Your job application (including your cover letter, résumé and responses to selection criteria) is often the first contact you’ll have with an employer.
Submitting a high quality job application is important because employers will use these documents to form an impression of the kind of worker you might be.
Consider what the following points might say to an employer about you:
Your résumé/application has spelling, grammar and other errors.
- This may suggest to the employer that you lack attention to detail, and might not be an asset to their business.
Your application is too long or not tailored to the job you are applying for.
This may suggest to the employer that you aren’t a good communicator or that you don’t really understand the job you are applying for.
- Even if your application is error free, the employer may think you haven’t done your research on them or the position you are applying for and therefore aren’t really serious about the job.
Your application is too casual/does not look professional (for example it is not typed or formatted correctly).
- This might suggest that you aren’t really interested in the job you are applying for.
You haven’t followed the instructions specified in the job ad.
- For example, you submit a two page résumé when the employer has requested one page, or the advertisement asks for a cover letter but you do not submit one or you are required to address selection criteria but you don't.
- If you can’t stick to their requirements in your application, this may suggest to them that you won’t be able to take direction on the job.
Employers look for candidates who understand their business. By taking the time to ensure your application is relevant, high quality and tailored to the job you are applying for, you will increase your chances of making a great first impression.
These tools provide tips and hints on writing a job application:
…Or you can browse Job Jumpstart for other ideas and suggestions of what to do next.