5 Easy Ways to Get Your Job Application Seen by Recruiters
If you’ve found a job that ticks all your boxes, it’s time to tick all of the recruiter’s boxes as the perfect candidate!
Writing a great job application can take a while, but it doesn’t have to be a super daunting process. Below are some key guidelines to stick to that’ll help get your resume and cover letter in front of a recruiter, but if you need any more assistance in drafting your resume check out some of our previous posts or swing by our Drop-in service (CB01.04.13).
Now to start with – and I’m not even going to count this because it should be obvious – but your application should be tailored to the job you’re applying for. No copy/paste cheats trying to get your old application past a recruiter without putting the effort in because, trust me, they will know.
As a starting point, each resume should be updated according the job you’re applying for, and each cover letter should be directly addressing both the recruiter and the criteria in the job description.
1) Use keywords
Each job ad will list different skills and experience the employer wants from their candidates. These are your keywords.
When writing your resume and cover letter, be sure to include these skills in your application. Not only does it show an attention to detail recruiters tend to like, but it can also help you out if employers are using software to scan the submitted applications before passing them on to their recruitment team.
Also, don’t forget to include some of your transferable skills that’ll help you come across as a good cultural fit.
2) Format it clearly
Even though the main purpose of a job application is to convey information, making it look good is a key step in making a recruiter stop and take notice.
Now, if you’ve got mad design skills then by all means go ahead and use it as an excuse to show off a bit! But if that’s not your forte, then just makes sure everything’s clear to read, organised into distinct categories, and avoid any crazy fonts (sans serif fonts are usually a safe bet and easier to read – and they generally come across as a bit more modern).
3) ‘Show, don’t tell’
When talking about your skills, make sure you do more than just list keywords – explain how you used them in previous roles. Sentences like, “I have great communication skills” won’t stand up to sentences like, “My communication skills saw me successfully negotiating a contract with a client that saw our profits sore” or “My written communication skills have been developed throughout my degree, seeing me earning the only High Distinction for my capstone subject”.
Basically, don’t just tell the recruiter you have the skill – explain how you’ve developed it or use an example of how it’s helped you achieve something at university or in the workplace. It’s a much more successful technique and helps you make a positive first impression. Just be careful to keep the sentences short and to the point!
4) Write a cover letter
Seriously, unless it says otherwise, include a cover letter. It’s a brilliant way for you to go into more detail than your resume allows, lets you convey more of your personality, and gives you the opportunity to directly address your recruitment contact.
Struggle knowing where to start? Read out article on Breaking Down the Cover Letter.
5) Utilise your LinkedIn
Including your LinkedIn profile information in your job application is a great way to give recruiters the opportunity to learn more about you, in a way that isn’t tied to a page limit or strict format.
Being active on LinkedIn is also a great idea, particularly if you’re able to engage in industry discussions and engage the company you’re applying for directly. Not only does it get your name out there, you can also use what you learn from these conversations later in the interview.
Not on LinkedIn yet? We’ve got articles for that:
- How to Make Best Use of LinkedIn While You’re Still in Uni
- CATS! + Getting Started on LinkedIn
- Why University Students Should Publish On LinkedIn
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Mia Casey