Applying for a Job: How to stand out from the crowd


When you see a vacancy that you want to apply for, you’ll know by now that you need to take time and effort to tailor your application to suit the job you’re going for.

It’s much better to make 5 decent job applications per week than 50 half-assed attempts that don’t even get looked at. Sorry for saying assed, btw.

Ok, so you’ve found the job you want to apply for, here’s some steps to follow that should hopefully make you stand out from the crowd:

  1. PRINT OUT the information you have to hand. If you don’t have access to a printer then go through the information and make notes on the main points of the role
  2. With your notes (printed or hand-written) to hand, go through and HIGHLIGHT the areas in which you know you are matching up on
  3. Open your current CV and go to ‘Save As‘. Save each application you make as a new document. Remember whatever you call the document will be seen by the reader. Something like CV_FirstNameLastName_CompanyName_Date would work well
  4. You can now go through and start to alter your CV based on the information you have to hand from your notes/highlighted print outs
  5. Take notice of the ORDER in which the duties of the role are listed and make sure that wherever possible, you match this – for example, if the role has finance duties relatively high up on their list, then make sure that you do too. If you have finance experience, that is. No fibs.
  6. What personal skills/attributes does this role call out for? Use the same words throughout your personal profile. More often than not, you can write most of your personal profile from the job description of the role you’re applying for – just make sure that you do actually consider yourself to have these skills/attributes and you’re not just using the words for the sake of it!
  7. Be sure to follow instructions. Does this company want you to apply via email or through their own website? Make sure you do as you’re told as there will be a reason for their application method. Don’t be seen as a troublemaker before you’ve even got your feet under the desk.
  8. Cover Letter – have they specifically asked for one? Only if one is requested should you provide one. If no mention of it then you can just outline some key points in the body of the email when you apply.
  9. If you ARE asked to provide a cover letter then you should have enough relevant information in your CV now to pull out into a new document to create the letter. Make sure that anything that is in the cover letter is in the CV and vice versa, don’t do one or the other and assume that everything will get read because it just might not…

Points to remember:

  • The aim is to MERGE the job info (vacancy details/job description/advert) with your CV
  • If you REALLY feel you’re matching up to the requirements then don’t leave any piece of information out – Don’t give them any reason to say no!
  • Never assume that the reader will just ‘know’ what you’ve done, or what you have experience in. Spell it out. Any surplus information will just be filtered out by the right eyes – But the essential information can’t be added in at a later date. Now is your chance to get it right.

I hope that this will help you out with the next job application you make. If you need advice on how to tackle an application you’d like to make then head over to my Killer CV Hangout group on Facebook, where I’m always on hand to help.

Danielle ❤

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