If you’ve been sending out dozens of job applications and haven’t received many interview invitations in response, you may be wondering if your qualifications are a bit beyond what employers require for the kinds of positions you’re pursuing. And your suspicions may be correct. When the economy struggles and the job market tips in favour of employers, many applicants start to spread a wider net and reach for positions that fall a level above or below what their qualifications might suggest. If you find yourself being turned away by employers who fear you may want a salary they can’t afford, or fear you might use the job as a stepping stone and leave as soon as you find something better, you may need to shape your CV in a way that allays these concerns. Here are a few simple moves that can make your application more appealing.
- If you have degrees that extend far beyond the education level stated in the posting, it’s okay to leave them off your CV for the time being. You can discuss them in the interview if you like, but this simple omission can keep you in the running long enough to reach that point.
- Use your covering letter to explain why you’re applying for this position and demonstrate that you intend to take this job seriously. Be upfront.
- Organise your qualifications in a way that emphasises relevance. Relevant qualifications beat impressive ones every time. Make sure your employers can clearly see what you have to contribute to this position, but limit detail that adds nothing to your case and may make you seem more expensive than you are.
- Unless it’s explicitly requested by the posting, don’t volunteer your salary history.
- Before you submit an application for any position that seems like a step backward, ask yourself why you’re doing this. Don’t allow a long job search to bruise your confidence or encourage you to lower your standards. Be patient and stay focused on your long-term career goals, not just your current need to land any job that will help you pay the bills.