As an IT recruitment company, we know all too well how to ensure your job application ends up in the ‘interview’ pile, or equally the ‘reject’ pile. We give every applicant of every job we hire for the professional attention they deserve, and we see the common mistakes crop up again and again that force us, or our clients, to reject a CV and application. These are the top 5.
1. You have not tailored your resume to the role
It sounds obvious, but if you are applying for a job in IT and one of your previous roles was as an estate agent, then there is no point including details on that particular position. A recruiter will know from reading this section that they won’t be able to get excited about what you’ve done or how well-qualified you are for their client’s needs. Also, an applicant who spends time writing a letter but makes no mention of why they want this specific job, is unlikely to make any impression with those reading their CV later down the line. This also applies when sending an email application.
2. You’ve not done enough research on the company and role
Recruiters know that if you haven’t looked into a job or employer properly, it is unlikely you are the right person for the position, as you probably aren’t fussed about the job and someone else will be more excited about the opportunity. Remember: recruiters (like us!) are working in the IT industry and know what hiring managers look for – fundamentally a desire to work for the employer! Investing your time in researching any potential employer is essential – if you don’t invest your own time to do your application right, then how can we trust that you would even bother making an effort on a day-to-day basis working in their business?
3. You have no (or little recent) professional experience
If you are new to the industry, then this situation is understandable and it’s accepted that you may have little experience or that there may be reasons for gaps in your career history. But if you have been working in IT for over 20 years and you don’t mention any of your previous positions on your application, then a recruiter will more than likely assume you were fired from all those jobs and reject you outright.
4. You have no social media profiles
In today’s professional world it’s essential that you have a presence on LinkedIn as it is expected by recruiters and gives us a trusted way to find out about your skills and experience, on top of reading your CV. In fact recruiters are often unable to make an interview offer without seeing any online evidence of where you have worked. You can use your LinkedIn profile to answer any questions around gaps between roles too, so don’t forget to include what you’ve been doing in those periods in your career history.
5. You have an unprofessional email address on to your CV
Sounds a bit petty, but it’s a big one. For reasons unknown, many applicants still use outdated email addresses, such as aol, yahoo, btinternet etc, which is a red flag for IT recruiters as it suggests the candidate is out of touch with the latest tech. It can also make recruiters think they’re just applying for anything at any time, without really caring about the feedback of others in order to find something better suited to them. This signals laziness and lack of ambition towards finding work, meaning recruiters often reject these applications at first glance.
What can you do ace your application?
Make sure you research the company and role thoroughly before applying. If one particular job seems perfect, spend some time tailoring your resume so that you’re only sharing relevant content. Your email address should reflect who you are professionally with your name (or something else) at its head. And make use of social media and LinkedIn to show the relevant skills you have for any job you are applying for. We hope that this guide has given you some ideas on how to make sure your application makes the best first impression possible with a hiring manager or recruiter, good luck and if you need any support with your next IT job search, we’d be more than happy to help – simply get in touch.