With the job market as competitive as it is, it’s more important than ever to provide employers with a stellar application. Yet, resume and application writing is something that many people struggle with. It can be difficult to determine exactly what employers are looking for when they review applications. Fortunately, there are several easy things you can do to transform your average application into one that will stand out from the stack.
Seven Easy Ways to Improve Your Job Application
- Organise your information in order of importance: Your name and contact information should be the first thing that an employer sees when they look at your resume. The second thing should be a short statement explaining the objective of your resume. Instead of an objective, you can include a list of your skills if the position requires a specific skill set. After this should be an organised list of your job history. When you list past employers, list your position first, followed by the name of the employer, their location, and the years you were employed.
- Keep it short and simple: Many people try to make their applications sound professional by using big words and over-explaining their past job duties. Unfortunately, instead of sounding intelligent, this just makes the resume difficult to read. Before submitting your application to employers, read it out loud. If something sounds unnatural, simplify it.
- Make your application easy to skim over: Most applications are reviewed in less than a minute. To make sure that the person looking at your resume sees all of the important information, keep this information organised. Use bullet points, bold, and underlined fonts to call attention to important facts. However, stay away from over-stylising your application, since too much will be distracting.
- Highlight your achievements: Most people list their past job duties on applications. Instead of listing duties, make sure to highlight achievements. If you’ve trained other employees, earned awards, or exceeded sales goals, show off those accomplishments. These are the things potential employers really want to know about.
- Eliminate unnecessary information: To keep your application easy to read, eliminate unnecessary dates, punctuation, and keep your past job history simple. Potential employers do not want to read paragraphs outlining the details of your past jobs. Employers want short, to-the-point sentences that they can skim over quickly. While you may not be able to fit your entire resume into one page, keep it as close to one page as possible.
- Include a concise cover letter: It’s true that many employers don’t read cover letters. Still, it is always a good idea to include one. Your cover letter should include your contact info, the position you are applying for, your skills, and how your skills would benefit the position.
- Provide a resume, even if you don’t necessarily have to: Regardless of the job you are applying for, always include a resume. If you are applying for a bar tending position, for example, you may only be required to fill out a standard application. However, attaching a professional resume is always appreciated. Providing a resume not only proves your willingness to go the extra mile, it also gives you an opportunity to really showcase your skills and experience. Submitting a professional resume, even when you are not required to, is an easy way to make a great first impression.