Three ideas to to make applying for jobs easier

Posted on: 8 February 2021 by Kimberly Pegg, third year Business Management student in Hints, tips and advice

Applying for a job, especially as a student or graduate, feels like a full-time job. Having a high-quality application will help you stand out against hundreds of competitors, and lead to success. It can be di-heartening getting rejected from the first stage, and not being able to receive feedback. Below are some ideas and resources to make the job application process easier.

CV Database

Create a CV database, with everything you have done, modules and additional courses of activities. Noting down job responsibilities and course details will help you remember key points down the line. An effective CV will identify skills developed in these roles and provide evidence to showcase how you achieved this.  Using a STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result) will signpost to future employers you have the desired skill. When working on a job application, you can go through this resource, and create a CV based on the skills mentioned in the job specification and use the examples most relevant to the job. LinkedIn Learning has created a helpful course to ensure your CV stands out called ‘CV Success Master Class’, and one on ‘Personal Branding (Creating Your Personal Brand)’, which will give you a better understanding on how to market yourself. LinkedIn members can also use CV Assistant in Microsoft Word for examples, suggested skills and additional articles to read to result in the best possible CV.

Skills Audit

Create a skills audit, identifying skills required for potential jobs, and find evidence to back this up. This will be really useful for applications as well as interviews, as it will remind you of specific skills. In particular, identify transferable skills, which will be used in many jobs. These include communication, time management and organisation, to name but a few. LinkedIn Learning Blog has created a post “Top Skills Companies Need Most in 2020 – And How to Learn Them”, which will give you a useful starting point.  Undertaking an audit will highlight gaps in your skillset, which you can generate and develop throughout your time at university and beyond. LinkedIn Learning has over 16,000 courses and tutorials and is an excellent way to boost skills. Why don’t you check out LinkedIn Learning’s ‘Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills’ course, which covers a range of skills and you can earn a certificate of completion to showcase on your CV and LinkedIn profile.

Application Support

Every job application will be slightly different, and it is crucial that you tailor your application to fit that job. The initial application will vary, between a CV, cover letter and question forms, but often the information required for applications will be similar. Spending time on improving the quality of your applications will pay off. Ways to improve include:

  • Use LinkedIn to reach out to company employees to see if they have any additional insights or tips for you. They might have been through the same application process and might help you avoid mistakes.
  • LinkedIn Skill Assessment tests you on skills including Excel and PowerPoint and highlight to potential employers your talents, and make sure colleagues have endorsed you on skills such as teamwork and communication, as these will be showcased on your profile for employers to see.
  • Keeping track of information, questions asked, and answers will be really useful through the long application process. Asking for feedback to continuously improve current and future applications.

The right job is out there for you. The application process might seem tedious, but through having a strategic approach, and focusing on the quality of applications, will lead to success. The steps highlighted above will hopefully make the process simpler and more manageable.

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Keywords: hints and tips, apply.