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MyselfHow to Apply For a Job?

Posted Sep 2011

How to increase your chances to be employed? Why should employer choose you instead of other candidates?

Everybody is potentially person who is looking for the job. The quest for the job is something that almost everybody is doing, usually more than once in the life. Even if you are employed at this moment, you must be aware that one day you may be looking for the job. Changing the job is something that may happen from time to time.

You may be looking for better job with the higher salary, you are looking the employer that is closer to your home, or you are looking for less demanding job.

Regarding the preparation for job application, it is necessary to know basic rules and to understand what is necessary to undertake in order to increase employment chances. After you identified the potential employer ( advertisement, internet, personal contacts, ... ) there are two phases of job application.

First stage is the writing the application. The main document of you application is the Curriculum Vitae ( CV ). The job CV needs to contain following segments:

  • General Info that present you personally: name, address, etc. Other elements depend of local requirements. In some countries it is normal to state your marital status and nationality, but in some other countries this should not be stated. Employer may demand some specific information as well.

  • Education, describing your highest educational degree.

  • Working experience is the part of the CV that should explain positions, former employer titles and periods of engagement. The list of positions should start with the latest position.

  • Training list should describe all relevant courses and seminars, general and specialist, with titles and date. Should the list be long, it is better to make a separate sheet with full list of trainings.

  • Personal preferences and hobbies should be the last part where you should describe more personal things about you.

As a general principle the job CV should be short and written clearly, one page, maximum 2 pages. Job cover letter is necessary for purpose of describing for what position you are applying for.

The application letter has the purpose to prevent your CV from being lost. Companies sometimes advertise different positions. Therefore, the CV without application letter that states at what position you are applying may be disregarded. The job cover letter should be very short and clear. Set of application documents should also include copies of diplomas and certificates, as well as other documents required by advertiser. 

Try to make your application set of documents optimized, clear and visible. Avoid writing too long CV or job application letter. Also avoid making your application set too big. Also you can send your application by e mail. Still, some employers are requiring handwritten applications, so be ready.

Try to understand that every employer usually receives tens or hundreds of applications for every position. It takes not too much for your application to be rejected, in case that you do not follow basic rules.

In case that your application brought attention of you potential employer, the second stage of employment may happen. Employers usually select certain number of applications for further selection. The complexity of the process may vary from company to company and from position to position.

In some cases the employer may arrange the testing for further filtration of candidates. The testing is covering different relevant areas: IQ tests, logical test, socio tests, technical competency tests, etc.

The candidates are ranked according the results of the tests. The ranking is usually done in several key areas. The candidates that have high rank in most areas are selected and summoned for the interview. The interview is usually conducted by 2-3 members of commission. The lead interviewer is usually the person from the Human Resources, while other members are technical experts.

Try to make your application set of documents optimized, clear and visible. Avoid writing too long CV or job application letter. Also avoid making your application set too big. Also you can send your application by e mail. Still, some employers are requiring handwritten applications, so be ready.

The interview questions are usually predefined. Still there is possibility of variations, depending of the candidate and the importance of the position. The questions are ranging from general to specific:

  • General questions about personal life

  • Reason and motivation for application

  • Personal traits that you should state

  • Areas for improvement that you should state

  • Hypothetical questions about potential situation related to advertised position

  • Trick questions ( shock questions ) with purpose of probing your personality

The list can be very long, depending of the commission, competition of the candidates and demand of the position. As the general advice the candidate should be calm, listening questions carefully, answering directly and speaking honestly. If you are nervous or avoid answering the questions you may be annoying for the commission.

Understand that you are only one out of many candidates. Commission has limited time and mental capacity, so do not try to provoke their rejection by being too emotional, closed or with expressing pre-judgments about the company or the position. Be prepared for different requests that may not be initially announced in the position vacancy. Almost every position requires willingness to continuously improve and educate. Try to learn about potential employer from the web sites. Ask friends for opinions. Be optimistic and expect realistic outcomes.



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