Perhaps it is because I am a recruiter who primarily specialises in sales-based roles, but I can’t help but often realise how many candidates don’t see the job hunting process as the sales exercise it really is. You’re selling yourself!

I was talking to a candidate that I’ve known for many years, who is currently looking for a new sales role, about how hard it is to get ‘cut through’ during the application process. I asked him to tell me how he is going about applying for roles, and he said “I’m applying for pretty much every sales role on Seek”. Big mistake. I asked him how he manages to find the time to tailor a cover letter for every role he applies for; he went on to tell me that not only does he not do that, often he doesn’t even read the ad fully. If the job title and money sound right, he applies. MASSIVE mistake.

Now if you’re in a sales role, and you contact 100 potential customers, and not 1 of them is interested in meeting with you, wouldn’t you take a good hard look at how you were approaching them? Of course you would. So if you are sending 100s of applications off and getting zero engagement from companies, try doing the following:

Apply for less jobs! Sounds weird right? But if you apply for less roles, you can focus on applying for the ones that really suit your skills and abilities, and put more time into making your application a little more personalised. Whether it’s a recruitment agency or a company hiring directly, your resume could be one of hundreds sent in for consideration – you simply MUST stand out.

I recently read an article by Naomi Simson of Red Balloon, were she stated they only consider applicants who make a real effort to stand out and be noticed. Now I’m not saying you have to tie your resume to the leg of a homing pigeon, but at the very least address your cover letter to the person advertising the position (assuming you can find their details) and tell them why a) you want THAT job, and b) why they should consider you for THAT job.

I fully appreciate that when you’re out of work, or desperate for a change, it seems like the best thing to do is to simply apply for every role you come across, but I can promise you it isn’t.

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