How to Write an effective Job Application or Resume

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Before you begin writing your resume or job application letter, do some groundwork. Consider what information you want to include and you must be always aware that space is limited. Remember, this resume is making a case for your candidacy for the position. But you can do better than just regurgitating your resume — instead, highlight your most relevant skills, experiences, and abilities.

Job applications forms or resume, whether online or on paper, are the first essential step to getting a job interview. This step-by-step guide explains how to give employers the information they need to put you on the shortlist.

Step 1. Prepare yourself
Step 2. Find out what the employer wants
Step 3. Write your application
Step 4. Final checks

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Applying for a job online is similar to filling in a paper application form. The questions will be the same; only the format is different.

Allow plenty of time and make sure you won’t be disturbed. Some online forms allow you to ‘save and return’ but some have to be completed in one sitting.

Job application checklist

Here are some final checks before you send off your application form:

  • Are your personal details accurate?
  • Have you spelled the employer’s name correctly?
  • Have you filled in all the fields?
  • Have you signed the form and cover letter?
  • Have you kept a copy?

Job application tips

  • Take your time: it could take several hours and a lot of concentration to complete an application form.
  • Think about what’s behind each question: what are recruiters looking for?
  • Keep a copy for reference: if it’s a paper form, photocopy it; if it’s online, print it out before you hit ‘send’.
  • Make sure you meet all the employer’s criteria and make it easy for them to see this.