Applying for jobs online can seem like an arduous, even soul destroying task at times. You spend hours going through the job adverts to find a role that seems perfectly tailored to your skills. And yet your application goes no further.

So what went wrong? Why have you been rejected without even getting to have an initial talk about the opportunity? Or – even worse – why have you received no response at all, even weeks later?

Here at Totum, we receive the majority of our applications online and sometimes, depending on the vacancy, have hundreds of applications to go through. As a standard practice, Totum responds to each and every application, no matter whether the news is positive or negative (sadly this is not a practice replicated across the recruiting world). But how have we reached this decision?  And how can you make your online application count?

The online approach


Here are some tips and advice for making online job applications worth your while:

  • Read the job advert! This may seem incredibly simplistic and obvious, however sometimes we receive so many applications from candidates who simply don’t have the experience needed for the role. We take client briefings for a reason, and this is then tailored to an advert which details the specifics of what our client is looking for in the perfect candidate. If the advert sounds good but it doesn’t match your experience then move on – the right role will be out there for you.
  • Don’t apply “en masse”. It may be tempting to apply for every role you see that appears under your search criteria. Don’t forget, however, that recruitment agencies have numerous jobs advertised at any one time, and sending your details over for them all can make your application appear confused and as though you haven’t given any thought to what you are applying for. If you see a couple of adverts you like the look of, take your time. Look who is recruiting the roles (our logo appears on all of our adverts) and perhaps in the first instance apply for one. Once you have made contact with a recruiter you can discuss your options through with them, and they will be able to point you in the right direction for you and your career.
  • Ensure your CV is tailored for the role you are applying for. This is particularly relevant for entry level candidates, who may be unsure of the direction in which they want their career to go. Previously applied for an administrator role in marketing but have now seen one in HR that sounds just as good? If the CV you have sent previously states that you are looking to start a career in marketing, do make sure this changes before you send your application over for the HR opportunity.
  • Don’t overcomplicate your CV. We have recently seen an increasing trend of candidates adding company logos to their experience or animations throughout their CV. While it can bring colour to the page, it really doesn’t add anything to your application or make it stand out. More often than not it adjusts the formatting of your CV making it harder to read. We are just interested in the experience you have!
  • Do you need a covering letter? Although it can provide back up to your application, particularly going into the reasons why you are applying for the role, be careful not to make your cover letter too long. Additionally, all online Totum adverts are branded with the name of the consultant recruiting for the role, therefore be sure to use the consultant’s name rather than the generic ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘Dear Recruiter’. This again ties into point number one – demonstrating that you have read the advert.

Finally – don’t get disheartened! If you have applied for a role through Totum and haven’t been successful then don’t worry. We can provide you with guidance and honest career advice to help direct your applications to the right roles that might suit you better.



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