Today the internet has more or less taken over the job search market. When someone wants to find a job, they don’t go to the newspaper, but Craigslist, Monster or LinkedIn.
Because of this, it’s becoming increasingly more and more important for candidates to learn how to write job applications that stand out.
It’s important to remember that many of these job positions will receive dozens, even hundreds of applications, often within just a few days of posting their listing.
If you want to stand a chance of getting the job, you need to be able to cut through all that clutter and make an impression on the recruiter.
Here’s how to do that.
The first thing a recruiter’s going to do when he checks his email is scan through all the subjects. Your subject needs to jump out and grab his attention.
Try to highlight just one thing about you that might interest the recruiter.
For example, if you’re applying for a programming job, good subjects might include:
“Former Google Employee”
“Security Expert Fluent in 7 Programming Languages”
“Programmer Who Gets Things Done – Examples Inside”
Your first sentence and your first paragraph is your most important chance to get their attention. Present the most powerful things you have going for you as quickly and concisely as possible.
If you have a reference or a contact in common, state that right upfront. For someone who’s getting a lot of emails, knowing someone they know can make a big difference.
Often times arranging your best points in bullet format will make reading easier than in paragraph format.
It’s tempting to want to go into all kinds of details about yourself and why you’d be a good candidate. Refrain from doing so.
Have no more than 4 short paragraphs or 3 medium paragraphs in your email. Your whole email should be about half a page long, perhaps even less.
Remember – Recruiters are scanning many emails at once. They don’t have the time to read your whole email in depth.
Make it short and concise. If you get the interview, you can give all the details then.
What looks good on a computer screen and what looks good on paper are slightly different.
On a computer screen, you can use just a tad bit more graphics to spruce up your resume without it looking tacky.
Definitely use a PDF attachment rather than a DOC attachment. It just comes off much more professional. If you have a cover letter, just put it in the same document as your resume as the first page. Don’t use two attachments.