Recruiters seek top talent in the same way applicants seek stable jobs. While at most times there’s only one position available, hundreds of applications end up piling on the recruiter’s desk. All applicants possess different talents and experience. However, it takes more than experience and skills to take your application to the top of the heap. Boost your chances by applying these fool-proof steps.
- Adhere to key instructions
Some recruiters will set instructions as a way to disqualify the bigger percentage of applicants. Follow to the letter the instructions given in the job post. Pay attention to the list of supporting documents that the recruiters have requested for. This includes transcripts, link to blog/website, letters of recommendation and relevant certificates.
The employer may give specific email subjects or request specific information. Just give it. Failing to heed to instructions brings negative impact to your odds.
- Make use of Keywords
Keywords are words relating to the job you are applying to. In these modern times, the recruiters have found ways to make their work easier. They will take the hundreds of application letters and run them through software known as applicant tracking systems. Here’s the trick;
Read the requirements using your third eye. For example, if they are looking for a writer with editorial skills, 2 years of experience, Kenyan, with basic computer skills. Make sure that the words ‘Kenyan’, editor’, ‘2 years’ and ‘computer’ appear in your resume and cover letter. Be intentional, but don’t lie.
- Edit, format and Proofread
When writing, remember the basics of writing an official letter. After writing, edit, format and double-check.
Sending a letter with typos and grammatical errors not only is offensive to your recruiter but puts you at a disadvantage. Proofread your work. Ensure that you have the name of the company and your own name correctly spelt. Make your work legible by using appropriate font types and sizes. Use bullets and bold to improve legibility.
There are different types of software to help with proofreading. Invest in them for your writing needs.
- Tailor the letter
Customize each application letter to fit the organization you are applying for. Each company has unique needs, and addressing them in your letter is a smart way to get their attention.
Specify the position you want to be considered for, how you learnt about it, why you are interested, why you are the most suitable candidate, the additional value you will bring to the organization and then express your availability to offer more information.
- Explain employment gaps
Recruiters are careful not to hire a troublemaker. This is why employment gaps don’t look good despite having relevant work experiences. You can clear the doubt away by giving a truthful explanation of why there are gaps. You might have encountered family issues, have gone away for treatment, or could have been laid off because the company went bankrupt. Explain it in a professional manner.
- Conduct background research
“Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whom it may concern” is not the recommended way to start an application letter. Do your research well.
Many organizations today have good websites, with their staff, addresses and their information available. Ensure that you research and internalize the information. Address the letter to HR.
- Be brief, concise and relevant
Get to the point. Pick your words carefully and ensure that your letter flows and it makes sense. Recruiters want as much relevant information as possible, and to save time.
- Use your official email
Create a new email for your job search. Don’t send your application as [email protected] or [email protected]. Let them be official. Most of the time, Gmail is recommended. Also, ensure that you use current email services so that your email is not marked as spam or junk mail.
- Hand-in the letter in time
It does not matter if you saw the job ad a few hours to the deadline. Do your best to deliver it on time. This is an attractive attribute that will boost your chances of securing the job.
With that in mind, remember there are common mistakes that you need to avoid;
- Don’t overuse the passive voice. The passive voice makes you sound vague. Strike a balance.
- Don’t list irrelevant skills, interests, photos and previous jobs that do not match the job requirements. These could easily disqualify you.
- Don’t use the cliché buzzwords being used by every job seeker. Instead, highlight your accomplishments to show that you are hardworking, dynamic, creative, etc.
- Don’t lie. Based on Inc., 81% of applicants lie or give false impressions to the recruiters. Be as honest as possible, and when you are not sure, offer to take a test. This will create trust from the beginning.
- Don’t apply if you don’t meet the minimum requirements. According to Workopolis, 75% of applicants do not qualify for the job. Do not waste your time applying for places you don’t qualify. Boost your odds by applying to where you best fit.
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