If it has been a while since you last applied for roles you will notice that there have been a number of changes in the application process in the 2020s which we will look at in this blog.

But first let’s look at what hasn’t changed:

How do you rate yourself when you look at a job description? Your mindset is important. A few months ago, when we were able to attend events in person, I was at a workshop where we discussed how often we look at a job description and disregard it because we can’t do all of the job role listed. However, before you move onto the next role look at what is essential and what is desirable. You don’t need to be able to do it all otherwise you’d be looking for the next role up.

As someone who has been involved in recruitment for years I am also looking for what the individual can bring that’s not on the job description that can add value. So, don’t discount yourself from a role if you can’t tick all the boxes.

Many companies still want a CV and covering letter as part of the initial recruitment process so have yours ready to send through if required. Make sure you check the job description/ role advert for any specific requirements the recruiter is looking for on either of these documents and make sure you cover those in what you send in application.

What might be different for you?

Many companies use Applicant Tracking systems (ATS) for you to upload your cv and covering letter as part of the application process. It can be used to track (as the name suggests) your application through the recruitment process but it is also a method to screen the applications using keywords. Therefore it is important that your cv and covering letter matches the keywords used in the job description so that you are picked up by the ATS. Take note of how the job description is worded and match that as well, ie hyphen or not, number as a word or as a number etc. This will help your details being picked up more.

Whilst there are still lots of recruitment agencies to approach a lot of searching can be done online, especially using ‘job aggregators’ – these are websites that pull in roles from various sources. You can set up an account, add in your requirements – ie job title, location, salary etc, and then set up email notifications for when new roles become available for you to review. These include Monster, Indeed, Reed etc.

I would still recommend using recruitment agencies as well as an online search. When you find the right one for you they will support you in the process as well as making sure they let you know about the right roles that fit your skills and requirements. Nothing beats talking to someone about your situation, wants and needs to have them use this to send you details of the right job for you.

LinkedIn is another great online resource both for you and recruiters. You have the opportunity to write an online cv which recruiters can search through which means your name can come up in a recruiters searches and they can contact you direct. In addition you can search for roles and set up search alerts for new roles as they are added to LinkedIn.

It is not just about job specific skills, the ‘softer’ transferable skills are just as important if not more so. Be clear about yours, where you have acquired them and how transferable they are. These can include negotiation, customer service, decision making, people management, project management and problem solving. With some of these in hand already the job specifics can often be learnt on the job. Again use the recruiters language to match your cv to the job description.

When thinking about applying for new roles and companies which may have the type of roles you are looking for use your network as a great source of information. Who can you speak to who may have possible openings or know someone who would?

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Claire Bolsover disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.