You’re going through a job search process, and you’ve decided to apply for a certain position. You’ve spent hours preparing your application form: checking spelling, adjusting font size, and making sure your resume is formatted correctly. You’re almost finished, and you decide to take a last look at your work. To your surprise, you discover that your carefully crafted application does not match the instructions you were given by the hiring manager. You go back and re-read the instructions. You discover that a certain part of the application was not asked for, nor was it mentioned in the instructions. You think to yourself, “I’ve been so careful following the instructions; why wasn’t this part of the application?” You put your application aside and start over. A few minutes later you’ve finished your application and submitted it. As you’re sitting there anxiously waiting for the results of your application, a thought crosses your mind. You ask yourself, “What should I have included in my application to make sure it’s good enough?” Your mind promptly goes to work, and after a short while, you have an answer. You send off your application, and once again, you’re perplexed by the results. This is what happens when you submit an application for a job. Even after you’ve followed the instructions to the letter, you’re still not sure whether or not you’ve made a good impression.
The above scenario is something that’s likely to happen to everyone at some point in their job search. We’re going to discuss a few things that you might want to consider sending in your application. These are things that could make the difference in whether or not you get the position, or even if you get an interview.
Your resume is your chance to shine. It’s the first thing that a hiring manager is going to look at when they review your application. Resumes can be tricky to write, and many people don’t have the skills to do it justice. We’re not going to delve into the ins and outs of creating a resume here, but we are going to tell you what to keep in mind as you’re doing it. Keep your resume to one page. More than one page, and you risk making the hiring manager dizzy. Additionally, include your contact information at the top of your resume. It’s vital that the hiring manager knows how to reach you. Remember, a resume is a summary of your work history. It doesn’t have to include every job that you’ve ever held, but it should include the most recent jobs and internships that you’re proudly declaring yourself. The resume should also include any relevant skills that you think might be valuable to the position you’re applying for. To help you keep your resume concise, you might want to consider using resume templates. There are plenty of great resume templates out there that you can download and customize to fit your needs.
The cover letter is your opportunity to impress the hiring manager. A cover letter isn’t something that you have to have, but it could be the key to landing your dream job. The cover letter should match the instructions that you were given in your job application. In the cover letter, you have a chance to re-iterate what you’ve stated in your resume. You want to make sure that the hiring manager knows that you’ve carefully followed the instructions and that you’re the perfect fit for the job. The cover letter should also include additional information about yourself that the application didn’t cover. For instance, did you graduate with honors from a reputable university? Do you have any special skills that the company is looking for? Are you able to work independently or do you prefer to work in a team? A cover letter is your chance to sell yourself, so make sure that you do it justice. It should be typed (or, if you’re lucky enough to get a handwritten one, it should be legible) on a sheet of paper that’s not more than A4 size. Furthermore, you should send it via regular mail, and not via email. There’s a reason why they call it a ‘dead letter’ – it won’t get read. Keep in mind that if they don’t get back to you quickly, you’ll need to follow-up with a phone call.
The interview is when you get to meet the person that you’ll be working with. The interviewer will be getting to know you, while you have an opportunity to impress them with your skills and knowledge. The interview is not something that you have to have, but it can be the key to securing your dream job. You’re given an opportunity to sell yourself to the company, and you have a chance to show off all of your talents. It’s a two way street; you’re meeting the person while also getting to showcase your skills. The interview is going to be very challenging, because the hiring manager is going to be judging you based on your answers. Make sure that you’re prepared for the interview. It is unlikely that you’ll get the job just by making it to the interview, but it’s certainly possible. For tips on how to prepare for the interview, check out our blog post on how to ace your next job interview.
As you can see, there are many things that you might want to include in your application. Keep all of these things in mind, and you’re sure to land yourself a job that you’ll be proud of.