When a job gets posted online, employers generally have to sift through hundreds sometimes even thousands of applications to whittle down to the perfect employee. If you want to stand a chance and make sure that you’re in the running (when there are so many others in the same boat) there are a few things you can do. Here’s what employers will be looking for when searching through job applications.
A Good Cover Letter
A good cover letter will sum up why you’re right for the position. Be sure to highlight your skills and explain why you’re suited to the role, but don’t ramble. In many cases, a good cover letter could make the employer taking a closer look at your CV. Tailor each cover letter you send for each job. Look through the application to find out what skills they’re looking for, and be sure to mention these with your relevant experience.
Education really is is one of the best ways you can improve your career prospects. Between you and a similar candidate, an employer will almost always choose the one with the better education. Even if you didn’t do the best in school, these days there are online college courses you can do which will show you’re dedicated to getting the job you want. Achieving a qualification this way can also show that you’re focused, motivated and able to see something through to the end. You could choose a course specifically for the job you want. For example an online master of public safety for a public safety role. Or you could do a broader course. Take psychology, the skills learned here would be useful for many kinds of jobs.
Volunteering is another way to show that you’re serious about getting experience in the job you want. And that you’re prepared to work hard without money being a motivator. It shows that you take your career seriously and this can be very appealing to employers. There are lots of ways you can get experience through volunteering. For example if you wanted to work in mental health you could volunteer with a hospital or a mental health charity. Volunteering abroad always looks impressive too, and shows you have taken time out of your own life to go and help others. It’s not always the stuff directly relating to the career that will help you to stand out.
With that being said, another thing that will help you to stand out which isn’t career related is your hobbies. Most people put down things like ‘going to the gym’ and ‘socialising’ which is fair enough, but certainly won’t help you stand out from the crowd. Don’t lie here, instead use it as an excuse to go and find some interesting and exciting hobbies. This can help to show employers a bit about your personality and whether you would be a good fit for the company. For example, social hobbies show you work well with other people. Technical hobbies like crafts show that you’re creative and good with manual tasks.
When last did you submit a job application? How do you find the whole job application process?
I think the importance of things like volunteering and fun hobbies depends on the workplace. If the work involves a lot of socializing, I think they look more into personality whereas if it’s mostly solo work not so much.
I agree completely.
New graduates should really read this post. I am in an age where my contemporaries are already managers, department heads, or owners of their own companies and they really lament the fact that new graduates could not even prepare a proper application letter. 🙁
I hope they get to read it. Thanks for stopping by.
It’s not easy to keep putting yourself out there to land a job but it’s so much better than doing nothing at all. You’ll eventually learn how to become a better applicant as you go but these are great tips!
Glad you like the tips Carol.
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Great tips, enjoyed reading it, here are some tips we have shared on preparing for Dream Job
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