Job applications – Do you make it easy for the employer?

Do you want to stand out from the crowd and be the one selected for interview? Of course you do, you wouldn’t apply for a role otherwise.

I am in the final stages of an administration recruit and have received over 300 applications. I don’t use computer applications to look for keywords, I do it the old fashioned way to give everyone a fighting chance, which means… 300 applications later… I am ready for the next stage of the process! The latest systems match you on keywords and can miss a really good candidate that hasn’t got a stand-out resume geared towards them. I know some great candidates that have had really poor resumes and as such, have helped them by creating a new one that sells them so much better, leading towards selection for interview.

As recruiters we are the eyes and ears of our client (the employer). When I see your resume come through my email and it has a well set out cover letter meeting what we are looking for, as well as a clean and clear resume, you are going straight into my “Next” folder to talk further. The one after you with no cover letter and a resume that I can’t understand or isn’t clear on their previous roles and training is going straight to the “No” folder.

Which one do you want to be? “Next” or “No“. What helps you get there?

Firstly, a clean resume that states your work history, any training, licences and qualifications, your contact details (yes I have had some with no contact details!!!) and a summary of your skills. It is always nice to have referees listed, community involvement or other things that will support your application.

Second to that, a good cover letter. I would say that every job we advertise I ask for a cover letter outlining your skills and experience. I usually get one around 60% of the time and only 50% of those are actually good. I see a cover letter equally as important as the resume. A letter can state your intent and let the employer know why you want the role, what skills, training and qualifications you have to bring to them and what you would like from the role and company.

For your resume and letter focus on these things; be truthful, use the same font and size for all of the normal text, use your spell checker (if the word is underlined in red, please check it just in case it’s wrong), if you use a ‘Career Objective’ in your resume make sure it is for the right type of job that you are applying for (I have seen on quite a few admin applications, the career objective being a Childcare Assistant), and last but not least, get a friend or family member to read your application – would they hire you based on what you’ve presented? Make it easy for the employer or recruiter reading your application to say YES to moving you to the next stage.

I look forward to a great discussion about this. Shoot me an email or a comment either here, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn on your experiences as an employer or as a job seeker.

Best regards,

David Ford.

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