It can be easy to see a job advertised and get excited because the role fits you like a glove. Your initial instinct is to quickly throw together your Resume, write up a quick Cover Letter and get it sent. Right? You just have to let them know how perfect you are! The moment the Hiring Manager sees your Resume all the other applicants will fade into the mist. Am I right, or am I right?
Preparation is essential. Remember your first day of high school? Do you think you just threw your backpack on, took a few pens and paper and walked in the school gates ready for the day? No. You planned and prepared yourself. You found about about the school, what and when your classes would be, what the school Code of Conduct was, uniform, the list goes on.
Before you even put pen to paper check you have the basics correct. Let’s face it, you are up against possibly hundreds of applicants and now is not the time to be taking shortcuts, no matter how great a fit you are for the job.
So, let’s look at the basic steps you can take to increase your chances of getting your Curriculum Vitae considered when you apply for a job:
There is no need sending a great Resume that says your skills include close attention to detail and then your Resume is full of spelling errors. We recommend Grammarly for checking punctuality, spelling and even phrasing. Take the time also to have another person look over your work. Overlooking the most simple of things is easy.
Now is the time (if you haven’t already) to change the email address that you had when you were at school. What does your email address tell your employer about you? Does it have your date of birth in it? Does it sound childish? Remember you want them to take you personally. Make your email professional. If you have to use numbers, try not to have them correlate with your birthday
Think about what merits you want to be considered. Leave out your date of birth, race, religion, marital status. And yes, this includes photographs. Think about it. Do you want to be considered based on your photo or your ability to do the job? Simple equation – are they looking for this quality in their candidate? If not – leave it out.
Research what a professional Resume should look like, or consider purchasing a template. The look and feel of a Resume can play a huge factor in getting noticed. Think about the small/medium business owners considering your application. They could have any number of Resumes on their desk. What will make yours stand out? Will it be a hint of colour? Perhaps a contemporary feel, a clean, crisp font or plenty of white space?
Read the Job Description
Address the core requirements that have been included in the job ad, focusing on the words used by the advertiser. This is very important. Whether the employer uses Automated Tracking Software (ATS) or not, replicating the language, writing style and key words of the advertisement is key to getting them to consider your application.
These are basic but fundamental requirements for preparing a successful application. If all of this was too much to take in, check out our infographic.