What should you include in your job application?
I don’t think a day goes by in our office that we don’t get a call from a candidate ‘checking in’ on their application. If I was a candidate on the hunt for a new position I would be doing exactly the same thing – it shows enthusiasm, it shows passion and it tells me you really want to the job!
However wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to check in on your application, wouldn’t it be great if you got a call from the recruitment agency or hiring manager before you had a chance to think ‘I wonder if I did enough?’
Recently I received an application from a candidate that stood out to me. All they had sent me was their resume and a cover letter – nothing out of the ordinary. The content was professional, personable and to the point. It was quite refreshing not having to read that she was a ‘hard worker’ and a ‘strong team player’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure she is, but what stood out to me was that in her cover letter she quite clearly stated why she had approached me (our team specialise in the in the Not for Profit sector), why that appealed to her and what type of work she was looking for (part time, 4 full days per week).
Along with her cover letter, she also sent me her resume which clearly outlined her experience in a concise manner. In 2 pages, she outlined what she had been doing over the last few years along with the main responsibilities of each role. It was enough to peak my interest and make me want to give her a call to find out more about her and how I might be able to help.
If you’re struggling to get any call backs from your applications, try reading through your cover letter and resume and ask yourself ‘What am I telling the reader?’. What, Why and How? What am I applying for, why am I applying for it and how have I got the skills and experience to do it?
Remember your application is a conversation starter – make the hiring manager want to know more about you! Let your personality come through, explain a little bit about yourself but please remember not to go overboard.
Joanna Stacey – Coordinator, Not-for-Profit Team