Maximise Your Application
This article is not an exhaustive list of actions you should undertake when applying for a job but a short list of key points that many ex-military jobseekers do not take into account within the application process. It can be relevant to either an application direct to an employer or through a recruitment agency.
Always remember the person(s) considering your application is likely to be reviewing a very large number of applications and can be ruthless when drawing up a short list of those they wish to invite in for an interview. It is therefore vital for all ex-military persons, whether ex Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force (RAF), to ‘Maximise Your Application’. Providing you are applying for a job for which you believe you are well suited, the following steps will help towards you gaining that all important first interview:
Your CV MUST reflect the job for which you are applying. After all you would not gain many bids on Ebay for your treasured DVD collection with a poor description. Most CVs include a short personal profile early in the CV which is tailored towards that specific job.
A short well written covering letter can excite the reader into believing that you are a very strong candidate even prior to reading your CV.
Your covering letter does not need to be long but should include relevant key points regarding why you are suitable for the specific position including experience and qualifications. Remember to mention your location and availability for interview and employment.
This was mentioned in the paragraph above but is worth highlighting again as it is a vital component, especially if you are willing to relocate or, like many people leaving the Armed Forces, moving to a specific location close to the job in question. Failure to do this could result in your application being disregarded at a very early stage.
The Follow Up Call
Amazingly a lot of applicants believe that submitting their application as instructed, suffices as ‘job done’. Disappointingly if you want to be ahead of the competition you need to call the agency or employer to:
- Ensure that they have received your application.
- Gain an opportunity to tell them that this is the job for you and why.
- Ask when you will receive a response.
If you manage to get through to the decision maker, not only will your CV and covering letter come to the top of the pile but, if handled correctly, this call will directly help you secure that all important face-to-face interview.
Remember to make a note of the person you have spoken with and their contact number so you can follow it up if you do not hear anything.
Keep a Record
Chances are you are making quite a number of applications and therefore it is important that you keep a record, including a copy of the job descriptions. This will ensure that when you receive that initial call from the employer/agency expressing interest you will be able to quickly recall the application and give a good first initial impression.
Your Email Address
Make sure you have a sensible email address such as ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and not ‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. You will be amazed how many people have silly email addresses some of which cannot be printed here and they do not give a good impression.
Your CV File Name
Make sure that your electronic CV reflects your name i.e. joe_bloggs_cv.doc. Also save it in a common format such as Microsoft Word. Failure for the employer/agency to be able to easily locate or open your CV can result in an early rejection.
Include Your Contact Telephone Numbers
This seems to be a sensitive issue for ex-military personnel but face the facts, do you or do you not want someone to call you? Also remember to ensure your answering service is activated so missed callers can leave a message. There is nothing worse than to miss that all important call.