These last 18 months I have had the misfortune of being one of the many young unemployed citizens of Great Britain. In this time I have sent off hundreds upon hundreds of CVs, mainly using one of the many job sites which advertise thousands of jobs for companies who are seemingly willing to pay large advertising fees in order to get the right employee.
So why am I not employed yet? Or why, for that matter, do I rarely even receive a reply back? Is my CV really that bad? Do I lack the qualifications? Are they swamped with applications? Did I insult their mother?One possible reason is that some of these positions are filled even before they’re advertised on these job sites, either by internal promotion or by friends and family of other employees at the company.
Getting a job through a friend or family member has always been the easiest and most reliable way of finding work; after all, employers are far more likely to employ someone they know or someone who has been recommended to them than some stranger who sent their details by email. Picking someone they’ve known for more than an hour during an interview gives them peace of mind and also saves them money, since they no longer have to advertise the job.
But wait a minute… If that’s the case then why am I looking at an advert for that same job in my local paper? The problem is some employers are required to advertise externally and consider all candidates, even if their mind is already made up and all the applications will be going straight in the bin. In the last place I worked, jobs were advertised internally a week before they were advertised externally, giving us plenty of time to apply for the position and talk with the team and manager in order to assure them we were the right man or woman for the job.
The issue here isn’t so much with employers already having a job filled before it’s advertised but with the fact it’s advertised at all. When I go to a jobsite and apply for 10 jobs I want to come away knowing that someone will look at those CVs and take them into consideration, and the only way to assure this would be if laws and policies that require these jobs to be advertised were changed or removed. Only employers who were genuinely interested in looking for new employees would then be advertising vacancies, cutting out the many “false” jobs and allowing unemployed people such as myself to apply with the confidence that we will be noticed.
Is that likely to happen? Who knows? To be honest there isn’t much I or any other jobseekers can do to change the rules about advertising. There is, however, something those looking for work can do to avoid their CVs being binned as soon as they apply and that is to apply before any job is even advertised. Send your CV off to a company with a covering letter simply describing the fact that you’re looking for work, outlining your skills and explaining why you’d be a great addition to that company. By using your initiative you can get ahead of the pack and if you make a good impression you may just land yourself a job.
About this story
This story was written by Jack Hogg.