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Resume writing tips, career advice and interview strategies to help you get the job you want!

How to make sure your job application isn’t discarded!

Identify and follow ALL instructions to stop your resume from landing in the discard pile!

Apply these 3 tips to your resume today!

Tip 1: Read the instructions very, very carefully!

When you find a job on SEEK, you want to apply for, don’t just hit the apply button and upload your resume and cover letter and hope for the best. There’s always something in the job advertisement or the role description that you need to respond to. So read it very, very carefully.

“Warning! Don’t just hit the APPLY button and hope for the best! Read the instruction FIRST and do everything you are asked to.”

Once you have found your dream role, you need to make sure you find all the information you need to apply. You do this by:

A common error made by job seekers is submitting (or not submitting) a cover letter. My advice is to see what the job advertisement or role description is requesting. Also, find out what kind of cover letter they want you to submit. They are not all the same!

Tip 2: Identify and write down every requirement!

Once you have found all that information you need and you have gone through it with a fine-tooth comb, you need to highlight or note down every requirement they are asking for. In a well-written job advertisement, you will find information about the company, an overview of the role, a list of main duties and then a list with a heading, “The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the following”.

You are looking for key requirements and the keywords used. When responding to the key requirements in your resume, cover letter or even a selection criteria statement, you need to use the same keywords as the job advertisement or role description.

Make note of everything and make sure you know what is required.

Go through your resume and other application documents and find the words you’ve used that mean the same and swap them for the employer’s keywords. The more you “mirror” the way the employer speaks the more likely your application will spark interest. This will increase the likelihood of the employer wanting to speak to you.

What do you do when you can't find the details of what they are looking for?

Not all job advertisements make it easy to identify what you need. For example, I was checking out an Administrative Assistant for a Grammar School and the job posting on SEEK was well written. At the end of the advertisement, the applicant was instructed to download the role description. The problem was there was no link to this document. 

So, what did I do? The only thing to do was hit the APPLY button and see where it took me. I ended up on the company’s website on a page displaying the exact same advertisement on SEEK. Scrolling all the way to the bottom I found the link to the role description. But, alas, the role description did not tell me what documents to submit. I still did not know if they wanted a cover letter and/or a selection criteria statement. Can you imagine how frustrating this would be for a job seeker?

The only option left to me now was to go through the online application process so I hit the APPLY button again and filled out all my details. When I was nearly at the end of this process I finally found out that I needed to upload my resume and a cover letter. 

WARNING! Not all cover letters are the same. Read the instructions carefully and if you are asked to address the key criteria in the role description then you are being asked to submit a selection criteria statement.

Make sure you know what kind of cover letter they want as they are not all the same. Read the instructions carefully and if you are asked to address key criteria, or a list of key requirements, in the role description then you are being asked to submit a selection criteria statement (in disguise). This is important as a selection criteria statement (the short cover letter version or longer traditional version) needs to include examples from your work experience proving you can meet or exceed the criteria/requirement.

Do you get the idea about how many HOOPS you sometimes have to jump through just to find out what you need to include in your application?

Tip 3: Check and check again that you have covered everything you've been asked to provide or do!

Can you see how important it is to read everything and follow every avenue to find out exactly what the employer wants you to provide in your job application?

My key takeaway for you...

Once you are sure you have covered EVERYTHING

Hit the submit button! Your chances of getting an interview will be increased because you’ve made your best effort to respond to everything the employer has asked of you!

If you would like to know more about the author Kathryn Burke, click here.

When it comes to job application documents our expert Career Consultants and Resume Writers know how to match YOU to the employer's needs.

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