There’s no doubt the job market in Australia’s a bit too crowded ever since the pandemic hit the country. If you’re struggling to get your foot in the door, here’s a few tips to help improve your chances, and it starts with acing your job application.
Why is your job application so important?
Employers have been receiving hundreds of job applications for a single role. That means the competition is tougher than ever before and where you could get away with meeting 70-80 per cent of the criteria, you now need to hit home most, if not all, of the points dictated in the job spec.
Until the economy recovers, it’s unfortunately going to be slim pickings if your industry of choice has been greatly affected by coronavirus, and maybe just as difficult if there’s a big demand for the jobs in your area of interest.
We spoke with Kathleen McCudden, Group Human Resources Director at SEEK, to give us her top tips for getting noticed in a crowded job market.
“With candidate applications on the rise across a number of job categories, including Administration & Office Support, ICT, and Accounting; competition for roles will increase,” McCudden told Lifehacker Australia.
“There’s no denying that we’re entering a crowded job market, but there are some useful tips to help you get noticed.”
How to make your job application stand out?
Here’s what McCudden advises you should do:
Find your unique selling point. Think about what you could bring to the role and what makes you the best person for the job.
Highlight leadership. Recruiters and employers are often impressed with leadership skills so make a note of this in your application.
Mention relevant examples to accompany your skill set.
Follow the instructions about how to submit your application and address all the components requested.
Update your profile [on whatever job site you’re using]. Employers can refer to your profile when assessing your suitability for a role by proactively searching through your skills and experience — so the more relevant information you include about yourself, the better your chances of standing out.
Earlier this month, we discussed the mistakes on your resume and cover letter that may be hurting your chances of landing a job. It’s an important read and very closely tied to your job application as a whole. There’s no turning back once your application has been submitted, no second chances to correct even the tiniest of errors. I don’t mean to discourage you but it’s what’ll keep you from getting your foot in the door.
I also can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get a second and even third set of eyes on your job application, especially if you’ve spent a lot of time on it. Make sure to approach a friend or a family member who isn’t afraid of being critical, and even if it makes your skirmish, you need to take onboard any criticism with an open mind.
I’ve had plenty of friends feel discouraged when someone’s made multiple suggestions on ways to improve their application. In the past, I myself have hated the feedback but after moving countries every few years and looking for a new job, it’s what’s helped me land back on my feet.
Top tips if you’ve made it through to the interview process
If you’ve made it through to the interview process, McCudden said you should keep the following pointers in mind:
Answer questions directly: If you’re in an interview, rather than making your answers general, try to pinpoint situations that relate to the question and explain what the outcome was.
Ask insightful questions: Stand out by showing that you’re genuinely interested and that you’ve done some background research on the role.
Even if you’re a good talker, you need to prepare beforehand and read up on the company, what its values are and what it’s looking for. You may be given a few curve-ball questions that could throw you off your game if you haven’t prepared properly. And as already mentioned, giving examples is everything.
We’d love to hear from you if you have any tips of your own to share from past experience. We’re all here to help each other out.