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Applying for jobs

There's a lot more involved in applying for jobs than simply registering with a couple of online job sites. Like anything else, the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. If you want to get a good job - one that pays well and offers you the chance to advance your career - then it's worth taking the time to do the work needed to maximize your chances of success.

Many people go about applying for jobs in a very haphazard or unstructured way. They see a job they like and apply for it, or register with a jobs website and wait for a great opportunity to drop in their lap. However, if you want to land a really good job you need to think about how you can go about selling yourself to potential employers.

When you are applying for jobs, put yourself in the position of the employer. They want to fill the job quickly with someone they can trust to get on and do the job - your job is to show them that you can meet their needs.

That means you need to be professional in everything you can do - your CV, cover letter, or application form need to be short and to the point, contain no grammar or spelling mistakes, and tell them clearly why you are the right person for the job.

That doesn't mean making outlandish claims, what it means is demonstrating how you meet their needs - based on the job description and person profile - and showing how you have made a difference elsewhere. Highlight your strengths, your achievements, and be sure to tie them in to the particular needs and demands of the position you are applying for.

Those rules apply whether you are applying online, filling in an application form, or sending a CV and cover letter. Whatever the format, your job is to sell yourself and make it easy for the employer to select you for an interview.

You can make this process easier for yourself by having a standard CV and cover letter - templates - that you then adapt for each individual job. Don't be tempted to short cut by sending the same basic CV and cover letter for each job, take the time to make it individual, by relating the key points to the job you are applying for.

Additional information

Selling your skills | Making online applications | Application forms | How to write a cover letter