Saturday, July 21, 2012

Working Smarter: Are You Serious With Your Job Applications?

When you apply for a job, do you pay attention to the advertised requirements, write a strong application and make your best effort to appear like the winning applicant? If you do, you may be in a minority.

Recently I have assisted with recruitment for a Northern Territory Government agency and was very disappointed with the abysmal standard of applications.

The positions advertised were professional positions paying between $70 - 90,000 dollars (AUD), were permanent public service positions with superannuation, six weeks recreation leave per year, generous personal leave  and numerous other benefits.

Rather than focus on what the applicants didn't do, here is some advice to keep in mind when you apply for a job:
  1. submit the application and all accompanying documents that have been requested eg, if a statement addressing selection criteria is requested, send one
  2. produce grammatically correct, proofread, professionally presented documents and make sure your name and details of the job for which you are applying are in the document ... usually the footer
  3. make sure the content only applies to this job. If you use text from a previous job, make sure you proofread it and update it
  4. don't apply for a job for which you are obviously not qualified. A good rule of thumb is that you should meet 60-80 percent of the selection criteria. The more the better
  5. show from your application that you have gone to the trouble to prepare a quality application. If you produce sub-standard work for your job application, what quality work will you produce in your new job?
Some of the applications I reviewed came from foreigners who appeared to be applying for anything with the hope that they would get an interview. One person had a string of university qualifications, none of which met the "essential educational requirements" of the job.

Don't waste your time and effort applying for a job unless you really want that job and are willing to submit a top quality application.

If you are confused about addressing selection criteria, you could consider buying a copy of my title: "Writing Responses to Selection Criteria". I've sold thousands of copies that have helped people master the art of addressing selection criteria.

If you do nothing else but comply with the five points above, you will greatly increase your chances of successfully finding the job you want.



  1. Anonymous11:13 PM

    It takes so long to complete the applications, much of the content in selection criteria are bullshit. That's why people don't bother to do them.

  2. I agree anon, however, life is about hoop jumping. If you don't jump the right hoops, you don't succeed.


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