Pitch a Winning Job Application
Identify the job you REALLY want
First. It’s easy to fall into the trap of applying for any old job you feel qualified for, especially if you are desperately unhappy in your current job or are unemployed. Churning out application after application becomes tedious and your applications monotonous. Be choosy about the jobs you apply for. Do at least some basic research to find out more about the company and role. When you are sure this is a job you really want, with a company you really want to be part of, it makes it much easier to hit the mark in your application.
Take Your Time
When I was a tutor, I would sometimes ask my group “How long should you spend on a job application?”. Invariably, the response was somewhere between ½ and 3 hours. Wrong! It takes as long as you can be bothered to take and, the keener you are on the job, the longer it will take. I once spent a week on a job application. I was very interested in the role and, though I had no concrete experience in the field, felt my personal qualities and skills were an ideal match. I diligently researched and asked others to review my application before I submitted it. I did, indeed, get an interview.
Adjust Yourself to the Application
Online applications take many forms. The Aldi one, for example, demands responses to situational questions, among other things. For our purposes here, we are talking about applications asking you to complete a simple online form and/or submit a cover letter along with your CV.
You know the box “Any Other Details or Information”? Never leave it blank in the assumption you have already covered it. Use this space as you would a cover letter. Explain why you want this job and why you want to work for the company. Use it to your advantage. You can stand out by simply doing this alone.
Not always easy but dead important. Get someone else you trust to review your application. There are lots of reasons to do this. Maybe you haven’t blown your own trumpet hard enough. Perhaps you have forgotten a relevant skill because it is second nature to you? Have you made spelling or grammar mistakes? Is your application engaging? When you have invested so much in a Job Application it makes sense to get a second opinion from someone you trust to make sure you have got it right.
If the application asks you to apply by submitting your CV by email don’t just send an attachment. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself, in the body of the email. This is your cover letter. Do not send your cover letter as an attachment! This is your best chance to grab their attention so use it to your advantage.