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How to Write a Standout Job Application

Putting a job application together can be a lengthy process and it’s disheartening when you hear nothing back after submitting what you thought was a good pitch.  

Putting a job application together can be a lengthy process and it’s disheartening when you hear nothing back after submitting what you thought was a good pitch. You may be scratching your head, unsure why you’re not getting through to interview, but there are a few things you can do differently to improve your chances.

Take a look at these job application tips to help you secure your dream job.

Read the whole application properly

Remember at school when your teacher told you to read the exam question carefully a couple of times before answering? Do the same with a job application, and don’t waste time answering questions that are not actually there. You need to demonstrate you’ve understood what the employer is looking for, and explain why you fit the role. If there are any areas you’re unsure of get in touch with them to clarify.

Personalise your application but don’t be too informal or over familiar

Instead of starting an application or communication with a potential employer with ‘to whom it may concern’ or ‘dear sir/madam’, find out the name of the person who is recruiting. While there’s nothing wrong with these greetings, you can easily stand out by personalising your application and addressing it to the right contact.

You can add some personality to an application but don’t be too informal, unless you’re very certain of the company vibe. This is a potential employer you’re communicating with and you need to make a good impression from the outset.

Tailor your application to each job

Don’t use the same answers, descriptions and evidence for every application you do, this includes pasting information from your CV unless it’s relevant. It’s very obvious to someone reading a generic application that you’ve sent the same one to every company.

Don’t write reams about your entire working history. A synopsis is fine, with the emphasis on the elements that are relevant to the role you’re applying for. Take the time to tailor what you’ve written, so it fits with the role requirements. It will help you create a much stronger application.

Fill out the whole application

It’s important to fill out every section, don’t leave any blanks or purposely withhold required information. An employer will be sifting through piles of applications and won’t bother spending extra time finding the answers you’ve not submitted.

Be honest

Don’t be tempted to over exaggerate or fabricate any part of your application. If you make it to the reference stage or into even into employment, there’s a high chance it will become obvious, whether it’s information on your skills or in a previous job. While there is nothing wrong with polishing up your answers, honesty is always the best policy.

Explain why you want the role and why you meet the criteria

Employers don’t have time to read a lot of waffle. Keep your application concise and to the point, clearly highlight your relevant skills and experience, as well as explaining why you want the job and what makes you the ideal candidate.

Get someone to proof read it

This is particularly important, especially if you’re applying for a job involving creating written content. Even experienced writers will ask someone else to read through their copy. Make sure you give your application one last check, and that all the relevant information is in there before you hit submit.

Need some help with your application?

Feel free to get in touch for a chat. We’ve seen thousands of applications – the good, the bad and the ugly – and we can keep you on the right track to landing your ideal job.

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