Key factors in a successful job application

While embarking on a job search can be a time-consuming process, it can also be highly rewarding, as it connects you to your true wants, needs and values.

Before you start job-seeking, you should conduct a self-analysis to get a better understanding of your needs. Take the time to consider the type of business you want to be a part of, the location of your preferred job, the type of work you want to do and the pay and benefits you require.

Here are some of the key elements of the job application process:

Preparation

Maintain a log of all your job applications, the phone calls you make and interviews you attend. You can do this by keeping a diary or storing the details on your computer or smartphone. Most employers will presume that you know how to use a computer, so send all communication via email. Many recruiters sift through CV’s and job applications by looking for keywords and industry specific terms, so familiarise yourself with the jargon.

Networking

While it is not a new concept networking is definitely a necessary tool in your job search arsenal. As you network, you will find that a large number of vacancies are not publicised and there is fierce competition for the jobs that are advertised.

An introduction to a potential employer through networking can often improve your chances, as it also reflects the strength and position of the person who refers you. Employers are looking for candidates who meet their exact job criteria and are more likely to trust a candidate who has been recommended by someone they trust.

A contact may be able to identify transferable skills and talents which you may not think are significant.

Research

When doing your research into an occupational sector, get to know the major players in that industry as well as the market trends. The internet is a good source of information, at least in the preliminary stage of your search. Most organisations have a website where you can find out about their mission statement, job vacancies and other valuable information.

You could also follow these companies on Twitter and LinkedIn to get regular updates on their activities and gain more insights. The CEO of the company might have a blog that you could subscribe to.

Your CV

On most occasions, your CV will be the first contact you have with a recruiter. While there are no absolute rules on how to write a good Curriculum Vitae, there are some principles that might be considered best practice.

  • Ensure that you have the right keywords in your CV. An OA career consultant can help you with this.
  • Where possible, steer clear of military terminology and use plain English to explain your expertise.
  • Keep your CV to two pages if possible. Keep the most important information in the first page of your CV.
  • If you are applying for a job that is very different from your current one, then include some transferable skills in your CV.

Application Forms

If an application says no CVs, then do not send a CV. If you are asked to complete the form online, then do that. Follow the exact instructions given on an application form.

Take a photocopy of an application form and fill it out first to check for mistakes; once you are satisfied with the form, you can transfer the details to the real application form.

Covering Letters

This is one of the most important parts of the job application process as it is the first chance to market yourself. Your covering letter must relate your CV to the job you are applying for. It should state how you meet the requirements of the job and the expertise you bring to the role.

Always include your address and contact details on the covering letter and ensure that you write titles and spellings correctly.

For further help with your transition register with us here.