Applying for jobs and trying to make yourself stand out from the crowd can be a challenging task and it is important that you take the right steps to ensure you have the best possible chance at landing any job interview. I have thought about what worked for me from experience just to give you some ideas.
Key Point: Be clear, concise and make sure all your information is relevant on any application!
- From the moment you click ‘apply’ on a job application, you should ensure an adequate amount of time to complete it thoroughly.
- Go into a quiet room with your laptop, a pad of paper and a pen and leave your phone in another room so you’re not distracted.
- Use your notepad to jot down some of the key responsibilities required for this new role and what the company looks for in the ideal candidate. This information should be in the job description. Therefore, when you start filling in the mandatory Work Experience section, it will be easy to refer to your notes.
- Then when you are explaining previous job roles and your experiences, highlight the skills that you are good at, as well as skills the company is looking for so that you fit the role.
- (People tend to ramble about their work experience and skills and often when the information is irrelevant, an employer will stop reading and discard your application!).
- Also, it is important to have at least one sentence at the end of each bullet point that describes what you have achieved when you were in the job role. Employers like to see that you have developed, achieved or improved your skills as well as finding out the job functions.
- Lastly, when you are asked if you would like to attach a Cover Letter to your application, always say yes! If you are not asked to attach a Cover Letter, make one anyway and add it before the first page of your CV on the same document!A Cover Letter is your extra chance to make yourself stand out after applying like everyone else! It should be short and concise, but with examples of some of your best skills and attributes that show why you are an ideal candidate for the role!
2. Making Contact
Key Point: Personalising your Cover Letter and trying to be noticed will improve your chances of receiving a call or email in response to your application.
- A) Firstly, you should think about how to address the people who are going to hire you.
You could start a Cover Letter with, ‘I would like to apply for the….position as advertised on…’, although, occasionally there will be a contact name along with the Job reference number. Sometimes there is even an email address which should give you an idea as to whom you should address your letter. Use this to your advantage!!
(Dear Mr C Jones…/ Dear The Careers team at …/ etc you get the jist!)
- B) Secondly, if you think an application stops when you press ‘Send’, you are reducing your chances of hearing from the company. DO SOME RESEARCH. Google the company. Find out what other positions they are trying to fill. Find out who the CEO, Director, Head of Sales, Accounts etc is and have a nosey on LinkedIn at their profiles!
- You never know who will be reading your application and if someone has a notification on LinkedIn that you have viewed their profile, it shows you are genuinely interested in them and the business.
- If employers’ have their email addresses on LinkedIn, there is no harm in also sending a copy of your CV and Cover Letter directly to them, with an email to explain and they could pass it to the right team for you as well.
- If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account you should probably make one:)
In order to be invited to a interview, you have to sound very professional and articulate. You should also be able to demonstrate what you are capable of achieving through any work or university experiences. I would even get a second opinion from parents, family or friends and ask them to read my CV, to ensure that I was showing myself in the best light possible!
Put in the time and effort -> Impress your reader -> get a response sooner or later -> Repeat until you have lots of opportunities and lots of interviews in the diary.
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