Rule One – The Basics
With each application form you will receive a job specification, to secure a job interview all you need to do is evidence that you possess the skills required and have the experience needed for this job role.
To highlight your skills you need to record real working examples of the essential criteria, mainly in the personal profile and employment history section. Employers will also check you posses the required qualifications’ under your current training and qualifications’ heading.
The applicant who possesses all the essential criteria and move is offered the job interview.
Rule Two – Standing Out
Most applicants will have the required qualifications and experiences which is why they have applied for this position, what you need to do is stand out from the crowd. To stand out you need to highlight on the application form what unique value you can offer IE what skill or quality do you possess that will increase company profit, turnover or production, etc?
By having a unique skill or selling point, will add value to the organisation you are applying to, as an example if you have a gift for turning underperforming companies on the brink of bankruptcy into a profitable business, then a company in this situation can’t afford to lose you.
Rule Three – Personal Information
The first section on the job application is simple; add your contact details, past employment history (give a brief summary only here of your role and duties, making them relevant to the job role) and your qualifications. Ensure you follow the application form rules and if required write using a black pen, etc. One important aspect of the application form is the position you are applying for and the job code boxes, because large businesses recruit hundreds of people a year and HR will only know the position you have applied for by this important code.
Rule Four – The Profile is King
The key to securing job interviews is the application form profile as this is the section that will confirm you have the required essential criteria, while you sell yourself through your unique selling point (making you stand out from the crowd)
The job specifications that accompany the job application form tells you in detail, what requirements the employer is looking to be evidenced on the job application form and the importance the employer places on each criteria.
The job criteria will be recorded under either desirable or essential criteria – it is a must that you have all the essential criteria and most or all of the desirable criteria. It’s even simpler then that, the employer on the job specification will also tell you where they will measure this criterion which either via the application form or the job interview.
If you need to add additional pages to the application form, add them and make a note (and give a reference number to each individual page) in the application form so an employer does not miss this vital information. But as more application forms become available online extra pages are not required as text box will in-large itself – just beware of any word count limits.
Rule Five – Selling Yourself
Use headings to split up your text on the profile; the essential criteria requirements make the best headings. If you do not like to use headings follow a format so information is not missed or duplicated throughout the job application form.
Start with an opening paragraph; a mini summary that can highlight your best strengths and skills in 4-5 lines, ensuring you highlight your unique selling point. The opening paragraph must intrigue the employer, encouraging them to read your statement in more detail.
Avoid writing general information such as “I’m a good team player” write how your experience has made you a good team player, employers are looking for real work related stories to evidence your skills.
You have to prove to the employer that you understand the job role, duties and industry. The best way to prove you possess this knowledge is to record that you have completed the essential criteria in a past role.
At the end of the personal statement, write a brief summary why you have applied for this role, what has made you pick this particular role and/or organisation?
Re-write your application 2 more times, each time edit your statement, deleting negative language and adding more positive stories; you want this statement to be the best it can be, ensuring you get a guaranteed interview.
Rule Six – The Application Cheat
Now you have a completed application form, an application form that really highlights your strengths, skills and unique selling point, you are ready to start over again for the second or third job you want to apply for.
To save time on online application forms, keep a copy of your completed application form as a draft copy and use this as the basis of all your future job application forms. When writing a new application form, copy and paste the statement from your original application into your new one, edit each new application/profile to make it relevant to this new position and company, this will save you a large amount of time.