The job market can be incredibly competitive, from a handful of applicants to hundreds of applicants vying for the same single position with that coveted company. When you’re a job seeker, it is important to work to a plan and make a positive, lasting impression on the hiring managers in this process. These people are the custodians of the keys to the first gate, to select your resume and pick up the phone to call you for an initial screening call. The job market can be incredibly competitive, from a handful of applicants to hundreds of applicants vying for the same single position with that coveted company. To help you in this process, we have used our 15 years of recruiting experience and reading hundreds of thousands of job applications to bring you our 5 golden tips to get your job application to stand out from the rest:
1. To start with, as simple as it sounds, make sure you read the job advertisement closely and ensure that you have the following:
a. The right experience the hiring manager is looking for in the advertisement,
i. You need to be able to highlight that your work experience is of the right tenure, in the right sector and has the right ‘trajectory’ for the role.
b. The right qualifications the hiring manager is looking for, for the role.
c. If the advertised role is outside your town, state or even country, you and your partner (if applicable) are willing to move for the job and are aware of the consequences of this decision. Do not underestimate the sway a life partner has in this decision!
d. In Australia, in particular, it is critical that you have the appropriate visa status to work in the location and field that you are applying for.
2. When you apply for the role, and the advertised role has a number of questions for you to answer in the online portal as part of the pre-application process, make sure you answer these questions.
3. Resumes come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Overall, the more successful resumes are succinct, factual, easy to read and accurately reflect your working history in relation to the role you are applying for. Before clicking “send” on the application, make sure your resume is:
a. Not only tailored to the role you are applying for, showing you understand the role requirements you are applying for, but also to show how close fit you are to the job advertised,
b. Up to date and that this includes your current role and responsibilities,
c. Uses keywords from the advertisement in your resume,
d. Achievement focussed and not responsibilities focussed, with clear examples to give the hiring manager an idea of what you are capable of
4. Covering letters are always a point of discussion regarding whether a cover letter should be included in the application process. How we look at it is that a cover letter, done correctly, is a must. This is another valuable tool in helping you stand out from your competitor job applicants. It is your opportunity to spend quality time highlighting aspects about you that you typically wouldn’t put into a resume. This letter covers how your highlights relate to the role, the company or the industry you are applying for. Note: “Hi, here is my resume!” It is not considered a qualitative cover letter! Again, it is important to link your cover letter to the advertised role by using keywords from the advertisement in your cover letter.
a. Express your continued interest & enthusiasm for the role,
b. Check whether your application has been received in good order,
c. Gauge the suitability & status of your application,
d. Get a feel for what the hiring manager is looking for and how closely you match this profile,
e. Help keep your name top-of-mind for the hiring manager,
f. Have an additional chance to differentiate themselves