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It is always exciting to see a job opening that fits your search. Even if you have been applying for many, seeing an exact match for that dream job is often a trigger to apply as soon as possible. After all, you want to be well ahead of other applicants in getting the hiring manager’s attention and don’t want to miss the deadline, if there is one.
Speed, however, can undermine your chances of landing the job. For many people who hold other jobs or are just busy in their life set-ups, job searches can happen at any time of the day. If you come across a dream job opportunity at midnight while heading to the bed, being excited about it and putting your application together while not fully focused can be disastrous.
Remember, you do know that you are the right fit for the job, but the job application inclusive of the covering letter, email and resume must communicate this to the hiring manager. If it doesn’t, the package will be tossed aside and you will miss out. So how can you avoid this fate? Here are a few ideas to keep you organised.
If you see the news of the job opening on the phone late at night, during a vacation, or in any similar situation where you can’t immediately assign full focus and resources, don’t give in to the temptation. Think about the best time to sit down and get your application together.
The time should be solely dedicated to the job application. Don’t do it during work hours when you are concerned about coworkers and supervisors being around. Don’t do it while taking care of children. Just assign an hour or two to sit down at a proper desktop or laptop, research the company, review your documents, and write a proper cover letter and email.
If the job opening is that good a fit, you should be able to communicate why in the covering letter. And even though picking up a recently sent letter can be much easier, do spend time in revising and customising the communication.
This dedicated time for job applications may appear to be a big investment if applying for many jobs. But in reality it makes your applications stand out from other applications, which places you ahead of them.
You don’t want to send several emails because you forgot to attach required documents, or worse, because you sent the wrong documents. So develop a checklist while answering a job post for all the requirements that should be included with the application. For example, this checklist can include the resume, cover letter, salary expectations, reason for changing jobs, letters of recommendations, copies of school/college transcripts, etc.
Once you have your email ready to go, make sure all of these items are included.
To be sure, double check the names of the files attached before you hit “send”. Many people have all their applications in one folder and while they customise a resume or write a nice cover letter, they end up picking and sending an old one by mistake.
The point is: take your time. Yes, you want to meet the application deadline or get the application in as soon as possible, but spending these extra few minutes can make the whole difference in getting a response or not.
Of course, all of your communication should be free of spelling and grammar mistakes. It is also important to pay attention to other details. For example, if you refer the title of the job being applied for, make sure to get it right and complete. If mentioning the employer’s name, double check the spelling, capitalisation, etc. If you’re not sure if the hiring manager is a man or a woman, take a look at the company’s website or LinkedIn, so that you address this person properly.
Why? Because these minor details give a better impression of your skills, professionalism and interest. Getting hired is a decision that is based on so many factors that go well beyond your technical skills, education and past experience. In a competitive job market, you simply need to present the best image of yourself. So, don’t rush.
* Slow down to apply
* Have a dedicated time for job applications.
* Review your materials before you send them.
* Customise your application.
* Be accurate and pay attention to details.
Source: Rania Oteify, Special to Gulf News