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The secrets of a successful job application
Michael Page
update on Saturday, April 30, 2011

A compelling job application is essential to being noticed among many other applicants. An attractive cover letter, followed by a well structured résumé that addresses the job advertisement in a professional manner will make your application stand out to an employer.

Prepare a smart cover letter
A cover letter is your first opportunity to attract the attention of a potential employer. Begin by clearly stating why you are interested in the role. Address it to the appropriate person and mention where you found the job advertisement. List your skills, experience and attributes relevant to those in the job. Close by thanking the reader for considering your application.

Provide a well structured résumé
A résumé is your personal marketing document that shows your potential employer why you are the best fit for the position. Include all your contact details at the top, then your relevant education and training. List your career history with the job title, employer, dates of employment and your key responsibilities and achievements for each role. End your résumé by naming your referees, or stating that they are available on request.

Tailor the résumé to the job advertisement
Demonstrate a clear alignment between your skills and the job requirements. Understand what the requirements are asking of you. Match each of these with clear examples of how you have met the skills, experience and attributes that the employer is looking for. Emphasise your most relevant strengths and use similar key words to those in the job description.

Professional presentation of your résumé
Attention to detail and a well written application will indicate your level of professionalism to an employer. Clearly layout your résumé with bulleted information, lots of white space and a readable font. Ensure the grammar, punctuation and spelling is of the highest standard and that it is proof read. Use positive language and simple and concise sentences.

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