In a climate where talented professionals are many and the opportunities for career growth are very few, we seek various methods to get ourselves noticed by organisations we aspire to work for. Whether it’s cold calling, reaching out to prospective hiring managers on LinkedIn, or attending networking events to pitch yourself. Professionals are going beyond the job boards and company career job portals to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with being innovative in your job search, in fact I actually applaud it. However if you want to be noticed for all the right reasons. there are certain innovative job hunting traits that one should avoid:
Bulk CV Sending: Sending your CV to 8, 9, or even 10 recipients in one email doesn’t really convey a high level of professionalism. You lose your exclusivity as a valuable candidate. No consultancy, in-house recruiter, or hiring manager wants to feel 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even 5th best.
If you want to work with a consultancy to secure your next role, do your research on the best consultancy that you feel will work best for you. Consider the sectors/roles they recruit for, their candidate engagement level, and their credibility.
If you want to approach an organisation directly, do some digging; Find out who handles the recruitment on a local (in-country) or regional level. ( for example EMEA, or West, East, or Southern Africa) In some organisations it’s the HR Manager that oversees the recruitment locally and in others, they have dedicated recruitment teams who look after a region, (it does vary from company to company) Send them individual messages expressing your interest in working for their organisation and your suitability if you are applying for a specific position.
Applying for the same position several times: This gets you noticed all for the wrong reasons. Making multiple applications doesn’t make your CV look any different from the first time you applied, What applicants need to understand is that hiring managers receive hundreds of applications and it is very time consuming to go through them and select the candidates that seem best suited to be shortlisted. Seeing 7 applications from one person doesn’t help speed the process up. What you should be focusing on is ensuring that you capabilities, competencies and transferable skills are well conveyed in your CV so that you will be noticed for all the RIGHT reasons (even when you apply once).
Applying for jobs that do not fit your Skill Set: Soft skills that are transferable but skills that are acquired from working in a specific sector are not. For example, Project Management skills are transferable, and can be applied to a role in any sector. Working as a Paediatric Doctor and then applying for a Civil Engineer job is not a transferable skill because they are specialists.
Don’t just send your CV to any role advertised to get noticed, unless an organisation doesn’t have a talent pool in place ( a place where they keep talented professionals for possible upcoming vacancies) it will actually go unnoticed because you do not fit the bill for what they are currently looking for.
Salutations: In our very diversified corporate world, you need to be careful about how you address people, especially when writing a cover letter or introductory email. Not every hiring manager is a man “Dear Sir,” not everyone is married “Dear Mrs” and not everyone likes to be addressed as “Ma” or “Maam” This is the first line (the attention grabber of every correspondence) so how you start means a lot.
Open your letter/message with Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening (name) or To whom this may concern or to the Hiring Manager or HR Department. This is a more universal approach because you are not discriminating against any gender and you’re not assuming anybody’s marital status.
The market is very competitive, the growth of talent is increasing with professionals gaining diversified experience and furthering their education by obtaining a specialist accreditation to differentiate themselves.
Even the smallest details are taken into account when hiring managers are shortlisting candidates for a position. Someone can have the same experience, educated to the same level, obtained the same accreditation but the deciding factor can be as a result of your written communication and how you can applied yourself during the initial stages of the recruitment process.