Improve your application success rate

Are you applying for lots of jobs without being contacted for an interview?

This is a problem that affects many job seekers in Zambia. How is it that you can apply for lots of jobs and not be called for an interview? In this article we provide 4 simple tips to help you improve your applications success rate.

1. Focus on quality

When you are looking for work the temptation is to apply for every single job you see. The more jobs you apply for the greater your chance of getting an interview right? Wrong. Applying for every job you see can reduce the quality of your applications. Try focusing your efforts on jobs that match your skills and experience. Applying for fewer jobs will give you time to improve the quality of your applications by researching the organisation recruiting and tailoring your application to meet the requirements of the role.

2. Understand how employers score applications 

Employers will often score candidates against the criteria contained in the job advertisement – the candidates with the highest score are usually the ones invited to the interview stage. The scoresheet used by the employer gives points for qualifications, experience and other factors. The scoresheet can be a simple table that allows the employer give score to each candidate for each criteria listed in the job advertisement. It may also provide additional space to score other requirements not stipulated in the job advertisement including spelling, grammar and presentation. The employer can then easily add up the scores and invite the applicants with the highest score to the interview stage.

3. Update your CV or application

No two employers are the same and no two job advertisements are the same. You therefore need to change your CV and/or application letters to meet the requirements of each job advertisement. Ensure that you read the job advertisement and make a list of the skills and experience required. You then need to show in your CV or application how you meet these requirements.

4. Follow the correct application procedure

If the job advert states that you must apply by a certain deadline ensure that your application is received by this deadline – 2 days after the deadline may not be good enough.  If the job advert states that you must submit your application by letter then you should submit your application by letter. To improve your application success rate try to ensure that you understand and follow the application procedure.


If you are sending the same CV and cover letter for each job then you are relying on luck and hoping that somehow your application will meet the requirements provided in the job advertisement. Why not put the odds more in your favour by amending each CV and cover letter to clearly demonstrate how you meet the requirements in the job advertisement? This may mean that you spend more time applying for fewer jobs but it could greatly increase your chances of application success.

Further Information

To find more expert careers advice visit: Careers Advice

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