The Art of a Quality Application

Ali Neill / December 13, 2018
Category : Jobseeker advice
Caption: The Art of a Quality Application

It’s Not A Numbers Game

Do you spend hours sitting in front of your laptop applying for as many job vacancies as you can, rushing to get your application out there? From updating your CV to filling out applications and tailoring your cover letter, all of these aspects of your job hunt become very time consuming.

You almost lose sight of the ultimate goal when you’re too busy doing the paperwork. Read our guide below to understand what recruiters are looking for from your application to save time. Making yourself stand out through the hiring process will give you a much better chance of getting the job you want faster.

Perfect it

Recruiters receive hundreds of applications a day. To handle the workload, they usually use filters, which means some candidates aren’t even considered before being rejected. Therefore, even the smallest of details can play a crucial part in getting past the first screening. Spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes could be the difference between a full review of your cover letter and it being thrown in the bin. We have discussed Grammarly for recruiting in a previous article, but jobseekers can use the technology too! If you aren’t sure of your writing skills, it’s worth the investment.

Sounds obvious but not paying attention to the spelling and grammar, can effectively be the reason you don’t get the job. Mistakes can portray a rushed application and a lack of attention to detail. Recruiters think: if a candidate is careless about their CV and/or cover letter, what kind of an employee will they make?

Some common spelling mistakes include confusing there’s/theirs, your/you’re, then/than, etc. As for the grammar, pay careful attention to your prepositions, your conjugation and even your punctuation. Recruiters will be looking out for minor errors to eliminate the more negligent candidates early on.

Research, Research, Research

It’s important to actually research the organisation if you hope to work there one day. In much the same way no one likes wasting their time, recruiters are busy people and their job is not to explain the company to every applicant. Furthermore, you might realise you don’t actually fit the profile. In that case, you’ll have one less application to worry about. If, however, you have looked into the company and still want to apply, show the recruiter what you know. This will prove that you’re motivated. Candidates don’t become experts on the company and the position, just by reading information online, but they are a step closer to understanding their potential new job.

Here are a few things you can research:

  • The company website
  • Their social media
  • The company news on Google
  • The industry and company competitors
  • Information on current employees

Sort Your Social

In the 21st century, you cannot escape the social media radar. More and more, recruiters are checking candidates’ social media to get a real impression of the potential hires: their background, their personality, their interests, etc. In fact, 70% of employers check social media before hiring a new employee and at least 20% expect candidates to have an online presence. Not having one could also be a reason not to hire someone.

For this reason, you need to think about the type of image you want to portray of yourself. This includes the sort of photos you post, comments you make and opinions you have (online anyway). If you have politically incorrect ideas or if you participate in unconventional activities, it might be best to keep that information off the internet.

Cover Yourself

Despite some new trends among Millennials, you shouldn’t underestimate the value of a cover letter. Unlike your CV, it gives you the opportunity to highlight your skills and experience in detail. The hard part is making sure your cover letter is captivating enough so that it doesn’t go straight into the bin.

Here are a few tips to help:

  • Sell your skills and knowledge
  • Research the role so that your cover letter reflects the potential expectations
  • Be concise but specific
  • Don’t write more than a page
  • Highlight the important words and/or passages
  • Never include a photo

Get Personal

A personal statement is the perfect way to sell yourself. Recruiters are looking to see what you can bring to the company. Here are some tips:

  • Be honest.  You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you don’t remember your own lies. The best way to avoid that is by telling the truth.
  • Highlight your strengths. A recruiter will want to see what makes you better than the other candidates. What can you offer than the others can’t? What makes you unique?
  • Don’t write too much. Around 150 words, 3 to 4 lines is best. If you want the recruiter to read everything, then be concise and get straight to the point.

Sweat The Small Stuff

If you’re lucky enough to be called back for an interview, then here is what you need to do next to prepare:

  • Research the interview location. Find out how to get there and make sure you have a backup route in case of traffic or accidents.
  • Plan your outfit the night before so that you aren’t stressed the morning of your interview.
  • Find out who to ask for when you get there.
  • Get a good night sleep and don’t forget to set an alarm if you have an early morning interview.
  • Print out any documents you may need, even if they haven’t asked. This includes your CV, working permit information, etc.

And Finally…

Happy Job Hunting!

We would like to thank Abigail Bradshaw, the social media and marketing executive at the job aggregator site,for this contribution.

Author: Ali Neill

As the job board tester and blog editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends thanks to a number of sources, including the website’s social media pages.

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