If you’re looking for a job, the first step is to update your CV and cover letter so they are curated for the job you’re applying for. But if you already did that and applied for the job, how can you increase your chances of scoring an interview and, eventually, the job?
As someone who creates CVs and cover letters for a living, I get plenty of people asking why despite having applied for so many jobs, they get rejected or ignored by almost all the companies. Well, that’s a great question. There are so many job openings in the Netherlands nowadays, including English-speaking jobs. So here are a few ways to increase your chances of being considered for the position(s) you’re applying for.
CVs and Cover Letters Need to Be Edited and Updated
You may have updated your CV and cover letter, but that doesn’t mean it looks professional and fits into the Dutch standards. Both your CV and cover letter should be no more than one page, sometimes two. There are certain cases when a longer CV is necessary, but there aren’t a lot of positions that require that. Your CV and cover letter should be clear and concise. They should also look professional and be free of as many spelling and grammar errors as possible. If you need help with your CV & cover letter, send me an email, and we’ll discuss how I can help you.
Do Not Lie About Your Experience and Qualifications
Do not lie on your CV and cover letter. Don’t say you worked somewhere if you didn’t. Don’t say you have five years of experience in a field if you only have one year of experience. It’s one thing to embellish a little, but it’s another thing to lie and make things up completely. Even if you get the job you applied for, you most likely won’t last long as the job is much harder and more complicated than you can handle. No one likes to work with someone who lies. Suppose you want a much better job. Put in the work. Take extra classes and gain the experience necessary before applying for those positions.
Apply for Jobs That You’re Qualified For
Do not apply for jobs that you are grossly underqualified for. It’s one thing if the job requires five years of experience and you only have four years of experience. It’s another thing if the company requires you to have certain certificates, trainings, and perhaps speak another language, and you don’t have any of those. Just like you wouldn’t want a company to waste your time, don’t waste their time. Apply for jobs that you are actually qualified for and have the necessary experience.
I’m not saying you should never apply for positions that you’re not qualified for. Because in rare cases, you can get that position and do well in it. But it’s better to focus your efforts on positions you’re qualified for because you’ll be a way better candidate for those.
Don’t Be Afraid to Follow Up
Whether you like it or not, sometimes the best way to stand out is to follow up. That could mean calling the company and asking to speak with the HR department or emailing them to ask about the status of your application. You can also consider popping into the company and letting reception know that you’re very interested in the job and would love to speak with the hiring department. It’s a huge plus when someone is very interested in the job they are applying for. So don’t be afraid to speak to a real person after applying online.
Don’t Give Up
Let’s say you were rejected from a certain job you applied for. Do not be afraid to apply again if that position or another position becomes available. In a lot of cases, no just means not now. Perhaps they had a more qualified and/or experienced person apply last time, or your salary requirements were out of their budget the last time you applied. The possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid of rejection because you’ll eventually end up in the right place if you continue putting yourself out there.
Be Patient and Put Yourself Out There
I completely understand how frustrating the job search process can be. But at the end of the day, you want to work somewhere that will value you for who you are and be the best fit for you and the company. So put yourself out there and try not to accept a job just because you need a job. I totally understand that sometimes you have to do it, but if you can avoid it, then don’t do it. And if you need my help with your CV, cover letter, and some basic job search tips, feel free to reach out to me here.
What questions do you have about the job search/hiring process in the Netherlands?