Feel like you’re banging your head on the recruitment wall?

We’ve worked in recruitment for over 15 years. So we’ve seen and heard a lot of feedback regarding CVs and interviews in the recruitment process. We have distilled some of that to hopefully help ensure you can win your ideal next role.


I’ve been told I’m over qualified for the role. How is that possible?

Feedback like this can mean one of two things generally. Firstly, there is a fear that you will have higher salary expectations than the organisation can offer. Now if the salary hasn’t been advertised, this can be tricky to overcome, short of putting your salary expectations out there at the start.

The other option is that they feel that someone with your level of experience might get bored in this role or would either be looking for a quick promotion or are using this role as a stop gap until something better comes along. So how can you mitigate this? This is where your cover letter is hugely important. In that you can tackle the “elephant in the room” and explain that you know you are able to offer more than the minimum requirements and that you want this job because of x, y, z. The key is to alleviate the fears that the employer will have that you essentially won’t stick around for long.


I have gaps in my CV – so what?

Anything unexplained on a CV will give the recruiter things to question that don’t relate to your skills or abilities? Recruiters don’t mind that you took time off for family or to travel the world, but they don’t like gaps that are unexplained. And with application rates high for many roles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a simple explanation can ensure your CV is properly considered rather than put in the no pile.


My CV keeps getting rejected by automatic software – what can I do?

Many organisations use software to help them cope with the sheer scale of recruitment and applications that they are doing. This means that your CV has to get passed these systems called applicant tracking systems or ATS. The ATS essentially acts like a search engine and will be scanning your CV for key words that the employer wants. You’ll find these key words in the job ad, role profile etc that initially caused you to apply. So do this yourself, when reading through it, highlight the key skills, qualifications and requirements and see whether your CV contains them. If not, you’ll likely need to adapt your CV to include them. If you’re struggling for space, a cheat is to include the key words and then change the colour to white. The ATS will likely still pick them up whilst any human reading your CV afterwards won’t see them.


I’m told that my experience isn’t relevant but I disagree. How can I convince employers?

The thing to remember is that an employer is looking for someone that can come in and start being productive in the role as soon as possible and with as little input from them as possible. Therefore, your CV needs to demonstrate your abilities to do the job. Making statements about it, is not going to be as powerful as being able to demonstrate it. How can you do this on paper? With examples. Don’t just say you’re highly organised, give an example of how your excellent organisation skills created value for someone or a group or organisation.


This has covered some of the frequently asked questions we get. What are your questions or frustrations with recruitment processes that we could help with? Send us your questions or comments here. If you’re looking for more advice on CV writing, check out our article published earlier this month.


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