Ellie Employer Advice, advice-centre
Improve your applications
If you apply for a job, the least you hope for is to get an interview. Yet as many as 9 out of 10 applicants for a job fail at the application stage, and often because of basic mistakes. Faced with a mountain of applications, employers look for simple ways to sift out large numbers of applicants and get the pile down to a manageable number.
So how can you make sure your application gets through? Well, but following some key rules you can massively increase your chances.
Two things to do
Employers are interested in the people who genuinely want the job and have the necessary skills and knowledge. So before you start to write your application, do two things.
- Look closely at the jobs and employers that interest you. Work out why they appeal to you. Knowing very little about the employer and what the job involves means you won't come across as a serious candidate, so be clear about why you want this job.
- Work out what you are good at and what motivates you. This will help you explain how your achievements and abilities match the requirements of the job. Once you're armed with this clear insight, you can write applications that are relevant to the job concerned.
Some employers have their own application forms. These are usually online or may be paper based. Whatever the format used there are some basic dos and don'ts, which you need to remember.
- All sections of an application form are important and should be filled in.
- Draft your ideas in rough: don't rush.
- Put some thought into your responses... Try to make your answers interesting, relevant and concise - employers read through lots of application forms and they don't welcome waffle.
- Don't be embarrassed when writing about yourself - you need to sell your good points; no one else will.
- Remember - matching what you have to offer with the requirements of the job is the key to filing in application forms effectively.
Don't make any online applications until you are well researched. If you can print off a copy and think about how you will fill it in. Forms and CV's may be scanned for keywords. Think carefully about the vocabulary you use and focus on active verbs such as 'organised', 'planned', 'analysed' and 'initiated;' to describe your achievements.