Job Application Tips from the Employment Experts at Friday Services
Many employers today accept only electronic employment applications. At Friday Services, we ask all job seekers fill out our online job application. Some employers ask candidates to send in their resumes and cover letters by email. Here are a few tips that will improve your chances of making a positive impression–and hopefully land you an interview that will lead to a job offer.
1. Read and follow all instructions.
It sounds simple, but you would be surprised how many applicants miss out on jobs they want because of careless errors. Before you complete an online job application or email your resume and cover letter to an employer make sure you read and follow all instructions carefully.
For example: some job postings instruct you to name your electronic documents in a specific way. If an employer asks for all submitted resumes to be named in this format: LastName_First Name_Resume_Date, and John Smith sends a file named: My Resume chances are the hiring manager won’t even look at it.
When you don’t follow instructions, this sends a signal that you have hard time following directions and are not detail oriented. When there are dozens of applications for the same job, the hiring manager has no incentive to rename or sort through files that don’t work within their organizational system.
2. Name your resume file with YOUR name and a description of the contents.
If the job posting does not indicate how you should name your files, don’t use generic file names such as Professional_Resume_2015 or Cover_Letter. Documents named like this can easily get lost in the shuffle. Always include your name and use the same format to name all of the documents you send: Jane_Smith_Resume and Jane_Smith_Cover_Letter.
3. Write a cover letter if one is requested.
If a job posting asks for a cover letter, take the time to write one that shows your communication skills and is specific to the employer you are applying to work with. An email that says, “My name is Jane. I am interested in your position of Administrative Assistant. I have attached my resume. Feel free to call me at your convenience for an interview.” is NOT a cover letter.
Positions that ask for cover letters are usually looking for a writing sample and answers to questions such as: Why are you applying for the job? How does your skillset and experience fit with this position? A cover letter is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd of applications. Also, many employers will not review incomplete submissions.
4. Email your documents from your own email address.
Send all requested materials from your own email address. Don’t have someone else email your materials in for you. It is confusing for employers when John Doe sends his job application, resume, and cover letter from Jane Smith’s email address.
5. Make sure you attach all documents to your email.
You’d be surprised how often job seekers forget to attach resumes or other important documents when sending in applications by email. Most hiring manager will not reach out to ask for it. They have plenty of other candidates to consider who sent everything in.
6. Have someone else read your application, resume, cover letter, email…etc.
Spell check does not catch every error. “I now you will find my experience to be a great match for your company” will pass spell-check but doesn’t give a good impression. A mistake on your resume can cost you the job. It is especially important to have someone else review your resume and other materials when you are applying for an office job.
7. For those emailing a potential employer from a Gmail account: make sure your profile picture is appropriate.
Jonny Experience may have a great resume but a profile picture of Jonny standing on a beach shirtless with a jumbo margarita may not go over well with hiring managers. Many businesses run their company email through Gmail so those profile pictures are visible. You should be aware that these pictures automatically load in the email.
8. Ask for Help if You Need it!
Applying for jobs can be a stressful experience. If you need additional guidance or help, Friday Services is here to lend a hand. Our Team has 35 years of experience helping workers in Western North Carolina find the right jobs. Submitting your online employment application to Friday Services is easy. Once your information is in our system our staff will handle the job search for you. It is like applying for lots of local jobs all at once.
Some of the top employers in and around Asheville, NC, including Black Mountain, Fletcher, Arden, Brevard, Mills River, Hendersonville, Morganton, Clyde, Etowah, Flat Rock, Horseshoe, and Mountain Home, all turn to Friday Services to help them recruit talented workers for their open jobs.