From the Eyes of the Employer: What makes the Best Application
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Job seekers can spend hours writing multiple cover letters for different companies, but the common mistake people make is to forget to also edit their professional resume and therefore miss out on potential job opportunities.
In the blink of an eye your job application can go from being a possible candidate, to being the best by simply tweaking the good ol’ resume and more with these steps below.
Table of Contents
Having a Consistent Online Profile
Joss Godbold, Regional Director of Page Executive, stated that:
‘Fifteen years ago, CVs were 90 per cent of the process; now they’re 30-50 per cent of the process… We jump on Instagram and Facebook and sometimes we’re shocked. We might get a great candidate based on their CV – they look fabulous for the role – and we go onto their Facebook page and it’s terrible.’
Today hiring managers don’t just look at your resume and CV any more; technology has allowed potential employers to use social media as a tool to see the difference between what someone says and what they are actually like. This can be done before or after a job interview as your contact information is attached or can be found.
From the manager’s eye, if your photos and status updates don’t match the personality you put forward in your description or present in your professional headshot, it could heavily sway the decision on whether or not to hire you. On the other hand, if you profiles are consistent with the description of yourself, it will make you seem more genuine, which is a key quality employer look for. Whilst LinkedIn may be a tool for professional career development, don’t forget that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter still have an impact upon your job hunting.
Crafting Your Resume and Cover Letter with the Company Name in Mind
Firing off the same resume and cover letter to multiple companies that do different things will most likely yield no results in your job search. Instead, tailor your these to the specific role and the company you’re specifically applying for. Look at the job description and the company’s history to find key words that align with the skills needed and the vision they have. This way, they becomes eye catching within the applicant tracking system, as they are more than a resume template or copy and paste CV, but a clear sign that indicates to the hiring manager you care specifically for the company and might be the right person for the job.
Having the Best Resume
There are many resume writing tips and tricks that career experts (and our career hub) will tell you are important aspects to include in your resume. Here are the resume format tricks that will help you catch the hiring manager’s eye:
Including Previous Job Titles and Responsibilities
Whilst this may seem like an obvious tip, it is extremely important you give a detailed list of your past work experience and the responsibilities that you undertook while in these positions. Make sure they are relevant experiences that at a quick glance your potential employer has an immediate insight into your experience in the specific field.
List Your Skills and Experience
Similarly, employers for high-end jobs that require specific expertise or skills will quickly scan your resume to see if you have the relevant experience and skills to perform the tasks they need. You can also include winning a graphic design contest for example or the unique editorial experience you were fortunate to be a part of as a way to distinguish yourself. You should have this section under a section heading so it easy to find and stands out.
Have an Education and Qualifications Section
For some employers, education can be just as important as experience, especially for entry-level jobs. Including an education section with the short courses, degrees or certificates that are relevant to the position and industry you are applying for. This not only demonstrates you have the appropriate and required training but can also distinguish yourself from the competition.
Include the Correct Format, Labelling and File Size
The format of your resume should allow for an easy read for the hiring manager. Ensure there is no lime green paper (only white), have clear section headings, no colorful graphics and have your contact details listed at the top of the document. A suggested order is:
An overlooked yet important detail when constructing a resume is file size and type. An employer won’t bother opening your resume if they have to download fancy software to open it, and if it is a large download they’ll also most likely push it to the side. Universal formats like PDF and Word should be used, and try to keep your resume to 2Mbs max.
Adding Hobbies and Interests
Detailing your hobbies and interests outside of work hours can be a risky move. Some potential employers could make assumptions based on your interests, and this could be the reason why they do or don’t decide to hire you. But if your hobbies/interests are professionally relevant, then definitely include them! If you run a blog that gives health advice and you’re applying for a role at a gym, then that puts a greater emphasis on why you would be the perfect candidate. Hobbies aren’t a must on a resume, but they do help distinguish you from everyone else. It is really up to you if you want to list them or not, but just always keep in mind the position and industry you are applying for.
In the blink of an eye, your potential employer can change their opinion of you through your online profiles, cover letter and resume.
It is important to always ensure your application is up to date, professional, and tailored to the company; make yourself stand out from your competition.
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