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What to expect when applying for a role mid-pandemic

  • Publish Date: Posted over 3 years ago
  • Author:by Natasha Copitch

​Although the COVID-19 crisis is by no means over, people are starting to apply for jobs once again after an initial slow down earlier on in the year. This was most likely on account of workers trying to adjust to a new normal, while transitioning to home working and wanting to maintain job security.

Now though, people are increasingly on the lookout for a fresh start and a career reboot after months of stringent lockdown restrictions and social distancing.

We have observed that candidates are applying for many roles at any one time, and these are often roles which their knowledge, skill-sets and experience are not very well aligned to.

This knee jerk reaction is hardly surprising given the huge challenges across the employment market. The pandemic has led to a rise in unemployment, people being placed on furlough, redundancies and significant restructures. The knock on effect is that the overall number of job opportunities has significantly decreased while the number of people seeking employment has risen.

Arguably, applying for and securing a new role is the hardest it has ever been, so with this in mind it is of paramount importance to stand out from the crowd when applying for a new position. It will also help to use your time wisely and efficiently to successfully reach interview stage and eventually secure that dream role which will further your career.

Here, our Customer Contact senior resourcer Natasha Copitch provides advice about which roles you should apply for and some insights into the application process.

Apply to positions at the right level

This goes both ways. It is important not to apply for a position that is too junior nor too senior as this can automatically rule you out. While self-belief and ambition are great traits and everyone strives for that next step up the career ladder, it is unwise to apply to jobs that are too far beyond your capabilities.

Similarly, do not apply for a job which is beneath your skill-set in the desperate hope of securing a position. Employers are often nervous when people apply for a role which is too junior for them, being concerned that this may only offer a short-term solution if you decide to move on quickly should a more suitable position arise.

Apply for roles that play to your strengths

The current market is extremely competitive so in order to stand out, you should apply to roles which truly complement your skills and experience. If there are certain criteria being set out in adverts such as educational or professional qualifications, specific experience or industry knowledge, then do take note of these factors. They have been stipulated for a reason, so choosing to ignore them could prove detrimental. Applying for vacancies that do not match your background not only wastes hiring managers’ and recruiters’ time, but your time as well.

Be discerning about what you apply for

It can be all too easy to scroll through job boards taking a ‘one click’ apply-to-any-role approach for an array of positions which look like a loose fit to your experience. Remember that behind these job boards, real hiring managers, HR teams and recruitment consultants are receiving your applications. If your CV comes through for multiple widely different vacancies, it can have a negative impact as it gives the impression that you do not have a clear idea of where your strengths lie, which positions you are most suited to or where you want to take your career.

Be patient

It is understandable to wonder how soon you will receive a response once you have submitted your application. In the current market, an advertised role may receive tens, if not hundreds, of applications so try to be patient. Often, firms advertising directly will have a closing date and will not screen CVs until after this deadline has passed. When factoring in the number of CVs that need to be reviewed before even reaching the stage of setting up initial interviews, you can expect to be waiting a number of weeks after the closing date for some form of contact to be made.

Understand the recruiting process

When dealing with a recruitment consultancy, it can help to understand that they will be working on multiple roles at any one time. This means that they will use their experience to manage their time accordingly and focus on positions with varying levels of effort to reflect where the client is up to in their own recruitment process. 

Similar to a business hiring directly, a recruiter will receive a significant number of applications and will subsequently need to screen them and speak to candidates to assess their suitability before submitting CVs to the client for review.

Unfortunately, it is common for people to feel that they have applied to a role or spoken to a recruiter about the perfect job only to not hear from the agency again. Bear in mind that the agency acts as your representative and can only provide updates when they receive news from the hiring company. It is in the best interests of both you and the recruiter that you secure an interview and ultimately a job offer, so while it may not seem like it at times, recruiters will be doing their utmost to make this happen. Reputable recruiters will get in touch with you as soon as they receive an update from their client whether it is positive or negative feedback, and will most likely not want to keep bothering you before this with calls and emails of ‘no news’.

We hope the above tips are informative and prove useful in your search for a new role. If you would like some more advice around the best fit for your qualifications and experience, please contact Natashadirectly: