Making The Perfect Job Application
The part of the job-hunting process that many career-seekers have the most trouble with is the earliest stage of all: the job application. Consisting mostly of the resume, it can feel like a tall order to effectively describe yourself as a candidate worth looking into, but it’s important to get this stage right. Even if you’re a fantastic interviewer, you have trouble getting in your element if you have trouble making great applications. Here, we’re going to look at a few tips that can help you make a real impact with those applications.
Don’t write one resume for all applications
In a perfect world, your resume would do what you expect it to: sum up your experiences and skills so that you can hand it out to employer after employer. However, the truth is that you’re better off optimizing it for each and every application. Company research is important for helping you understand the work culture and what they value in employees, but you should pay most attention to the job description in the advertisement and highlight which of your skills and experiences make you fit the best potential candidate that they’re looking for.
Start off on a solid basis
If you haven’t made an application in a long time then you might not remember what, exactly, a good resume looks like. There are no hard and fast rules, meaning you have some room in terms of format, but you want to make sure that its well-structured to put the most relevant information first and to improve its readability. For that reason, you should take a closer look at some of the resume templates out there. It can help you get the professional appearance for your resume and show you how you should weight different sections, but you still need to replace the writing with your own, of course. There are different templates out there, too, so it’s all about choosing whichever one gives you the right professional appeal for the company you’re applying to.
Quantify what achievements you can
When it comes to listing how you have excelled in roles and responsibilities in your past, it’s easy to simply say that you achieved or improved something. However, it’s a lot more impressive if you can add a specific value to it. For instance, if you increased social media engagement for a past brand by 20% over a year, then the number will stand out and add plenty of credibility to the statement. Of course, it’s wise to ensure any quantities you include are accurate and even better if your chosen references are able to back them up if asked. You should be prepared to extrapolate on any such quantified achievements during the interview if you get that far, too.
Don’t neglect your soft skills
When it comes to applying for a position, you are naturally going to spend a lot of time focusing on the skills and qualifications that ensure that you fit the duties that will be expected of you. In certain technical positions, those hard skills will carry the majority of the weight. However, don’t miss and opportunity to flex highly sought-after transferable skills of the soft variety, either. If you’re able to demonstrate things like punctuality, great communication, research skills, and time management, this can be just as much of a selling point that can win you an interview. Make some room for soft skills, no matter how technically demanding a job is.
Common, even trivial errors sink a lot more resumes than you might think. Some employers may be willing to overlook a few mistakes here and there, but it doesn’t give the kind of professional appearance that you want, overall. Before you send off any resume, make sure that you pore over it closely for any mistakes that you’re able to correct. There are writing improvement sites and apps that can help highlight those issues that you might miss on your own as well. You don’t have to spend all day agonizing over the spelling and grammar of your application, but you should at least give it a quick once over and a re-read before you let it represent you professionally.
If you want the greatest application possible, then you have to work to make sure its best suited to whomever you’re applying to and do what you can to polish it. Just make sure you use the apps and templates out there that can help you get your resumes turned out at a much more efficient rate.