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How to write an application to match a job description

(14 Posts)
PegsPigs Wed 02-Dec-15 21:12:43

I'm currently on maternity leave but the perfect job has come up within the team I work closely with so I'm applying by 11th December.

I have applied for another job while on maternity leave (totally different department) and got good feedback but didn't get an interview. Another internal candidate got it. I went through every bit of the job description and said why I met it and included examples where relevant. It took me 9 hours and 7 pages over several weeks and my DD is sleeping worse since then! I know that's not the best way to apply as they'll get bored and skip bits that turn out to be important but I don't know how best to filter which 'essentials' to focus on. I have to get this job or I will look like a total idiot when I return to work and work on a weekly basis with the 'successful candidate' if it's not me. So no pressure but I really want to show them how I can meet their criteria without spending hours or boring them stupid! Thanks for any advice you can give me.

iwannadancewithsomebody Wed 02-Dec-15 21:26:06

I would highlight briefly how you meet the essential requirements such as " I possess excellent communication skill, am able to work well within a team environment and am more than capable of following instructions" blah blah to cover the specific requirements for the job.

Keep it short and straight to the point, they can ask for examples at interview if need be.

They don't need to know every detail of previous employment, that can usually be worked out from the job title.

You should also tell them why you would be the best candidate, tell them the skills and qualities you have but again there's really no need to evidence it unless it is specifically asked for.

You must be doing something right to get to the interview stage-good luck!

toffeeboffin Wed 02-Dec-15 21:36:00

Sounds like you included too much detail in your first application : 7 pages is too much.

Make sure your resume is spot on - tailor it to the job description.

I. E. Essential Skills - team work = Worked closely with a team of nurses to ensure patients wellbeing.

Don't just say what you did, say what it achieved.

Are you asked to send a cover letter?

Your resume just needs to get their interest so they invite you for interview. Then you can give more detail.

toffeeboffin Wed 02-Dec-15 21:38:21

Think short, punchy sentences, not long drawn out prose.

Each point on your resume should only be one line.

Use a Ms Word resume template to make it look professional.

lougle Wed 02-Dec-15 21:51:38

It depends on the field. In the NHS they have a scoring matrix. I didn't get an interview for a post, so I asked for feedback. I'd scored 9 points but needed 12 points for interview. Included in the feedback was that the post asked for good IT skills and I hadn't mentioned them. The fact that I'd completed an online application process and had RSAs in word processing, etc, was irrelevant. So just saying 'I am a proficient computer user' would have scored an extra point.

PegsPigs Wed 02-Dec-15 22:11:49

Thanks everyone. There's no CV or covering letter just a Word doc supporting my application (public sector so scoring matrix like lougle)

I've actually been on the interview panel twice with the person whose job I'm after so know how they work but I still need to put the evidence in the application or they will not be able to give me the points to take me forward for interview.

WipsGlitter Thu 03-Dec-15 06:51:42

Seven pages is way too much. It shows you can't summarise key points and puts the shortlisted off.

Are there essential and desirable criteria?

confusedandemployed Thu 03-Dec-15 06:55:39

It very much depends on the field and the application format.

In general I would agree that 7 pages is too long - but, in my field a 2-page CV and a 2-3 page covering letter is expected, so that's not far off your 7 pages.

PegsPigs Thu 03-Dec-15 09:08:09

Yes 7 pages was way too much but that covered off all the points in the job description. How do I decipher what the essential bits are? 5/6 of it says essential and there's only one bullet point that says desirable!

lougle Thu 03-Dec-15 10:51:25

Well you have to be a bit clever in how you address the person spec. 7 pages is just far too much. You don't have to write a paragraph for each requirement. Say the spec includes budgeting, project management and attention to detail: one paragraph that says "in my role at x company I managed x project with a budget of £××××. I pay attention to detail and was able to make considerable savings by eliminating wastage. This resulted in the final cost of the product coming £xxx under budget." That's a rubbish example but you can see how 3 or even 4 criteria can be dealt with in one paragraph.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 03-Dec-15 10:57:07

Don't go into detail. If there is a scoring matrix I'd suggest one bullet per essential then a para summarising the desireables. So if the essentials are project management, able to manage stakeholders

- An experienced project manager, in my last job I managed project x which had a budget of y
- While managing project x I was responsible for influencing a number of stakeholders, including a, b and c, which meant the project completed on budget and ahead of schedule

Keep it really short and sweet, they'll then draw it out in interview. But you just want them to be able to go 'tick, tick, tick' as they read your application.

PegsPigs Thu 03-Dec-15 13:45:49

Yes lougle I think I need to be canny in combining a few essentials into one paragraph. It's so hard because public sector job descriptions are basically just long wish lists (in my experience anyway!)

Lonny yes I want the tick tick tick without having to write 7 pages!

WipsGlitter Thu 03-Dec-15 14:16:29

A few lines - say four when it's typed out for each essential should be enough.

Jane555 Wed 05-Apr-17 04:45:58

Special CV templates may be? There are tons of them in the web. It is not obligatory to write the 100% truth smile I just subscribed to www.templatemonster.com/resume-templates.php to get premium resume template from reliable guys, just don't know when it will be released.

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