Writing your job application can be strenuous. But if you keep in mind these tips you will have a better chance at getting your dream job.
I have had my fair share of job interviews and one thing I learned is that it is important what you put inside your resume and application letter. Some of you might say that this is common sense, but hear me out. In today’s fast world it is more important than ever to curate your personal content. Your application documents might even be the most important piece of content you will ever produce. It can open doors to the life you always dreamed of or it can shut them forever.
In this blog post I will try to help clarify the most important DOs and DON’Ts in creating your application from the view of a designer and content strategist.
Things you should avoid:
Most people are afraid that praising their accomplishments will come off as bragging or even as a lie. But it is important that you show off your work and education. Sure there will always be people that may be better at what you do but that does not mean that the things you accomplished are not noteworthy. Be proud of your achievements!
- Not using a template
Your application has to stand out from a pile of other resumes of people that might have the same or even better qualifications than you have. To ensure the HR manager remembers you and invites you to a personal interview it is important that your application also looks good. In times of the internet and endless free resources there is no excuse for a badly designed resume. You need basically no skills in Word or any other software. Sending a bland application only shows that you didn’t even care enough to google for a simple template.
- Writing down everything you ever did
You might be tempted to write all your previous job experiences and every training or workshop you ever did because you feel that it is relevant for this job. But in reality you really shouldn’t put everything in. Nobody cares where you went to primary school. You learned Spanish in school but didn’t use it since then? Scratch that. Also nobody has ever asked me for any grades of my school time or bachelor degree.
Things you should do
- Tell them why you want the job
Yes, being qualified for a position is the bare minimum. You have to assume that there are at least a dozen other applicants with the same qualifications. Tell them why you would love to work there. You need to make sure your application stands out from the crowd.
- Know your worth
I know, looking for a new job is rarely fun and sometimes it even gets stressful because you really need that job. But you should never sell yourself short. Your new employer surely wants the best for a job and you need to make sure that they see your worth. Only you can bring your personal values and experiences into the job and why should anyone value you if you don’t value yourself?
- Use your network
Again some people might feel uncomfortable approaching acquaintances when looking for a job. But in reality they can give you valuable information and insights that might give you a headstart. The best advocate for your cause is someone the new boss trusts. That also goes for promotions: Use your network! Find someone in a higher position that knows you and will put in a good word for you. There is no shame in leveraging your connections. Just make sure that they also always can count on you in return.
Of course these only will help if you already have your basics written down. Also keep track of every application you write. Use a folder system on your computer or a excel sheet to write down which company got which version of your application and when. There is nothing more embarrassing than sending the wrong application letter.
And most importantly: Getting rejected is not a failure! And even if you see it as a failure use it as an opportunity. Ask them why you didn’t get the job. If you are interested why failure is important and how to make the most of it, Brigette Hyacinth has a great blog post on failure.
If you want to connect and exchange experiences, or have any questions, feel free to contact me on my social media:
Picture by Ian Schneider on unsplash.com