All The Small Things on Job Applications (To Help You Get Hired)

There is a lot of advice out there for job seekers. "Do this to win your perfect job", "What recruiters don't want you to know", "How to negotiate to get the most compensation possible".. etc. etc.

While a number of the recruiters online are genuine and do offer good advice, the rise of the "recruitment influencer" has seen a lot of misplaced advice being widely shared. 

There are a number of folks out there who know a lot more about recruitment than I do (for sure), but as someone who has hired over 1000 people there are a few simple things you can do to help make your job application stand out.

(Spoiler alert; you don't need to pay big money to implement these changes.)

1. Why do you want the job?

It's a very vulnerable and stressful time if you are looking for a job, especially if you aren't currently employed. The bills don't stop. The world keeps turning. It can be tempting to blitz your CV across the job market and apply for any and all roles that happen to be open.

If you find yourself doing this, please take a breath. Take a moment and read on.

In the current job market, recruiters can be flooded with 100s of applications for a single position. Many times less than 5% are actually relevant for the role. 

If you happen to apply to multiple roles within a single company, recruitment teams will be able to see all of the positions you applied. While it won't rule you out of any opportunities necessarily, it does raise question marks as to whether you have an awareness of your own skills and abilities.

(I once saw the same person apply to an entry level Customer Support role, a Director of Talent position and a Front End Developer opportunity, all within a 2 month span).

Most importantly though, you need to think about the right opportunity that matches with your skills, experience and interests. Money is of course important, but it is better to take your time and apply to fewer more relevant jobs. It will save you time, energy and stress.

2. Research the company

As important as the role you are applying to, take time to understand the company. Even if you are applying for a role because you need a job, it's good to understand what the company does, why they do it and how they do it.

This will help in the interview process. If the company speaks about their culture and values, you can expect that they will be looking for folks who can work with those values, and add to their culture.

Knowing what you could be walking into, and how you can play a part in a companies success is super important.

3. Optimise your CV

Your CV/Resume is one of the most important aspects of your job application. You could write the most inspiring cover letter the world has ever seen, but if your experience doesn't check off any of the must haves for the role then you will likely get screened out.

There are a few different approaches to optimising your CV. You can optimise for a specific role or industry, or you can optimise for a specific company.

Whatever way you choose to optimise, remember to run through the job posting and make sure you have covered those must haves.

You can do this by adding relevant bullet points on specific experience that speak to certain tooling, projects or responsibilities that make it super clear you have the experience the employer is looking for. 

4. Personalise your cover letter.

Once you have clearly outlined specific experiences that match the role requirements in your CV and have a clear understanding of what the company values, it's time to let your inner Shakespeare out and craft your cover letter.

This is your chance to tell the employer why you want to work for their company, and add more context to your skills and experience. Specifically you want to strike the balance between telling them how great they are and praising yourself.

The key is to be genuine. Speak more about a companies mission or product than financial results. Speak about why you are interested in the role, and what you can bring to it. What is unique about your experience? How can you add value?

In summary

This stuff sounds simple but it isn't easy. Be patient with yourself. You got this.

As mentioned, all of these points can be done without any additional monetary expense. If however you would like professional help and a more in-depth analysis please check out some of my services, I'd be happy to help.


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