23/06/2020

Applications: Make a good first impression

So, you have seen a job and decided to apply… HOLD UP! Before you click send CV…

Make the best impression by:

1: Researching the job and company first.

Job adverts will usually give you a good understanding of the job and some detail about the company. Does the company have a profile with us? If so, watch the short videos or read the overviews. Take two minutes to look at the website, make sure you have a clear idea of what they do. Click on the about us section, look at the core values – do they fit with you? Do you know anyone who works (worked) for the organisation? Get their view of the company. Checking out review websites for employers can be insightful but unless there are several reviews which are consistently poor do not let it put you off entirely – try to be objective.

2: Tailor your CV to the application criteria

You may be applying for several different roles or exploring career options, that is fine but make sure your CV stacks up when you apply. Avoid sending CVs out with clear statements of interest in roles or aspects of business not relevant to the organisation or role. This is a red flag for motivation, and you can avoid this by saving more than one version of your CV for different career options, you can upload as many CVs and cover letters to your Ethical Jobseeker account as you like – just remember to call them something useful like CV Sales or CV Customer Service– so you remember what they are for!

It may take just a few minutes to adjust your personal statement or to highlight skills at the top of your CV which you possess that meet the role specification, but it is very much worth it.

3: Write a concise cover letter

Provide a cover letter with your application. Always tweak the cover letter to each job role. Use this as an opportunity to highlight your match and motivations for the role but keep it brief, it is not a letter of application so signpost employers to relevant information in your CV rather than repeating it. You could show your interest in the company by referencing an interesting fact from the website.

4: Final Checks before applying

Before sending in your application – quality check it and ask yourself these simple questions which recruiters will want to know.

  • Do you meet the essential criteria of the role set out in the advertisement?
  • Does the role meet your essential search requirements?
  • Does your application demonstrate your motivation for this post?
  • Is the application of good quality?

If your answer is NO to any of the above and you still wish to apply – now is the time to address those questions.  For example:

  • You do not have a requested qualification. Highlight the experience or qualifications you have which you believe mitigate this. It will depend on whether the employer can be flexible of this or if it is a legal requirement.
  • Location is not currently commutable: If you are willing to relocate, put this on your application but also think about how you will do this so you can satisfy the recruiter at the next stage in the process.
  • Motivation: Use your cover letter to tell the employers why this post is of interest to you and signpost elements of your CV. You can draw upon education, work or extra-curricular experiences.
  • Quality Check: Look for spelling, grammar layout mistakes. Check if you have used a template that you have tailored it correctly – do not send it with wrong company name  - believe us it happens!