I've recently been recruiting for a charity fundraising role.
And it’s tiring. Having to wade through poorly executed applications. Now I know that filling in an application form is hard work, but believe me so is short-listing from them. So to help you stand a better chance of getting an interview and to save me time here are some tips.
- If a job requires an application form then please fill one in. This may sound obvious, but it is not enough to put one line on your form saying “see attached CV”. All this does is show laziness and it really pisses of the recruiter. Now this may become a recurring theme here, but you really don’t want to piss off the recruiter. So fill in the damn form ok!
- Make it easy. Look at what the recruiter is asking for and in particular look at what are the essential criteria. Now show me how you meet those criteria in a concise way. For example, if an advert states “a minimum of 4 years event fundraising experience” then (a) make sure you have this experience and (b) point it out succinctly. All I'm looking for is a paragraph stating that in your 5 years as an events fundraiser for big charity, you ran a number of successful sponsored walks to raise £10,000. It’s that simple.
- Use bullet points. All I want as a short-lister is to tick off evidence that you meet the essential and desired criteria for the post I'm hiring. So please feel free to use bullet points and make it easy for me to tick off these criteria against you.
One of the best applications I ever saw, listed each criteria of the job description and underneath briefly showed why the candidate met that criteria. I was able to short list that person in 5 minutes and they went straight into the interview pile.
- Even if the role requires good writing abilities, brevity is always a good thing. If your relevant experience is hidden away in war and peace, then I might just be reading your application after 15 others and be tired, hungry and in need of coffee. I will now be getting a little pissed off (note recurring theme) In this example I might just miss your experience and out of tiredness put you in the “no” pile.
- Don’t waste my time. Look, you know if you are a potential match for the job. All of the information has been given to you. If in your heart of hearts you’re not sure if you fit, well, then you already know you don’t so please save yourself and me some time and do not apply.
- Send cake. Always.