difference is the use of the internet for job seeking and job applications.

The ease at which applications can be made on-line via the internet means that prospective employers or their recruiting agents receive huge numbers of applications.  They have very little time to look at them, let alone reply to unsuccessful applicants.  This can appear as rude although it is best to try not to take it personally; it is just the way many employers operate these days.

There are several things you can consider that will improve the odds of being successful.

Personal Statement.

Make the introduction in your CV inspiring for the reader.  This personal statement about you should cause the reader to want to know more about you and hence look at the rest of the CV.  A recruiter may only spend 15-20 seconds deciding whether a CV is worth reading completely, so it is important to make this first paragraph as good as possible.

Covering Letter.

This ideally will highlight relevant skills and experience matching the job applied for.  One way of doing this is to look at what the employer wants, as stated in their job advertisement.  These ‘wants’ can be used to create your list of what you can offer in your letter.  This emphasises your skills in meeting the job requirements.


If you are in a position to do so then volunteering can be useful.  It shows a prospective employer that you are keeping yourself active, are willing and able to make a regular commitment and that you are willing to give of yourself.  It can be included in your CV.  This is especially useful if you have gaps in your employment history.  There is also a chance of hearing about paid employment when talking to charity staff or other volunteers.

Job Clubs.

These come in many shapes and sizes.   They generally have a positive atmosphere, providing emotional and practical support.  Attending a job club is seen as a positive activity by both the Job Centre and prospective employers.  And of course, it could bring your closer to a job.


A fancy name that just means talking with other people.  Someone you know may be aware of a job that is suitable for you.  This can be face to face or via social media, e.g. Facebook or LinkedIn.  In some situations a simple business (or contact card) is useful to hand to people at the end of such conversations.

Recognisable email address.

Some personal email addresses may not readily identify the owner, or give the wrong impression.  You may wish to consider setting up a new email account for job seeking which has your name, not a 'fun' or nick name.

Direct contact with the recruiter.

If you feel able, ring up a recruiter and ask about the job, or even call in to see if you can speak to the relevant person, then send in your CV if invited.  You are now more than just a computer record, a person who they already know about.

Research the job and company.

Finding out about the company shows you are interested, have made the effort and are possibly more aware of what the job will involve.  Everyone likes to feel that people are interested in them, companies are the same.


This has to be genuine.  There is nothing wrong with showing that you are really interested in a particular type of work or company.  Those with (directed) passion are likely to go the extra mile and an employer knows that.

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