How to master applying for a job online - Kenya CV writing services

How to master applying for a job online - 2019
Applying for a job online can be a confusing process, especially as it varies for each and every employer. Here’s a run-through of how to master that online job application process, all the way from constructing your CV to finally hitting that send button.
Your CV
The first step in applying for a job online is actually crafting your CV. It might seem like a fairly straightforward process, but you shouldn’t take this step too lightly. A well-written CV can put you miles ahead of your competition. Think of it as a first impression. You don’t want to overthink it; otherwise you may look like you’re trying too hard. You shouldn’t dismiss spending some time on perfecting your CV either though since you only get one shot to make a first impression.

Keep it specific

You need to be clean and concise in your CV when it comes to applying online. There are certain things many job-seekers think will make their CVs stand out, but are in fact better left out. Remember that a recruiter has to sift through dozens of CVs a day, so adding pointless information to fluff out your CV might actually make them throw yours away. Besides, it’s likely they’ve seen these tactics before, so you’re not really fooling anyone.
On this note, you should really make sure the skills you’ve listed in your CV are actually related to the skills required by the job. When you apply online, you’re probably going to encounter an applicant tracking system (ATS) rather than an employed recruiter. These are programmes designed to look through applications and pick out the ones with relevant skills, to then send to the recruiting department. ATSs do this by looking for keywords. They aren’t very creative and literally look for exact keywords like communication, teamwork and time-management in your CV to match the job specification. So ATSs aren’t going to be able to spot these keywords if they’re not written clearly.
And likewise, professional recruiters have a keen eye for spotting these skills and they only have a few minutes to skim through each successful CV. If they see something they’re interested in quickly, they’re more likely to set your CV aside for an interview.

Fonts and layouts
Choosing the right font and layout can make or break your CV if you’re competing with dozens of other candidates. Even though the ratio between vacancies and applicants has been steadily rising in favour of the applicants, you’re still going to have to deal with some competition.
To make your CV stand out to a recruiter who has to see many of these every day, make sure you choose nice, clean fonts. And same goes for the layout. It’s going to be easier for the recruiter to spot important information this way, and they’re more likely to read through it instead of just giving it a cursory glance. Using flowery designs and needlessly complicated fonts are going to make your CV look less professional too.
It would be best if you send or upload your CV and cover letter as PDFs; Word documents are not as reliable. For example, if the document is opened in a different version of the software than the one it was made in, the fonts may not be interpreted correctly and the whole text is going to look messy. Formatting can also be misinterpreted, with similar results. PDFs are not affected no matter what version of the reader you’re using.

Applying online
Many large companies have their recruitment process handled by specialised software. That means before your CV reaches an actual human recruiter, it first has to pass through a programme that sorts these applications; so that’s the ATSs mentioned earlier. These nifty little programmes are great for companies dealing large volumes of applications since they speed up the process immensely.
As an applicant, these ATSs might seem a bit unappealing. For one thing, you can’t really use your personal charm to get by. You should instead identify the keywords it might look for and make sure you use as many of them as possible. You can find these keywords by looking through the job description. Some recruiters will ask you to fill in an online form instead of or in addition to sending your CV. Make sure you fill everything in. You might be leaving out stuff that’s actually very important for the tracker.
Even though some online applications don’t ask for a cover letter, it’s still a good idea to send one with your application to strengthen your chances of securing that all-important interview. A well written cover letter can elevate your CV, since it gives you a chance to discuss your skills relevant to the role in more detail.
Some larger companies don’t use recruiting agencies or job boards, and prefer to handle the process themselves in-house. These companies use similar software that’s tailored to their needs. They usually post their job offers on their own websites or on their social media pages, so be proactive in your search! Make sure you understand the recruitment process of the company you are applying for and whether it’s handled by an actual recruiter or by an ATS. Most companies provide an email address where you can request further details, so don’t be shy about using it.

Sending your CV via email
So some job postings may require you to send your CV and cover letter directly to the recruiting department. When sending the email, remember you’re sending the email to a real person. State clearly in the subject line the job you’re applying for: include the job title and reference number. In the body of the email mention how you found out about the opening; whether it was a through a job posting or via someone you who already works there. Don’t forget to specify what documents you‘re attaching. If anything happens to the attachment, the recruiter has to know what documents they were supposed to receive.
If the recruiter doesn’t reply within a reasonable time-frame, send in an email to ask about the status of your application. This shows you are truly interested in the position and you are doing your due diligence. It can also spur on the recruiter to make a decision regarding the position in question; they’re busy people you know!

Applying even when they’re not hiring
So what happens if you want to apply for a job, but company you want to work for isn’t hiring right now? Well, it’s still possible to apply for a role that doesn’t exist yet, you just need to make sure your CV and cover letter are top-notch and that you’re sending it to the right person!
You need to find a direct contact, rather than applying through an application platform, or by sending an email to an anonymous HR rep you found online. That means you need to search for the head of recruitment’s email address. 

Career fairs
Meeting someone who already works at the company you want to apply for is a great way to gain an advantage over your competitors. You can meet recruiters in person at career fairs. This is a great opportunity to get more information about job offers and you can also make a really good first impression too. Showing up to these sorts of events proves that you’re truly committed to finding a job, and you’re willing to put in the extra effort to make sure you succeed.
If you do find a recruiter who wants to look over your CV, make sure to take down their full name and email address. When you contact them, remind them in what context you met and how thankful you are for this opportunity. This is going to make you look like you’re already part of the team with your friendly, yet professional, approach.
If you’ve found a recruiter’s email address through a shared acquaintance, mention their name, and, if it’s relevant, how they know each other. If they’re friends outside work, you may choose not to mention that in the email. Make sure you check with the person that gave you the email address first to see if they’re okay with you mentioning them!

Proofread!
Few people actually take the time to carefully proofread their emails or online applications before sending them. Auto-correct functions don’t always do the job, especially when it comes to word order and phrasing.

And make sure you’ve actually attached your CV and that it’s the correct document. If you have more than one version, make sure you label them correctly. You could always download the documents once you’ve attached it to the email to double check everything’s in order!


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2 Comments

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