Many of us have experienced sending off a job application, only for it to disappear into the depths of the internet. The lack of response is frustrating, as you end up without answers, meaning you can’t learn from where you went wrong.
Getting your application noticed by recruiters or hiring managers is the crucial first step in landing yourself a new job. However, it’s no easy task, especially if you’re after a competitive role.
To land your dream job and get noticed, You want the recruiter to know that you’re the best person for the position. Read on for advice on how to stand out from the crowd.
1. Get ahead of the game
If you’re lucky enough to have contacts at the company
you’re applying to, ask them to refer you. This is the fastest way to get an
interview. While a contact can’t always vouch for your professional skills, the
hiring manager will be able to get an idea of your character.
Hopefully, this will mean that your application is put straight at the top of the pile. Unfortunately, sometimes it comes down to who you know – not what you know.
2. Add a headline or profile
With the amount of applications employers have to read, why
not make their job easier for them? Include a brief headline or profile at the
top of your application to catch their attention.
This shouldn’t be more than a few lines, focusing on what
you can bring to the team. Think of it as a test to show that you’ve researched
the company. Then, tailor your best attributes to the role.
If it’s a social care role, for example, you could mention that you’re compassionate and communicative.
3. Prioritise your most important qualifications
Look at the job advert and find the minimum qualifications
that are listed – do you meet the criteria? Reconsider your application if you
don’t meet the specification, or you’ll only waste your own time!
If you do have the qualifications, then you can move forward with your application. For each of your past roles, be sure to clearly state your relevant competencies so the employer knows you’re not wasting their time too.
4. Use keywords
Include keywords mentioned in the job advert. For example,
if it’s an advert for a software developer
role, you might be required to know python.
These keywords will optimise your application for Applicant Tracking Systems, which reject up to 75% of CVs before they even get a chance to reach a human! Finding and noting keywords used in the job overview will help you to beat the bots.
5. Keep your accomplishments fresh
When you get comfortable in a job, it can be easy to forget what you’ve achieved on a day-to-day basis. However, this will be essential in making your application stand out and proving that you don’t just sit back in your day job.
Make a running list of any accomplishments at work, so that
you have them ready for when you need to make an application.
6. Use the STAR approach
You might come across applications which require you to fill
out competency questions. Competency questions are designed to test you on your
real-life experiences and how these have prepared you for the role you’ve
These can often make up a large part of an application, so
it’s vital you get your answers right. However, these questions can be tricky
as you’re required to remember a lot of information.
To avoid forgetting important information, employers
recommend using the ‘STAR’ technique. STAR stands for:
Situation – describe the background and context
Task – describe the task or challenge you were faced with
Action – explain the action you took and how and why you did it
Result – ideally, the result will be a positive one and ideally one that can be measured. If it’s not positive, highlight what you learned from it. Always relate the skill or ability you demonstrated back to the role you’re applying to!
7. Save it as a PDF
Candidates forget that employers’ devices may not support the format of their CV.
As such, the recruiter or hiring manager will be faced with
a jumbled mess when they go to open your application. They won’t bother getting
in contact to ask you to send it again, and your CV will be cast aside.
To avoid the worry of this, simply attach your CV as a PDF! Simple.
Get your application noticed!
Your application will get noticed – Focus on making it the best it can possibly be and only apply to jobs you’re really passionate about. With the help of our useful tips, your application will be noticed by more employers. Start applying for jobs on the ASC Jobs Portal today!
Beth Port is a PR & Communications Assistant at CV-Library. She did her degree in English Literature, but loves all things language-related and is trying to learn Spanish too! She kept a blog on her year abroad and loves being able to write creatively about all things career-related in her job.