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To say that when applying for jobs some people should just make more effort?

286 replies

cocktailclub · 22/09/2022 05:52

I hear all the time that people have applied for 'hundreds' of jobs and not even had an interview. I hear this from graduates as well as more mature candidates.
I've been recruiting to my team over the last year and advertised about 7 or 8 roles. They BFF e been fairly popular and I have sifted around 120 cvs per role in the first two weeks.
My point is that only about 10% of applicants ensure their cv is tailored to the role.
I spend about 3 minutes looking at each applicant so need to be impressed quickly.
Most CVs start with a statement looking for a career in science' when the role is complaints manager for example.
By making a few changes to a CV so it highlights the skills for the role you want would be easy to do but very few even try.
So I'm not surprised people have no luck in their job search when they can't be bothered with the application.
AIBU to think this is the reason they are rejected?

OP posts:

CollieWobble22 · 22/09/2022 09:11

For a bright, normal applicant it's easy to get hired

This is ableist.


Hearthnhome · 22/09/2022 09:12

thecatsthecats · 22/09/2022 09:01

But who teaches them?

I have stopped judging applications headed "Dear sirs", after a lady told me that she'd been told that was the only respectful way to address a letter.

Yes, recruitment is costly. And that is exactly why you don't want to put off good recruits with BS processes. Because good staff are generally allergic to bullshit.

I won't apply if I think the application process is bunk, because it tends to be reflective of the organisation culture. And I assure you that I'm a cracking member of staff :D

My dd was taught CV writing as part of her EPQ that ran alongside her a levels.

I know we went through it at school (in the 1990s) but not in depth.


Thebestwaytoscareatory · 22/09/2022 09:13

WhatNoRaisins · 22/09/2022 07:06

The whole thing needs a massive overhaul.

No more making people apply for anything and everything to please the jobcentre

No more of these generic and meaningless job adverts that you couldn't tailor an application to even if you wanted to

Proportionate job application processes for the role and salary

Job adverts that actually contain relevant information like where the job actually is and what the actual hours will be

There's so much time and effort wasted on this completely unnecessarily

All of this plus

Job adverts that state the salary range!

Why would a company expect a candidate to spend time applying if they can't even be bothered / are to embarrassed to say what they pay?

Seeing "Competitive package" or "compensation commensurate with experience" on an advert for anything other than a top top role is a major red flag.


Scepticalwotsits · 22/09/2022 09:14

When I have hired, I took the CV checked whether it had the core requirements we asked for, if yea moved to one pipe if no checked whether they seemed to have relevant experience that could be worthwhile, if yes moved into the same pile.

then depending how many were in that pipe would read any supporting statements ans if there were any howlers or clear no fits would remove them then would go and have a call with each of them and from thag would bring forward a group to interview.

I do that because in a previous role i had a boss that would get the stack chuck half in the bin, then grab a pile of ones which fit some arbitrary criteria he had, and then threw the rest away and interviewed and hired one from that bunch regardless of suitability.


Mummyoflittledragon · 22/09/2022 09:14

BoredWithLife · 22/09/2022 06:18

"I spend about 3 minutes looking at each applicant so need to be impressed quickly."

Just curious, if you are only willing to give there application 3 minutes, how long are they supposed to give creating it? I get that it is often seen that the employee is "giving" someone a job/chance but the same is true in reverse the applicant is "giving" the company their skills.

Why do you expect serious effort on the applicants part if you're only willing to offer 3 minutes?

If op is getting hundreds of applicants for each role, she is only going to spend a few minutes on each. It only takes this long to weed out those, who do not have the required qualifications and experience. She can then go back to the more impressive cvs, reread them and chooses the best candidates for interview. This is why it is so important for a cv and covering letter to be specific and tailor made. It is for the candidate to impress the company if they want the role.

To put it into perspective, 100 cvs at 3 mins a piece = 5 hours of work.


Mummyoflittledragon · 22/09/2022 09:16

This reply has been withdrawn

Withdrawn at poster's request

Hearthnhome · 22/09/2022 09:16

Noviembre · 22/09/2022 09:10

If you can't get off your phone for the duration of an interview, yes, you're unemployable.

I one said they were on their phone. Simply that they had it in their hand.


TeaKlaxon · 22/09/2022 09:16

A CV generally should not need tweaking. It should be an overview of experience and qualifications and key achievements in previous roles.

Someone putting ‘looking for a role in a lab’ is actually a good example of why tailoring CVs is a bad idea. Aside from the time, the risk of sending the wrong ‘version’ of your CV and looking worse than someone who sent a generic one is too high.

I very rarely tailor my CV to specific roles. For a job I really want, I might do so by emphasising different achievements in certain roles to be more relevant to the role I’m interested in. But generally my CV gives a good and pithy description of my experience, skills and achievements so it doesn’t need tweaking.

Of course that will be accompanied by a covering letter or email, or sometimes a statement of suitability where I will specify why my CV makes me a good fit for the specific role - but that’s not the role of the CV itself.


Mummyoflittledragon · 22/09/2022 09:17

I’ve withdrawn that. I forgot you’ve got the experience yourself.


Adultchildofelderlyparents · 22/09/2022 09:17

PurBal · 22/09/2022 06:13

Applying for jobs 20 years ago: send generic CV you have kept updated, personalised covering letter, send to hiring manager, receive reply from hiring manager (yes or no). Total time spent: 30 minutes.
Applying for jobs today: take CV, log into some kind of online portal, input data into digital form (can’t always straight copy and past because there are multiple boxes in different formats), answer three questions circa 200 words why you should get the job over someone else, complete form on inclusion, export to pdf, attach to email, write cover email, send to hiring manager, wait a month and if you don’t hear assume you didn’t get the job. Total time spent: 3 hours
If your desperate for work, imagine doing 10 or 30 of these kind of applications. Depending on the job you can also get additional online assessments.
True CVs shouldn’t be personalised to the job but an overview of the applicants background. Covering letters should be personalised and highlight particular relevant skills.

Don't forget that each portal requires you to register with a username and password, and the password criteria are always slightly different so you can't use the same one. Add on half an hour trying to remember password.


Treetip · 22/09/2022 09:20

Employers should remember there's a labour shortage and expecting applicants to jump through hoops for low-paying jobs is unrealistic.


mumda · 22/09/2022 09:20

If you make the process simpler you will have better recruitment.

What do you actually want to know? If your application process needs video and pages of information then I think it's you whose messed up not the candidates.


DogInATent · 22/09/2022 09:23

The best piece of advice I was given about applying for jobs was simple:

Always remember that the first person that reads your application/CV does not want to give you the job

They want to clear the dross as fast as possible to spend time on the serious applications. If, on the first pass, your application gets as much as 3 minutes attention then the system is being generous. First pass is to weed out everyone that doesn't obviously meet the Essential Requirements. This is why you must tailor each application to the role. If it's not immediately obvious that you meet the Essential Requirements for that specific role you have much lower chance of advancing to interview.

It will take half-a-day minimum to put a single application together. No, you won't get feedback if you're rejected before the interview stage. If you reach interview but are unsuccessful you'll have to ask for feedback if you want it.


Hearthnhome · 22/09/2022 09:23

Thebestwaytoscareatory · 22/09/2022 09:13

All of this plus

Job adverts that state the salary range!

Why would a company expect a candidate to spend time applying if they can't even be bothered / are to embarrassed to say what they pay?

Seeing "Competitive package" or "compensation commensurate with experience" on an advert for anything other than a top top role is a major red flag.

I agree with all this.

Including recruitment staff who contact you, set up a call to tell you basically nothing about the role, who it’s for or where it is or what it pays. They only want to tell you that if you are short listed, after that call.

Expecting people to take out to phone interview when they don’t even know if they want the job is ridiculous.


Cw112 · 22/09/2022 09:24

In fairness a lot of people aren't aware of what someone is looking for from a cv/application thinking I'll tell more at interview and don't realise they need to demonstrate every point in the person specification. It's not something we're really properly taught so I don't think it's lack of effort as much as lack of understanding. Also when you're really trying to seek work and are sending out loads of applications it's super demoralising and time consuming so I think people can start to get quite disheartened which maybe shows in their application.


girlmom21 · 22/09/2022 09:24

CollieWobble22 · 22/09/2022 08:36

Imagine working for some of these posters!

Enough red flags for a parade! 🤣

Don't worry about it, they'll never recruit us Grin


DarkShade · 22/09/2022 09:25

Darbs76 · 22/09/2022 06:07

It’s super annoying. I sift and interview a lot. And so many people don’t bother to read up on the style of our recruitment (and there’s an abundance of info and videos online how to do it). I recently applied for a promotion and I spent so much time tailoring my statement to the job role each time. If people can’t be bothered to make the effort to stand out in the sift then they are straight in the no pile

I totally understand this from your perspective, and for any job that I really wanted I did this. But the reality is that when you are jobsearching you simply cannot go and read all these pages and watch every online video for every job, there is not enough time. I guess people try and strike a balance by sending in standard CVs that are a bit tweaked.

It's madness what companies want from you now just to be interviewed. Psychometric tests, a video introducing yourself (!!), a video demonstration of you performing a task, a written paragraph about how you've handled problems.... my siblings in Christ, just look at my CV and call me in or not, we're all busy!


CollieWobble22 · 22/09/2022 09:26

@girlmom21 I'm just not "normal" enough 🤣🤣🤣


Brefugee · 22/09/2022 09:29

deffo agree about salary range. Stop wasti

ng people's time with this.
Also agree that i expect, as an absolute minimum: acknowledement that my application has arrvied (robo-email is fine) and i expect an answer full stop no matter how far i get. I have contacted well-known companies after 2 months to ask why no reply - and given them chapter and verse on how much of people's time they are wasting only not to have the basic decency to send a generic "sorry, no" email.

And from the applicant’s perspective, the number of spelling and grammatical mistakes I’ve seen in job adverts is shocking. I mean truly shocking. And actually embarrassing when one of the criteria sought is “attention to detail.” If you want the applicants to put in the effort then so should the employer.

I have a friend who sent a job application to the CEO with all the mistakes and suggested improvements for clarity marked in red. It was a bloody mess. He invited her for an interview, and she met a few of the directors, including the ones responsible for recruiting. They offered her a job. She sent back their offer letter with all the mistakes and suggested improvements marked in red and turned them down. We know a few people who have worked there now and again, nobody stays long.

As for OPs assertion a few pages ago that it's not their job to decide if their open roles fit a candidate's qualifications/experience - meh. Up to you. But my last two jobs i got have been because i sent an application on spec and asked if they had anything that suited me.


Bubblebubblebah · 22/09/2022 09:31

Tbh if hundred people didn't apply for jobs they are not even 25% suitable for, companies would probably have time to answer everyone and wouldn't need super long weeding out application processes.

People don't even have to be 100% match, 75% can do if that 75% are the core skills and knowledge. But getting 30 75% and 368 10% matches. I think it's understandable many places can't answer to everyone.

When I worked in sme in hospitality we got 600 cvs. 500+ were very obviously not intended to help get a job. We did not have capacity to reply to all. Though places like linked in are now making it easier.


Bubblebubblebah · 22/09/2022 09:35

Indeed not LinkedIn 🤦


notalwaysalondoner · 22/09/2022 09:37

I agree, I work for an extremely competitive graduate employer (not in recruiting, but they get everyone to chip in on CV screening as we have tens of thousands of applicants a year) and sadly, those from the less prestigious universities are much more guilty of this in general. It makes it very very hard for us to hire from those universities, as the candidates just aren't being clear about what makes them stand out, or tailoring it enough to the role, which means we can't even offer them a first round interview. Whereas from Oxbridge or the big London schools, they are 99% of the time tailored, clear about what makes them worth interviewing over the next candidate, and specific about their achievements (e.g. 'I captain football for the university team/local village' rather than just 'I play football' which helps us differentiate leadership and time commitments for example). It's such a shame as I think it is mostly down to much better career advice and support for those universities, but it means we often can't even give the others a chance. Of course, some of the time it is just laziness, but I don't think that's the root cause in this case.


notalwaysalondoner · 22/09/2022 09:41

I also agree about simplifying the process - one of the things I love about my company and which made me accept the job is that they just ask for a CV and cover letter. Nothing else. They are also very clear about the format interviews will take, and no group exercises or other trendy stuff. I loved that - despite having tens of thousands of applicants a year they accept that actually the quickest way to both screen candidates and keep your best candidates happy is to keep the application process super super simple.


CollieWobble22 · 22/09/2022 09:44

@notalwaysalondoner Sounds like the dream. Head screwed on and progressive attitudes. Love it!

Shows that the company aren't stuck in the 90s with their awful, time consuming processes and that they strive to be better 😊 after all, time is money!


MsMcGonagall · 22/09/2022 09:45

If you have 120 applicants for a role then even if all of them have done beautifully tailored applications, 111 of them are not going to get the job.

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