This post comes from our experience as recruiters, and as an attempt to tell all the potential job-seekers out there about what it is that always makes a positive difference in a candidate’s application. We’ve seen some really great applications and some not-so-great ones. Whether or not you are a star performer, here are some job application tips that we would personally recommend which will help you get an edge over the other candidates (and make our lives much easier too!)
Job Application Tips #1 – Express Interest
The first and the foremost thing. Remember that the recruiter will probably be screening through dozens of other applications for the same job. What is it that will make the recruiter ascertain that you are the likely candidate? How interested you seem to be in the job. Express your interest adequately, however, not in a desperate manner. Mention the name of the company in your cover letter/email. Tell us what excites you about the job and why you are looking forward to it, it is a sign of how passionate you are about that particular job.
Job Application Tips #2 – Proofread your Resume and Cover Email
It is appalling how people seem to think it is okay to send in an error ridden resume/ application (unknowingly or deliberately) and that they would get away with it. The applications outnumber the positions available, and in such a case we need to shortlist. One or two typos won’t send your resume to the trash, but any more than that or other errors (inconsistency, insufficient information) obviously will, in the first round of shortlist itself, irrespective of how deserving a candidate you might be. Be sure to read, re-read and then read your resume and cover letter again for any mistakes or inconsistencies.
Job Application Tips #3 – Check your Online Presence
It is not a myth that recruiters and employers check the internet for extra information regarding the candidate. We actually do. And remember it is not just your LinkedIn profile we will be scanning. When you are getting ready to apply, make sure you assess how your online presence appears, yourself. The best way to do it is to Google yourself and see what information appears. You could then start filtering as per what you would want to be visible. Do look out for any inappropriate photographs and information that contradicts the information you have sent you in your application.
Job Application Tips #4 – Be Patient
Remember that the recruiter is most often not the decision maker and that (s)he is looking into the application process of several other candidates. While it is understandable that you would be anxious regarding the progress of your application, it is impractical to expect immediate feedback on your resume or interview. Send a polite thank you email after each interview, and if you don’t hear back from the recruiter, let a few days pass before asking for an update. Be careful with the tone and frequency of your follow up, sounding angry or impatient is never a good idea.
Job Application Tips #5 – Be Transparent
Remember that when you choose a recruiter, you expect him/her to be pitching your case. It will always help to disclose full facts about your career, expectations and limitations, so that your recruiter can help you to the best of his/her ability. Discuss any worries you have about the job role, location, compensation, benefits with the recruiter frankly so that he/she can either allay your concerns or let you know if the job is not a good fit for you. It is best to sort these things out right at the outset – saves everyone’s time and energy.
These are the simplest things you can do to help speed up your own job application process because you will getting the attention of the recruiter by paying attention to these details. Surprisingly, none of these tips are unusual or some form of hidden wisdom. They are just common sense, and yet we rarely ever see a candidate scoring well when it comes to these aspects. And when we do, the candidate remains high on our “favourite” list for all open job positions. Remember, it is a team effort, you need to help us for us to be able to help you.