A job application is arguably the most important stage when it comes to securing a job. It’s your first point of contact with an employer, so it’s important to make a good impression.
Preparing a good application lays the groundwork for your interview, it’s your opportunity to sell yourself and set yourself apart from all of the other applicants.
With that in mind we’ve put together some handy tips that will help you prepare for the application process.
Try to keep your CV under 2 pages, if it’s too long then employers are unlikely to read it all. You should always keep your CV up to date, make an effort to go through it every couple of months. A CV has to cover a lot of information in a small space, using bullet points has a lot of benefits here:
- They stand out
- They make it easy for employers to read
See what we did there?
You can find more information about writing a CV here.
If you are just leaving school or college, you’re unlikely to have a lot of practical experience. Voluntary work is a great way to gain some employability skills, such as organisation, communication and responsibility. If you’re interested in volunteering, try enquiring at your local community centre or charity shops in the area.
Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses.
This is often asked on an application form – ‘What are you good at?’ and ‘What are you not so good at?’. When you answer, try to provide some evidence to back up what you’re saying. If communication is your strength, give an example of when you’ve used it.
When you’re describing your weaknesses always state something that you can learn or improve on – for example: “I’m sometimes shy in new situations, however it doesn’t take me long to gain confidence once shown what is expected of me”.
Always do your research on the company you’re applying for. If they have a website, take a look and make a few notes – a good answer to this question makes a great impression. It demonstrates initiative and shows that you’re interested in being a part of their company.
Read The Job Description.
This is very important. The job description tells you exactly what the employer is looking for, and the skills you’ll need to do the job.
Base your application around the job description and provide examples to back up your answers and you’re off to a great start.
Always keep a copy of your application form. If you get invited to interview make sure to review it so it’s fresh on your mind. It also gives you an idea of what your employers are looking for.