While looking for a job, part of my routine is to return to my CV periodically to make sure that it in relation to my application, it is relevant. I customise the summary at the top of the page, change emphasis on certain skills when required and keep it readable. We’re told by professionals that HR people are trained to pick out required skills quickly, reducing the time they spend on this exercise as much as possible. In fact, there are often automated systems in place on email servers, programmed to look for these all-important keywords and omit the human factor completely.

The reason I bring this rather obvious thing up, is because I received  a call on Monday from someone who had found my CV on-line. Apparently I fitted the bill for a vacancy in a subsidiary company of theirs, which they needed to fill quickly. In particular, it was my administrative experience and account management skills that were most interesting, so he wanted to know if I was still available and looking for a job. I don’t need to tell anyone who has been unemployed for a long time, that such a call has the immediate effect of boosting the flagging ego. ‘Someone values me!’ ‘Someone  thinks I could fit in!’ It wasn’t a job offer, but perhaps it was a way to get my foot in someone’s door?

I was told to expect a call either that day, or the day afterwards from their HR Manager at the subsidiary office. So Monday came and went, as did Tuesday, at which point I decided to chase the job rather than wait for it to come to me. Ever since a former employer told me that chasing the job distinguished me from other candidates, I have always done so wherever appropriate. Rather the call I chose to email, as it helps build an electronic record of my job-hunting activities. I also requested a ‘read receipt’ so that I knew the email was opened, although many recipients choose not to allow it. It also tells prospective employers that I have a command of grammar, spelling and language in general.

I received a reply within a few hours, but not the one I was hoping for. I was told that far from receiving an answer within 2 days, the advertisement was being advertised on graduate website for two weeks first. Only then would they make a decision as to ho they would invite for interview. I was told that her colleague should have told me this during our initial chat, but I never commented on it as ultimately, complaining about their procedure would not have helped me in any way.

What did annoy me was that it appeared to be a graduate position, so as I’m not one I wondered why I was contacted. I then received another email asking me to confirm what my degree was, so I wrote back and advised her that I had none. I suppose I’m annoyed because I allowed my hopes to raise a little, but I’m equally annoyed that someone wasn’t actually paying attention to my CV  after all. I now wonder just how many other people have received my letters and CV, only to pay it scant regard and wrongly discard it without reading it properly. It would go a long way towards explaining why I get little or no response to anything I apply for.