I think that in this day and age where competition for jobs is so fierce, candidates should adopt an almost scientific approach to their job search campaign – and every job candidate who has been searching for jobs for more than three months should know their interview strike rate. Why?
Because it is an indicator of how effective or ineffective your current job search methods are, so for example, if you find that your resume to interview strike rate is at say 100:1, that is, it takes you 100 job applications to get one interview, then this is probably too high and this is an indicator that you need to make a change to your job search strategy to improve your interview strike rate, which could include: enhancing your resume/CV, changing your recruiting agent, improving your cover letters etc…
If you are finding that your resume to interview strike rate is in the 100s, e.g. 200 to 1`, or 300 to 1, you may need to rely on the metric of resume-to-acknowledgement strike rate to give you an idea of how effective or ineffective your job search tactics are.
And, if you find that your resume to acknowledgement strike rate is too high then clearly this is a good time for you start to adjust your job search strategy.
In order to help you monitor your interview strike rate I recommend that you track your job applications in excel or use one the many on-line job application tracking system in the market place. Track things like job title, company, salary, industry, location so you can not only see your overall resume to interview strike rate, but so you can spot trends. For example, may be you find that your strike rate is higher when you apply for jobs in a certain salary range or with a certain job title. It could be that you then decided to focus your future job search in this area where you seem to be more attractive in order to improve your overall resumes to interview strike rate.
So, tracking your resume to interview strike rate is great way to see how good or bad your current job-search practices are and a low strike rate can alert you to the fact that you may need to make improvements to your resume design.
Therefore, if you are facing a low resume to interview strike rate then what improvements can be made to your job search approach? Thankfully, Bull Horn Reach have recently released some detailed research into the kind of practices that candidate’s are adopting today that are deterring and attracting recruiters. This should give job seekers an idea of the kind of changes they can make to their job search strategy to increase their interview strike rate.
Top 6 Ways to Differentiate Your Job Application From the Competition
- 57% of recruiters would strongly factor in a candidate’s personality fit with the hiring company – so try and choose companies where you have a good personality and culture fit and reflect your culture fit in your cover letter.
- 32% thought the names of companies where a candidate worked previously could give them a leg up, so ensure to highlight any big brands you have worked for in your cover letter. If you haven’t worked for well known brands, include a promotional company tag-line under/next to the employer listing in your resume to sell the lesser-known/unknown brands to the recruiter.
- 29% thought being referred by a friend or colleague would carry a lot of weight, so try and establish a contact at any business that you apply to, or apply to firms where you have contacts and seek their permission to reference their name in your cover letter.
- Interestingly, fewer than 4% say that “the name of the school they attended” will help truly differentiate a candidate, so list educational establishments last on your resume.
- 47% percent of recruiters associate the title “self-employed” with being unemployed. And 42 percent of recruiters think that “independent consultants” are actually unemployed. Therefore, if you are/have been self-employed, ensure that you back it up by detailing out the role to give it credibility, which means being very specific about projects, dates, project value, annual revenue and client names where possible. Show that it is authentic.
- Fewer than 5% of recruiters said that “sounding and acting desperate to get a job” was their number one negative candidate behaviour, so don’t be afraid to appear enthusiastic.