Questions you should ask yourself before applying for a vacancy

Written by: Laura Sullivan
Published on: 5 Mar 2018

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Laura Sullivan at TopCV, the largest CV-writing service in the world, shares the questions you should ask yourself before investing in another job application.

CV questions

There are thousands of jobs available all over the nation with top employers seeking the most talented professionals for their latest vacancies. But once you’ve seen a role that looks like it might be suitable for you, how do you know if you should apply or if you should wait for another opportunity?

Ask yourself these three questions to find out:

Does the role align with my goals and aims?

One sign that you should apply for a job is if it matches your essential criteria. If you’re job searching correctly, you will have some requirements in mind, such as the job title, industry, level of authority, salary, and progression opportunities, to name a few.

Check that the vacancy fulfils most of your prerequisites. Some factors may be non-negotiable, such as the industry or location, but you might be able to afford some movement in other factors, such as the salary and benefits packages.

Weigh up the entire role, from duties to company culture, to see if it looks like a position that matches your needs and career goals. Don’t fret if it’s not a complete match as you may be able to negotiate some factors later in the application process.

Do I match the job’s requirements?

While you might be desperate for a new job that matches your needs, there’s little point in applying for the role if you don’t match the candidate requirements listed in the spec.

If you’ve found a vacancy that you like the look of, scan through the listed requirements to see if you’re the right fit. Look at the objective criteria, such as the level of qualifications and experience, and additional soft skills, such as communication and organisation, and decide if you’re suitable.

Note that I’ve used the terms ‘right’ and ‘suitable’, not ‘perfect’. In the world of recruitment, the perfect candidate is often non-existent. Instead, hiring managers look for job hunters that are the best fit as everyone’s experiences and expectations of a role are different. Therefore, you don’t need to worry if you fall short of a few requirements.

Providing you’re not massively over or underqualified and fulfil at least 80% of the spec, prospective employers should consider your application.

Does my CV show that I’m the ideal person for this position?

Once you’re sure that the role is right for you and that you fulfil the role’s requirements, you need to display this alignment in your CV. If you’re armed with a generic copy of your CV, spend some time tailoring the document so it presents you as the professional the employer seeks.

Tweak your profile so that it references some of the essential requirements immediately. For example, if the employer is looking for a candidate with a 2:1 degree in human resources and you have this, mention it in your profile to make your suitability clear from the start.

Identify the keywords and phrases mentioned throughout the job spec and inject them naturally throughout your CV. By making subtle references to the job description in the employer’s own language, you make it clear that you’re a match for the role and deserve that all-important interview.

TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly-written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. It is currently offering a free CV review to help you land your dream HR role.

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