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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Battle for the interview shortlist

Battle for the interview shortlist

Words by Francis Kahihu

I have over the years empathized with many job seekers who indicate how frustrated they have been for months. Many of these are people who have been sending out job applications with no replies inviting them for interviews. They even wonder whether anyone bothers to read their applications, leave alone look at their ‘greatly’ formatted CVs. Being shortlisted for an interview is no mean feat. It is a real battle fought by thousands of potential workers for the few slots available.

When applications are received by the advertising organization, they go through two main processes. The first one is called the compliance review in which basic details are confirmed to comply with the requirements. Some of these could be the length of the CV, the attachments requested for, the date the application is received and the form in which the application is received. The applications that go through this stage are later subjected to the technical review that entails critical analysis of the suitability of the candidates for the job. The applications that go through this stage could get considered for interviews which serve as the next level of technical reviews. Reflecting on the main reasons why many people are rarely shortlisted for interviews, I have put together three pointers that you may want to use as a check list.

1: Relevance of your qualifications

Out of desperation, many job seekers tend to broadcast their CVs to all advertisers. They develop a CV that apparently should fit all occasions. They use the CV to apply for any job that gets advertised with the hope that one of them could bear some fruit. Before applying for any job, be keen to interact with the nitty gritties of the expected job qualifications in terms of training and experience. This is helpful in the development of your motivational letter indicating how you fit in the bill being sought for the position. Don’t apply for jobs that you out rightly know you do not qualify for. Doing this only serves to frustrate you.

2: Apply in the form requested

Some of the employers would request for job applications in certain formats. There are those who request for the applications in soft copies, while others require them in hard copies. Some want them in both hard and soft copy. In other instances, applications are to be sent in specified templates available on the employer’s website. Adherence to these requirements tends to position your CV on the route for potential consideration. Do not disregard the requirement of the form since an employer will not ‘waste’ their time reading through your hard copy application if they were clear that they wanted all applications in soft form.

3: Date and time of receipt

This may sound like a long gone challenge but to the shock of many people, applications are ever being dumped for being received late. For whatever reason, even with clear indications by the employer that applications must be received by a certain hour and date, many people still send their applications late. This is a sure way of losing potential opportunities. Send the applications early enough. Do not wait for the last hour. Technology can fail you in the hour of need.

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