Top Job Application Tips To Get You That Role!

Need some help when applying for jobs? Here are some foolproof tips for you to send off quality job applications and secure the role of your dreams!


Job applications

  • Less is more; be specific!

When you’re really on a deep job hunt, it pays to have the mantra ‘quality over quantity.’ Apply to fewer applications for jobs that you would really love to get and work on making them stand out.

Spend your time writing better, detailed, original cover letters to those jobs, rather than putting in 50% effort regurgitating the same few paragraphs to several jobs. You’ll instantly find you get further.


Cover letters

  • Know the name of who you’re contacting. 

Journalists, do your research! Wherever possible, find the name of the individual who is recruiting, or the area of interest for the specific job you want. Send your cover letter to them personally.

If in doubt, find a deputy, assistant or intern. You can even ring reception or human resources and get yourself the name and job title of someone relevant. agrees: “It looks a lot better than sir/madam.”

  • Tailor your CV to every job you apply for.

When it comes to writing cover letters, for many it’s a tedious and laborious task. Understand which of your qualities are most important to a job role.

  • No one ever hits every bullet point.

Don’t let this put you off applying!

  • Formal versus flowery. 

While you want to remain polite and professional, you need to set a tone of voice for your cover letter. recommends “matching the tone of voice to that of the compans you’re applying to.”

  • Keep it brief; stick to four or five paragraphs maximum.
    1. Introduction, current job and qualifications.
    2. I’m a putting myself forward for x job because (link to background and experience).
    3. Here’s how that experience fits with the job criteria in your ad.
    4. Here’s why I really want to work for you (include personal skills eg. organisation, and show your interest for the company).
    5. Thanks and sign off.


Sending off applications

  • Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. 

It pays to spend some time re-reading your application to make sure there are no mistakes. Address you spelling, punctuation and grammar. Remember: recruiters get hundreds of applications for one job. This means that tiny mistakes can make a big difference.

  • Attach your CV – but in a PDF format!

Not everyone has the same software on their computer, so attaching CVs as a Word or Notes document can corrupt and completely mess up when someone opens them to read. PDFs are the easiest and most accessible way to send your CV. If you’re super savvy, hyperlink any work you wish to standout on your CV – but check they work before sending off the application! 

  • Put your cover letter in the email body.

Many people attach their cover letter document with their CV to an email. Recruiters don’t have time to download and read all attachments; if you’re emailing across your application, copy and paste your cover letter into the body of the email.

  • Write your social media handles, website address and portfolio address in your email signature. 

If a recruiter wants to know more about you, it’s the easiest way. Just remember to hyperlink the handles and links rather than the formatted version.


Get organised

  • Creating an Excel spreadsheet is a great way to organise several job applications. 

Make a log of date, company, job name, method of application (job website, email, letter) and further details. Create a colour code for the status of each application: successful, unsuccessful, in progress, interview or decline. This way you can clearly check the progress of your application and refer back to the data if necessary.

  • Save your CVs and cover letters.

Find a system that works for you. Perhaps it’s categorising the documents in month order; then you can refer to your Excel spreadsheet to find the exact application if there are many! It’s also helpful if you need to use a previous application to inspire you. Whatever works!


The follow up

  • Chase your application!

Don’t feel fearful to follow up your application with a polite email, especially if it’s two weeks after the closing date. You can even ask for feedback if you’re rejected, but just be aware there are normally long waits and some companies don’t give feedback due to large volumes of applicants.


 Moving on

  • Rejection is not the end of your career. 

If we all gave up and swapped careers every time we were rejected from an application, we’d never stick to one job! Don’t be put off by that company because you didn’t get the job. It’s being right for the job at the time, not the company! If it’s your dream to work at a specific place, keep applying, extend your experience and one day it could happen!

  • Confidence will bring success. 

Remember: you are no less qualified than anyone else. Be confident in your own abilities. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?


Rebecca Miller is a freelance multimedia journalist and graduate from Bournemouth University. You can check out her online portfolio here and find her on LinkedIn

Inspiring Interns is a recruitment agency specialising in all the internships and graduate jobs London has to offer.