One thing everyone is a little confused about these days is the job application. Specifically: how to nail it. Besides making sure to dot the I’s and crossing the T’s, we tend to second-guess ourselves wondering what to include and what to leave out. There are so many elements to take into account when nailing our applications for any job. And while it’s not easy to stand out and shine from the application pool, it’s definitely not impossible…so don’t worry!
Here’s how it’s done…
1. Focus on the field
Ok, so you might have no experience. We’ve all seen those jokes about needing experience for a graduate job. But what does that mean? It means, focus on the field of work your application is tailored for. Whether your life experiences range from professional holiday maker to volunteering and charity work, you need to highlight the ways these experiences have prepared you for this job. Bring the good and the bad to the table, and talk about how the two taught you valuable lessons and how to move forwards.
2. Be aware your application might not be read in-depth
Don’t jam-pack your application with every single thing you’ve ever done. Be smart about it. If you have leadership experience, talk about it in your job application, no matter what the job.
Being honest, whoever receives your application will most likely skim it, see the keywords and experiences they’re looking for and then expect you to summarize that in your own words when you come in for an interview. So make sure you’re keeping it to-the-point and making it easy for whoever is reading it. The key element is to put yourself in their shoes, would you read this application? Cut the crap and focus on your selling points.
3. Re-read the job posting
This is very simple advice, I know. You might be calling me captain obvious right now, but the very minimum you should be doing is what the job posting is asking for. Don’t come to the interview with questions that are already answered in the posting and do check the posting for keywords. Turns out, those are the words they want to hear you say. So if they’re looking for an extremely creative person, make sure you give examples of your glowing creativity. Simple, right?
4. Remember it’s all about them
Of course, you want this job. It might be your dream job, it might be the perfect way to start saving for an investment bag. But you want it. That’s why you’re applying. But remember, while this job application is about you, the job itself is not. You’ll really kill it if you mention what they need and how you can bring it to them in your cover letter. Keep it in mind when you go for your interview, too. They’re looking for a candidate to make their life easier, so be that person!
5. Research, but don’t spout facts and figures
You need to know the responsibilities of the job, the non-negotiables, the current state of the industry, have answers for any questions they throw at you, have your own questions to ask and know enough about the company history to make you a hirable candidate. That might sound like a lot, but if you research and make sure you know the key points, you’ve already hit stage one.
The second thing is not to translate those facts into human language. Don’t just quote Google to your interviewer, or on your application. Turn a fact you learned into a statement that strengthens your application, make it a little bit about you, and a little bit about what you can do for them and you’re gonna nail it. 100%!
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