Job Application Strategy – do you have one???

I made a phone call to an applicant the other day for a role that we have been recruiting for and was really impressed. The applicant’s phone rang and she answered with “Hello David”. This is a very rare occurrence, I hadn’t even introduced myself! Would you believe that she was also successful through our interview process and commenced in the role only a few days ago.

Now… you don’t have to be that switched on to impress us from the first phone call however ‘first impressions count’ and what this candidate showed was a very good first impression. She knew what she had applied for, knew who was looking after it and must have saved my phone number into her phone to know who could be calling her. Too often, we make calls, the candidate asks ‘which job is this for?’ or ‘where are you from?’ and then we have to explain ourselves, and at the same time thinking whether this is actually going to work out for all of us.

How do you get yourself in the spotlight?
Have a job search strategy. When you have a strategy and the right tools, you will know exactly where you stand, what you’ve applied for, particulars about the jobs, contacts and where the application process currently is. When we train jobseekers in job searching strategies we focus on them having the following tools first:

  • A current resume – sometimes you will make a phone call and the employer or recruiter will ask you to send it straight through to them . Unfortunately a number of candidates will respond with “I just have to update it first”. Don’t be that person – it shows that you are disorganised!
  • A draft cover letter prepared for the type of role(s) that you would generally apply for that outlines your skills, experience and intention
  • A spreadsheet or table to track job searching activities. I recall seeing a really good one prepared by a candidate that was applying for one of our roles a few years ago – she also made it to final selection. It should indicate the date that it was advertised, title, company/recruiter, contact name, phone, particulars, the process and outcome
  • A phone that works – you may laugh however a good number of candidates are uncontactable… and are unsuccessful as well!
  • A schedule of when you may be available to interview – this goes a long way for us as we can then book in to see you sooner rather than later

Most importantly your strategy should be aimed at applying for jobs that match your skill base. We receive a number of applications every day that make us stop and scratch our head to ask why this person is applying for this role? We get used to repeat offenders and start hitting the delete key instead of opening up your application to save wasting time. Don’t be that person. Be strategic – it is far better to apply for one role this week that matches your skill base rather than three that ‘kind of do’. You will stand a much better chance against other candidates this way and possibly come out on top – we are sure that you would rather that!

Get all of these tools in place, focus on your strategy , impress us and win that job!

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