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Your job application needs to be smarter, shorter, smoother and simply match the criteria

Selection Criteria. If you are seeking work especially within large corporations, the job application process has become even more onerous and tricky.

The process often requires you to possess a huge amount of critical thinking, analysis and the qualities of a best selling author.

In the past, the expectation was that you responded to selection criteria. That was tough enough. Now there is a whole new world of potential suffering that manifests into paralysis and sheer fright! The expectation is that you can read between lines,and interpret any job description, and be able to respond with creative intelligence to “capability statements” or articulate answers to seemingly innocuous key questions within a cover letter (no more than 2 pages allowed)

As you wade through the pages of corporate guff, (some of which is not useful) which often includes the now trending competency percentages for the role, you are expected to interpret how you can match these required job attributes to your experiences. Sometimes you are required to be almost a literary genius!  All the responses require you to demonstrate how you encompass your competencies and your experience into great, meaty examples that relate to their job.

In the past, most applications were initially screened and handled by HR administration or  HR professionals, these were the people who first eye-balled your application and would shortlist by simply skimming  your application, searching for certain phrases or buzzwords. Here’s the tricky thing … not all applications are read by human eyes anymore. Many employers and HR departments that employ large numbers of staff, utilize scanning software to search for keywords in job applications and ONLY  when the computer pings with matches,  will they read the applications!

Regardless, it’s vitally important to make sure your application has the right keywords contained within, so that a match or a “hit” happens in the search. Please note that this is not an excuse to implant your application with a loads of random buzzwords or make it obvious that you have copied phrases and sentences into your application.

The computer searches rely on verbs and also nouns. If you were applying for a accountancy role, then you’d want to make sure you included keywords your job application, like profit and loss statements, along with using niche terms that are relevant and are integral to the role advertised.

The easier you make it for the recruiter or the scanning software to find and match your skills and qualities to the job, the quicker and easier it will be that you are shortlisted,  and the more likely it’ll be that they’ll ask you for an interview.

YES! The application process now requires a huge amount of critical thinking, analysis and the qualities of a best seller author.


Ivana Agapiou  resume writer and career adviser