Job Applications: Seven Extra Tips for Success

Posted on Jun 20, 2012

In our last posts, we discussed the difference between a cover letter and CV and what should go in each, and showed you how to write the perfect cover letter and CV. Here, we present 7 easy tips that will make all the difference to your job application.

1)      Revise, revise, revise: After you finish writing your CV and cover letter, read through them again and fix things. Then, do it again, and again, and again. Keep reading and editing until you can’t think of any way to make them better. This should take you only a half hour or so, and while it might be boring, it will help you get a job that will make a boring half hour worth it. Don’t just use an automated spellchecker and send things off. It won’t catch many common mistakes and may make odd changes.


2)      Create, don’t translate: If you are not a native speaker of English, don’t write in your own language and then use a translation program to create your documents. They will be impossible to understand. Write in the best English that you can, and then get a native speaker, or at least someone who speaks better English than you, to edit your work. We offer that service, and will even do a trial edit for free, but you could also ask a friend, colleague, or teacher, or find someone on a forum for learning English.


3)      Get a fresh opinion: Everyone should show their CV and cover letter to at least one other person before sending them off. If you can, the best thing to do is to have them professionally edited, which will greatly improve your documents. If not, show them to a friend, or ideally, a few friends, and get their input. Don’t get angry, listen to what they say, and make any changes that you need.


4)      The subject matters: If you are sending your application out by email, pay careful attention to the subject line in your email. Think about it and edit it before sending it off, and check your spelling and grammar! Although it seems unimportant, the subject line in your email makes your very first impression. A mistake here might mean that your application is ignored, or that your reader will open it expecting you to be less than perfect. Make sure that the address that you are sending it to is correct. If you are cutting and pasting things into an application form on a website, check that nothing has been lost or doubled.


5)      There’s a lot in a name: Make sure that the file for your CV has a professional name. Don’t upload a file called FakeResumeForBoringJob.doc, for example. Ideally, avoid files called something like 2h4h3jk235hk.doc as well. Use a file name that has your full name and the word “CV” or “resume” in it, so that the reader can clearly see what it is and find it in their records among hundreds of other files.


6)      Play it cool: Once your documents have been sent, forget about them. If a week has passed and there is no answer, or you have another job offer and need to make a quick decision, you can send one more email. Send only one, and make it very short, clear, and polite. If the employer has decided not to hire you this time and is too busy to let you know that, sending them many long emails to bother them will not get you the job. In fact, it might make sure that you never have a chance with the company in the future.


7)      Never give up: If you have done your best and didn’t get the job you wanted, apply to other positions. Try everything. Once you have created one or two cover letters and a great basic CV, you can easily edit and adapt them to other job openings, making all of your hard work and investment worth it. When you reuse your documents, however, don’t be lazy. Write new sections about the new employer and job that you are applying for and do not just cut and paste new names into an old letter to save time. Here, an extra 10 minutes of work is all you need, which is worth it if it gets you the job you want.


If you use all of our tips and add a little creativity to the mix, you are certain to get an interview for any job within your reach. It may be challenging, but putting a little work into writing and editing a great CV and resume can change your life for the better and open up a brighter future, and if you need help, well, we’re always here!




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