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How to Make Your Job Application Stand Out From the Rest

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Make sure that your letter doesn't end up in the waste paper bin by using this short but handy checklist.

Employers receive so many application letters, so if you want to bag that job you will need to get your letter noticed. Here are some tips to make sure you get yourself on the shortlist for an interview.

1. Start each paragraph with a positive statement that includes a verb. This allows the prospective employer to paint a picture of what you CAN do.

For example:
  • I consistently achieve and often exceed my targets
  • I manage my time effectively
  • I am able to prioritize
  • I am proactive and solution focused
  • I am able to persuade others to try new ideas

2. Give concrete examples wherever possible to back up your positive statements.

For example:
  • I have successfully increased the sales in my department through employing effective research strategies and monitoring their success
  • I recently designed a system that enabled the company to track repeat custom, which has enabled better performance
  • I initiated a staff induction programme and designed a staff handbook to support new employees in the organization

3. Back up general, overused statements with something personal.

For example:
I am hard working and enthusiastic because I am committed to ensuring personal and team success

4. Make a statement about your attendance - companies view this very seriously and many people omit this information.

For example:
My attendance record throughout my working career has been exemplary

Address all of the points required in the job and person specification. As an experienced short lister, I can reveal that if this is not the case then your application will not be successful. Employers spend a lot of time in the recruitment process and are expecting CVs and letters to address the key points stated in the job application information.

Remember that a letter of application is actually a showcase to back up the facts in your CV with concrete examples. It should be at least one page of A4 and no more than 2 pages.
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