GNcareers, from Gulf News

What to do before sending your job application

CV MakingImage Credit: Supplied

Many job candidates seem to ignore many critical segments of job posts, which include, for example, specific questions, requirements or requests. This could be one way to go around a question that can’t easily be answered like stating past compensation or requested salary or a way to bypass requirements that don’t exactly match the applicant’s experience.

But in many cases, candidates who do that are simply seen as less than interested in the jobs they are applying for. They even may be considered negligent or disrespectful. When hiring managers include requirements and questions in the initial job post, they are trying to find a way to screen applicants and shortcut the process, your lack of cooperation is an easy way to get excluded very early in the hiring process.

Although it is understandable that answering questions and providing an application that is complete with all the requirements can take a good amount of time, doing so shows that you sincerely are trying to get the job. In many cases, if you’re being selective about which jobs you’re applying for and what you’re trying to achieve, you may find that you’re not doing this extensive work too frequently. In short, go for quality over quantity in applications.

In all cases, when it comes to job applications, speed is never recommended. You will need to get your application sent in a timely fashion, but that doesn’t mean you should rush to ship it off without a thorough review of what you’re sending.

Here is a checklist to go through before sending your job applications.

Updated resume and cover letter

Are you back to the job market after a break or many years in a job? Don’t pick up your last resume, add your last position on top and send it off to employers. Look into how your last position fits with the rest of your experience and review the entire resume to make sure that it is relevant to the kind of jobs you’re applying for currently. For example, if you’ve moved to a middle-management position, you may need to review your resume to make sure that it clearly highlights your progress.

In addition, be conscious of the changes in your industry and the overall job market. Use your resume and cover letter to convey your commitment and dedication if these could be points of concerns in a high-turnover industry, for example.

Similarly, if your industry is going through many changes and you’ve been up to catching up with these developments, plug in your recent certifications, designations, etc that highlight your efforts and how you meet the industry’s current requirements. Updating your resume and your cover letter regularly and reviewing them before sending them to a new employer are key in making sure that you’re sending the right message.

Questions answered

Employers may have questions listed separately at the end of the job post or hidden in the post itself. That is why it is important to always read the job word by word carefully. Any questions need to be answered thoroughly and clearly. Make sure that your answered reflect your actual expectations and thoughts. These questions are usually a way to early screen candidates and will be a basis for proceeding with your application or not.

In addition, any questions that require extensive writing, like those investigating what you can bring to a job, need you to think carefully before sending your answers. These answers will be scrutinised by hiring managers and can be your best chance to lay out your pitch for why you make for a perfect candidate.


If the job post clearly lists specific requirements, it is important not to overlook them — without a comment. If you think you still make a good candidate despite your lack of certain requirements, provide clear explanations why. Don’t expect hiring managers to connect the dots on your behalf or find you excuses. It takes hiring managers seconds to toss away a resume, so make sure that you are providing concise and logical points regarding any knowledge or qualifications that you’re missing.

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to gulfnews.comGN
The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor