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Dream jobs | How to get a job
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Applying for a job?


> Double your chances of success

Don't just apply to offers: send open applications too. "There are always lots of candidates applying for advertised posts, which means you have less chance of getting an interview," says Daniel. 

You never know; besides, some companies select candidates from their contacts and networks rather than advertising their vacancies. You might just get lucky.

> Go for quality, not quantity

Instead of bombarding every employer with vacancies with CVs, most of which will end up in the bin, stick to the jobs you really want and make your applications fit. "Be selective and you may find fewer real opportunities, but you'll be far more effective in your hunt," says Daniel. "If the sector you're applying too is quite a small niche, this will seriously increase your chances of getting lucky." 

Less is more: remember that you don't want to compromise the applications that really matter by sending out generic CVs and cover letters that have obviously been mass produced to every recruiter.

A good rule is to define 3 job titles to target and one that 'could' interest you. Aim to consider 5-15 posts for each three job titles and then look at the ones that 'could' interest you, depending of course on how much time you have at your disposal.

> Contact the right person

Instead of getting in touch with Human Resources, contact the person who would actually make the decision to employ you directly. "You need to get your application to the person with the problem or need for you," says our expert.

How do you go about getting the all-important names, addresses and numbers? The most effective way is to get a mate to do it for you. "Ask a friend to phone the company up pretending to be from another company and ask for the contact details."

> Apply by snail mail too 

Recruiters receive between 20 and 400 emails a day. Your application could well get lost or end up in a spam folder along with the Viagra ads and Easyjet newsletters!

Applications by post actually get into the hands of the person in question, so they may be mess easily disposable than just another email. "We receive fewer and fewer paper applications. Your application may stand out more if you send it in the post," says Daniel.

Tip: Be proactive! Ring up before you send your application so the employer knows to expect it.

Better still, deliver it into the right person's hands. Put the effort in and you'll stand far more chance of getting yourself noticed. 

Don't get contacts or acquaintainces to pass your CV around to anyone and everyone.

"This is a bad idea, firstly because you're not sure that your application will get sent; you're not in control of the information that gets sent out. And secondly, you don't know who it's going to so you can't tailor your CV or letter to the company or job." 

Get more tips on job hunting in our guide.


Sarah Horrocks
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