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How to put yourself ahead of the competition when applying for a job

When you apply for a job you’re in direct competition with everyone else who has applied for the same role. Employers will glance over your CV and decide if your previous experience looks like a good fit for their vacancy.   If, for whatever reason, your CV or application doesn’t make it immediately obvious that you’d be a good match for the role, chances are you’ll miss out. In person you might be fantastic, but unless you get through that initial screening you’re never going to get the interview to prove it. 

Cover letters are a great way of ensuring you highlight the parts of your CV most relevant to the role you’re applying for.   If you’re struggling to get to interview and you’re not quite sure why, the following advice might help give you the edge:

Read, relate, read again

You’d think it’d go without saying, but make sure you read the full job description before applying for anything. Employers will use the skill requirements and role responsibilities from this document like a checklist when shortlisting people for interview. Those who clearly tick the most boxes are much more likely to get to interview.  Part of this, of course, is having the right skills in the first place. But just as important is highlighting the skills when you do have them. So many well qualified and skilled workers miss out on an interview because they simply do not show they have the skills in a succinct and easily readable way. Summarise in your

Cover Letter

A cover letter can be a daunting prospect but it shouldn’t be. All you’re doing in your cover letter is summarising the key points of your CV which are most relevant to the role you’re applying for.  The difference between being invited to interview or not could be in the cover letter. Ensure you’re succinct and to the point, ideally not writing much over 250/300 words. Use bullet points to really emphasise your skillset and save you having to write long paragraphs. 

If in Doubt, ask for More Information

If you’re struggling on a specific piece of information or the job description is bare bones and you need to clarify something, contact the employer/recruiter and ask. Not only will you get the answer you need, but you’ll show the employer/recruiter that you’re thinking about the role and are genuinely interested. Also, as an added bonus, by doing this the recruiter/employer will know who you are and have spoken to you directly. This is likely to give you a boost over the opposition.

Ask The Business Connection!

If you’re applying for one of our roles and you’re unsure on anything, give us a call in the office or send us a message. Our expert recruiters are ready and waiting to support you in securing your next role!