When people hear I’m a recruiter, the first question they ask me is: how do I make my application stand out from everyone else’s?
The definitive answer to this is: with the language you use.
It’s pretty much a given you have the skills and experience needed to do the job, or you wouldn’t be replying to the ad, would you? So you need to get across your personality – and quickly.
And yet I still see far too many CVs written in a way that removes all trace of personality.
So, if you’re guilty of tapping ‘covering letter for job application’ into Google, stop now! Forget about ‘to whom it may concern’; and never again write ‘I’m a flexible team-player’.
I’m not alone in thinking this. Rebecca Dean, a recruiter for creative digital recruitment agency Vitamin T, made the very same appeal in a Facebook post just the other night. After a long day clearly spent reading too many CVs devoid of personality, she ranted:
Jobhunters: please don’t start your cover letter with ‘Please find attached to this email a copy of my CV, for your consideration. I feel I would be an excellent candidate for your above vacancy as it closely matches my skills and experience’.
All this copy-and-paste clichéd disaster of an opening does is suggest that your ‘skills and experience’ include unoriginality and the ability to Google ‘how to write a cover letter’. These two sentences induce nausea and nosebleeds in recruiters and hiring managers alike.
Remember – this is the person who’ll be reading your CV! So, if you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s quite simple. Be you and use the language you’d use, not what you think you’re expected to. Robots need not apply.