Applying for jobs can be a daunting task. You’re baring your soul to prospective employers, and every omission from interview can seem like a siren of doom.
You may not feel up to continually restructuring your application to fit each role. It’s less arduous to simply reuse the same one for each time. But then, if you’re not being invited to interview, it’s possibly not the wisest course of action.
So, if at first you don’t succeed, work out what’s missing.
Why you should adapt your application each time
The unspoken rule is that you should customise your job application, based on the job ad, every single time you submit it. But why?
- You’ll stand out more if you include the phrasing of certain things based on the job ad. If they want someone with copyediting skills, say you have copyediting skills, not proofreading skills.
- Pay attention to the duplication of words and phrases. If the job ad mentions that they’re looking for someone who is ‘passionately creative’ several times, try and demonstrate that you are passionately creative!
- Many companies use Applicant Tracking Software, configured to the language in the job ad, for screening resumes. Using that language in your application will help you pass the ATS test.
- Tweaking your application each time allows you to better address the points in the job ad. You can be more direct, more specific and, ultimately, more convincing.
- You can prioritise certain information in your resume based on the job ad. If one of the most important aspects is previous experience, perhaps put related employment on the first page of your resume.
It’s essential to present information in a way that best emphasises your suitability for a job. Highlighting your relevant skills and experience based on the job ad, and using industry language and terminology is a good start. Doing this can greatly increase your chances of making it on to the interview list.
Once you get into the habit, you will find it easier to tweak your application to fit each job you apply for. You might start out with a truck load of draft applications but, with a little effort, you’ll soon be demonstrating quality over quantity.
For help with tweaking your applications, attend one or more of our upcoming online Graduate Gateway workshops – particularly the ones happening on Tuesday 8 December!