Applying for a job is time consuming and can be frustrating.  As a recruiter I see a wide range of applications from a variety of people seeking roles in the charity sector.

Here is my advice on making your job seeking more effective.




1.            BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF – just because you see your dream job advertised, does not necessarily mean you have the skills and experience to do the job.  Read the job description and person specification  carefully, if you don’t meet the all the essential requirements and at least 75% of the desirable requirements, you will not be shortlisted.

2.            RESEARCH – there is no excuse for not researching the organisation fully prior to applying, you can then demonstrate your understanding of the requirements of the role more effectively in your application.  Don’t forget the wider research you can also do.

3.            DON’T RAMBLE – keep your supporting statement/covering letter to one side of A4 and make it relevant, addressing the requirement of the role.  Nothing puts recruiters off more than great swathes of text especially when you get a large number of applications.

4.            MEASURE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS – how do you know you improved staff moral/attendance/productivity/increased income?  Provide evidence and figures where possible.

5.            HOW DULL IS YOUR PROFILE? – have you described yourself as professional and experienced?  So does everyone!  Give some thought to your profile – make it stand out from the rest.  Try and inject something of your personality.

6.            DON’T BE LATE – a closing date for applications is usually advertised.  Try not to leave it to the last day, get your application in in plenty of time and definitely don’t send it after the closing date.

7.            TRY NOT TO SULK – if you aren’t shortlisted for interview, there is a good reason.  Either you don’t meet the requirements of the role or you have not submitted a good enough application.  Don’t ring up a demand an explanation (it does happen!).

8.            ATTEND THE INTERVIEW – if you are offered an interview, confirm as soon as you can.  Most organisations will put a lot of effort into organising interview/assessment days and these are usually stated in the advert.  If you can’t attend the interview, don’t expect it to be re-organised just for you.

9.            SMILE – interviews can be stressful but smiling has a positive effect on both you and the interviewer and suggests confidence (even if you’re having a wobble inside).  Don’t forget to smile at everyone you meet on the day, you’d be surprised how many people are asked for feedback.

10.          SAY YES – if asked at the end of the interview if this is the job for you, make sure your enthusiasm if communicated clearly (but try not to sound too desperate!).


Simple things but even some of the most senior candidates have days when the simple things get forgotten!