What do you look for when employing

(94 Posts)
FrustratinglyFrustrated Sat 22-Aug-20 00:34:52

So, I'm currently out of work, have been for about 4 months.
I have applied for nearly 100 jobs, all jobs I've applied for are jobs i can do and have experience in, I have received 2 replies. That's it. I don't understand where I am going wrong. I always include a cover note stating why I'm suited for the role, include my CV which states my work experience.
What do employers look for when deciding who to interview/ offer the position to.
If it's relevant, I'm early 40s.

OP’s posts: |
FortunesFave Sat 22-Aug-20 04:54:04

What line of work are you in OP?

CMMum88 Sat 22-Aug-20 05:32:16

Where you've worked before and what you did there. Don't just say skills or tasks, also give examples of actual projects and achievements.

I always think it's great when people reach out to me before applying and we can have an informal chat about the role.

In the actual interview, I want to see that you can back up your answers with really good explanations.

Sometimes hiring just comes down to team fit too. I would rather train someone who I know will fit into the team really well then employ someone very senior who just wants to do their own thing.

KatherineJaneway Sat 22-Aug-20 06:20:18

Are you applying cold or going through official routes? Lots of companies expect you to apply through their online jobs portal and ignore CV's sent in unsolicited.

Have you had your CV checked over? Good idea to make sure it meets current standards i.e. not over 2 pages of A4 long, laid out in the best format, removal of any irrelevant data etc.

Do you change your CV each time to match the role you are applying for?

peachypetite Sat 22-Aug-20 06:23:31

Are you tailoring your CV every single time?

Justtickingboxes Sat 22-Aug-20 06:28:46

It's best to tailor your application and email individually for each job and not use a mass produced email or CV. Call and find out who you should address your email to. If possible, prioritise posts which are advertised directly by an employer rather than agency (follow their social media or web announcements). Your age shouldn't appear anywhere on your CV or letter - it is not relevant - spring clean your CV to remove or group up old jobs. If you can volunteer or keep active doing some project of your own, that would give you a boost during this stressful time.

Ardnassa Sat 22-Aug-20 06:34:22

As PP said, it depends on sector and role, but I look for:

- a succinct, relevant CV. Skills/experiences/achievements should be clearly linked back (and possibly even echo some of the language in) the JD
- appealing, clear layout
- articulate, reasoned cover letter. No typos or grammatical errors

I may interview someone who seems over qualified (in case relevant to your situation which it sounds like it may be?) but I would be probing very carefully at interview** their reasons for wanting to 'settle' for something beneath their capabilities. The last thing I would want to do was have the job treated as a filler and them leaving me the moment they found something more suitable.

**or looking to the cover letter for an explanation


Persipan Sat 22-Aug-20 06:47:27

Any role I'm advertising for would include the 'person specification' which lists the essential and desirable experience/skills/qualities needed for the post. It's essentially a shopping list, and the shortlisting process involves literally scoring candidates against it. So, what I need to see in the application materials is clear evidence of those things, preferably with examples from prior experience (rather than just 'i have good communication skills' or whatever). Candidates who make it easy for me to find all the points on the person spec are most likely to float to the top of the pile, just on a practical level - if I'm going through 50+ applications I do have to move at some speed just to get them all reviewed. We use an application form rather than CV and covering letter and to be honest my heart sings when I see bullet points on the personal statement bit - especially if they're in the order of the person spec - because that person has broken it down so I can find what I need. They will must likely get lots of points in the scoring. I am much more interested in giving those points than I am in flowery prose.

My advice would be, tailor, tailor, tailor. Go through the information provided to see what they're looking for, and then ensure that your application reflects that, really clearly. Good luck!

chatterbugmegastar Sat 22-Aug-20 06:51:29

Make sure that your CV is altered each time you apply, to fit with each person spec

Make sure that your cover letter is written properly - ie both addresses correctly positioned, signed off correctly etc

And please check for spelling and grammatical errors. These are so easy to miss and so important to get right

Wallywobbles Sat 22-Aug-20 06:56:01

Once you've got the job I personally wouldn't keep anyone with absences during their trial period.

trinity0097 Sat 22-Aug-20 07:01:19

That you’re safe to be around children and have appropriate views about children and their behaviour.

I’m in a school!

wizzler Sat 22-Aug-20 07:30:59

I agree totally with Persian. The advert will tell you what I need . Tailor your application to show me how you meet the requirement. Don't assume it is implied.

FrustratinglyFrustrated Sat 22-Aug-20 09:12:27

Thanks all for the replies,
My most recent role was reception/admin. However, I have quite a varied employment history. Retail/catering/customer services.
I don't tailor my CV for each role but I do tailor the cover note. I always bullet point why I feel I would be suited, I pick out points from their job spec and give examples of either how I would achieve this or how I've achieved it in the past.
Unfortunately, I can only work occasional weekends, and I feel this may be the reason why I don't hear back from most. I include my availability on my cover note, is this the right thing to do? I don't want to get to the interview and then they are annoyed because I have wasted their time. I am fully flexible throughout the week, just not as much at the weekends. Also, my employment history does go back quite far, do I need to add all jobs I've had since I was 16? If I dont then there will be employment gaps.

OP’s posts: |
FrustratinglyFrustrated Sat 22-Aug-20 09:21:03

I should add that most of the jobs I am applying for our through a job site, I usually just have to send my CV along with a cover note.

OP’s posts: |
Aquicknamechange2019 Sat 22-Aug-20 09:23:03

I think you need to tailor the cv and not the cover note.

FrustratinglyFrustrated Sat 22-Aug-20 09:29:06


I think you need to tailor the cv and not the cover note.

How do I do that though?
My CV starts with a personal statement then employment history, then education.
There's nothing on it I can tailor?

OP’s posts: |
Persipan Sat 22-Aug-20 09:38:35

You can absolutely tailor your CV. Don't see it as a set-in-stone record of everything you've done; see it as a sales document. You can use it to emphasise the experience, jobs, skills etc that are most relevant for the particular job you're applying for.

peachypetite Sat 22-Aug-20 10:04:06

You should be tailoring both! Especially for the CV the personal statement .

Moondust001 Sat 22-Aug-20 10:58:55


You should be tailoring both! Especially for the CV the personal statement .

Agreed. And as one of the employers who don't use CVs anyway, the fastest way into the reject pile is to attach a CV to a blank application, or ignore the actual form and just cut and paste what you want into the form.

That said, there was a story on the BBC website yesterday about a single job that got over 2000 applications for an unskilled / low skilled position. That is no longer unusual. I work in a related field, and since the moment lockdown hit, the numbers of workless or under employed people seeking help rocketed. And when furlough ends, it will soar. We are already seeing that. So, being ruthlessly honest, if you have a low skill offer, and then restrict your hours as well, then you are up against better qualified and experienced people who will offer whatever hours the employer wants - you aren't going to be their top pick.

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Sat 22-Aug-20 11:04:51

Like Moondust, I was also going to mention that there are a lot of applicants for most jobs at the moment. I suspect that they are just reading through applications until they have enough suitable people to shortlist and then not even looking at the rest of them. I'm not an employer as such but I used to have au pairs and one year I put a vacancy up on Great Au Pair and when I came back to it the following evening, about 23 hours later, I had around 200 applicants. I did try to read them all, but it was taking me HOURS so in the end I scanned quickly and if I didn't see the word 'football' I just sent a rejection.

WrongKindOfFace Sat 22-Aug-20 11:23:55

How do I do that though? My CV starts with a personal statement then employment history, then education.There's nothing on it I can tailor?

Yes there is. Look at the job description and make sure your CV reflects what they ask for. Use the same language. If they ask for a receptionist with two years of experience and who is confident in using x, y and z then make sure your CV states this. Ideally near the top as they often don’t read beyond recent employment. So in your personal statement or make a key skills section if required.

You also don’t need to include every job since 16. The last 10 years or so is generally fine. You don’t need to date qualifications either if you think ageism is at play.

There is bags of good advice online on how to tailor CVs and cover letters.

I also wouldn’t mention that you can’t work all weekends. If the job requires every weekend working then don’t apply for it.

If you’re completing application forms, particularly for the nhs or public sector, look up competency and value based applications and interviews as this is how they will score your application and interview.

chatterbugmegastar Sat 22-Aug-20 12:11:46

I usually just have to send my CV along with a cover note.

That implies that you send the same CV each time and don't tailor it. THAT will get you overlooked every single time and you might as well it bother to apply

Also it's not a cover note. It's a letter. A Properly formulated professional letter

You're up against hundreds of people each time you apply. Just because you're applying on Indeed, or wherever - don't drop your standards

Don't be an alsoran

ChaChaCha2012 Sat 22-Aug-20 13:33:46

What are you putting in your personal statement, and how long is it?

The recruiter could have 500 applications to sift. 400 will be a 'team player with strong organisational skills', and will be binned. The employer needs to know how you meet the criteria, specific examples, not buzzwords.

FluffyKittensinabasket Sat 22-Aug-20 19:11:37

A pulse.

linmanuel Sat 22-Aug-20 20:35:39

Marking place to read later. My dh is in similar position to OP

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