Here’s How To Make Your Job Application Stand Out From The Crowd
It would appear that we have navigated the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and are on the way to recovery. Hopefully, this means that the economy is opening up once again and you may be on the lookout for new employment opportunities.
So how do you stand out from the rest of the job applicants? We have some useful tips to help you get started.
Shorter is better
Your application is going to be one out of dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes. The hiring manager is not going to have time to go over each one in detail. This means you have limited time to impress, so it’s best to keep things short.
Your cover letter shouldn’t be more than a single paragraph. It should include a single sentence introducing yourself, what position you’re applying for, and what documents you’re attaching.
If you’re creating a generic cover letter that can be sent to many other companies, then you could leave out applying for a specific job.
At the same time, your resume should also be short – not more than one page long. It should include your contact information, work experience, and particular skills you may have (such as video editing, spreadsheets, or programming languages). If you have references, then these can also be included in a second page.
Highlight your achievements
If you have a good job track record and experience, then it is best to list them chronologically with the most recent one at the top. It’s also perfectly acceptable to boil the description of each job to a single accomplishment that you are most proud of during your time there.
Fresh graduates have a habit of including personal information such as hobbies in their resumes. This tends to get glossed over very quickly and should instead be replaced with achievements in extracurricular activities. If you don’t have any, then it’s perfectly alright to not put anything in. You’re being judged by what’s on the list and not by what has been left out.
Use a template
You may think that you know how to format a resume and that a template is unnecessary. However, that’s not the main reason for using one.
Instead, think of it as adding an additional layer of professionalism to your presentation. These templates can help you arrange your information in a way that grabs attention. Many of these templates also add some colour to break up the monotony of just black text on a white background.
If you don’t know how to format a resume, then a template is a good place to start writing and getting an idea of what information needs to be included. The quickest way to find one is to just search Google, but you can also narrow your search down to free design sites like Canva that offer easy templates to help you get started.
Should you include a photograph?
There’s no straight answer to whether you should include a photograph of yourself – unless you’re applying for a job in front of a camera. For the most part, how you look really shouldn’t overshadow your work experience.
That said, it never hurts to give your potential employers a visual reference of the person behind the qualifications. Any picture you include doesn’t have to be a boring passport-sized photograph that looks like a mugshot. Just as long as you look clean, professional, and presentable.
Standing out in a crowd
Sending a memorable resume isn’t easy if you don’t have any interesting background to sell yourself. Although, there are ways you can improve overall.
Firstly, ensuring that there are no typos or grammatical errors goes a lot further than you think it does. Taking time to double check your cover letter and resume shows that you are able to pay attention to details and are serious in applying for the job (it also shows you know how to use a spell check).
Secondly, it always helps to develop yourself in ways not related to your desired profession. You don’t always have to have been on an award-winning team or worked on a high profile project. Sometimes it helps to have organised work events like a department vacation or your weekly office badminton session.
These little things show that you’re a team player who can get along with other people.
A resume is simply a summary of what you’ve done and have to offer to your prospective employer. The goal is to convey as much information as possible in as little text as possible to make it easier to read.
It’s also only half the battle. You’ll still need to get through that interview, which takes another entirely different type of preparation.