Job application tips are highly sought after when on the prowl for your next dream role. Finding the right advice could mean the difference between getting hired and barely scraping the shortlist.
If you’re an individual ready to take on new challenges and expand your horizons in a brand spanking new role, continue reading.
Applying for jobs doesn’t need to be a difficult process. The problem with most job hunters is that they are altering their resume to suit the job descriptions of the roles they apply for.
Recruiters are likely to recognise where the truth has been fabricated quicker than you can say you’re hired. They are alert, and well aware of experiences and skills you will have gained from your previous roles.
The trick is to highlight these experiences, and accentuate why they will help you succeed in your next role. Why should a recruiter or an employer take a chance on you over every other candidate?
Here are ten job application tips to help you do exactly that and more. Show prospective employers you’re the candidate they’ve been looking for, and convince them that they simply cannot pass up the opportunity to hire you.
Use a content rich resume that is aesthetically pleasing
It’s true that first impressions are lasting, and that your documents will instill critical assumptions that will make or break you.
However, you are not in a competition to see who can create the prettiest resume. You’re in a competition of skill, attainment and knowledge.
It’s best to utilise a simple design where your information is succinctly consumed.
If a recruiter is struggling to read through your documents, chances are they will simply stop and move on to the next candidate.
In short: Content trumps design, but ensure information is easy to digest.
Include these vital elements on the first page of your resume
The first page of your resume needs to show you off quickly.
Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes for a second. They are reading through numerous resumes and want to spend as little time as possible on such an arduous task.
Format the first page of your resume similar to an index page, allowing recruiters to gain considerable insight into your experiences. Be sure to showcase a mixture of key responsibilities and achievements which will appeal to recruiters and employers.
Elaborate on specific details in the later pages of your resume. If your index page is charismatic enough, recruiters will be more inclined to continue reading.
In short: Create an index page enticing recruiters to read through your entire resume.
Make sure to check out our article on ‘How to Write a Winning Resume‘. This includes intricate details on format, presentation and success elements.
Your resume is not a position description
Too often recruiters will come across resumes that simply read as a revised job description. This is extremely dull and boring and rings alarm bells.
Your resume should remain identical when applying for jobs because your experiences and skill set should be relevant every single time.
In short: Your resume is a detailed summary of your skills, achievements and experiences.
Read the job description carefully
Job application tips don’t get much simpler, yet so many job hunters fail to read the job descriptions time and time again.
It has become increasingly common for job advertisements to include specific details for the application process, or make specific requests on what should be included with your application.
Fail to read through these details and you’ll be eliminated from the candidate pool without a second thought.
In short: Read the description carefully and follow specific instructions.
Tailor a specific cover letter
Unlike your resume, a cover letter should be tailored to each application.
Be sure to include any requested information, and highlight recent achievements within your current role.
Think about how you went above and beyond the basic requirements of your role. How did your place of work benefit from your endeavours?
You can also personalise your cover letter with the information you have available.
By including relevant names and titles, you are demonstrating your enthusiasm and strengthening your connection with the recruiter.
In short: Write a unique cover letter highlighting your personal attributes.
Review your social media presence
This one job application tip is probably the most overlooked and forgotten.
Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Ensure your Facebook and Twitter accounts don’t reveal too much about your personal life. Alter your privacy settings to prevent any sensitive information from landing on your future boss’ screen.
All it takes is for one savoury post or questionable check in for your future employer to make their final decision.
In short: Update your privacy settings and remove explicit content.
Advise your referees and gain the necessary permission
It’s all well and good to include previous managers and team leaders, but are they going to flare for excellence
Inform potential referees of your intentions. Ensure they remember why you were such a great employee and perhaps even inform them of the role/s you’re applying for and any skills that you’d love them to endorse you for.
Triple check their contact details and alert them to the fact that they may be contacted. There’s nothing worse than recruiters contacting references who are ill prepared, or even worse shocked because they had no idea you were on the job market.
In short: Discuss your intentions with your references and ensure they will give a glowing recommendation.
Proofread your documents
One typo can be forgiven. Two and you might be in trouble. Three typos and your spelling capabilities will almost certainly be questioned.
I don’t even want to get into the assumptions for four.
In short: Proofread your documents, or even better ask someone else to take a look.
Practise this best submission approach
By calling the hiring manager or recruiter before you apply, you are demonstrating your passion and eagerness for the role.
However, you should not sound desperate, arrogant, or even annoying.
Be mindful of the tone of the person you are speaking to. Are they happy about your call?
In this scenario, it’s important to follow their lead. If all goes well, your application will be expected.
If a recruiter or employer is waiting to see your name in the pool of applicants, you have considerably improved your odds. By asking the right questions, you can also ensure your cover letter perfectly hits the mark.
In short: Call the most relevant individual and have a quick conversation.
Prepare for the call
Congratulations. You’ve done all the hard work and submitted your carefully curated application. Only to find a frog is caught in your throat the moment you receive that fatal.
It’s important to prepare for this inevitable phone call which could indicate an interview or your immediate success.
Regardless of what the next stage is, you should sound professional and very interested. Try to use names where you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If you are busy or caught off guard, politely take down the recruiters contact details or ask for a call back. This will give you some time to prepare and settle
In short: Expect a phone call and be prepared.
It’s no secret that landing your next role is going to be competitive.
By utilising these 10 job application tips you are giving yourself a competitive boost when it comes to getting noticed.
Learn how to speak highly of yourself without sounding arrogant, and you’ll be well on your way to convincing recruiters of your capabilities.