Employers often receive hundreds of job applications for a role, and will probably interview only four people. That's about a 2% chance of you getting a job interview. Scary odds!
So, how do you get your job application noticed? In addition to making sure you use the language from the position description throughout your CV and cover letter, and clearly selling how you meet the key selection criteria (which I have talked about in multiple previous posts), here are two simple things that will impress the hiring manager and might move you from the 'maybe' to the 'yes' pile.
1. Find out the hiring manager's name
In a sea of cover letters starting with 'To whom it may concern', 'Dear Sir/Madam', or 'Dear Hiring Manager', your application addressed to the correct person will stand out. It shows you have made an effort with your application - and all it takes is a phone call!
If the name of the manager isn't listed in the job ad or position description, simply call up the organisation (even the main reception number) and ask! Explain that you are applying for the job and want to address your application to the correct person. People are normally happy to oblige.
2. Use the same template for all your documents
Does your cover letter match your CV?
Make your application look more professional by using the same header (with your name and contact details) on both documents, and make sure you use the same font size and colour. Not only will it look more professional but it will make it easier for the selection panel to find your documents, as well as make a good first impression.
3. Choose a clean, modern font and layout
As popular as Times New Roman is, it's also a little old fashioned.
It's better to use a nice, clean font like Ariel or Calibri. The 'light' versions of popular fonts also look nice in a CV, as does including some blank space. Space makes your CV easier to read, so consider 1.5 line spacing and decent paragraph breaks.