9 Modern hacks to get your job application at the top of the competition

9 Modern hacks to get your job application at the top of the competition

By Joshua Nyawach

June 11th 2023

Image credit:

Applying for jobs has never been easy, especially with the growing technology and changing dynamics. Despite all this, job application has ever been a very competitive task to an extent that even the right talent for the role and great candidates misses the opportunity. I remember there were times when I was so confident that I was the perfect candidate for the role and never even got shortlisted. Getting your application to stand out requires concentration, focus, and a result-oriented individual. These few tips will help achieve that.

1. Thoroughly read the job description and requirements.

Candidates often skim through the job description without putting more focus on the requirements and specific skills. This makes them miss crucial and gradable points that add an advantage to their application and present immature applications. 

You need to think about yourself in two scenarios. First, think of yourself as the applying candidate. Read through the description noting down key points point that the employer requires.  This will help you to strategize your application. Second, think of yourself as the employee and ask yourself what type of candidate are you looking for? What skills do you want the candidate to have? How is the candidate going to fulfil that? Noting down every point as you go along and ensuring these points stand out in your application.

2. Craft your application to match the job you are applying for

I have witnessed many candidates copy and paste their applications from previous job applications or other sources. This is wrong because every job is unique with its requirement even if they belong to the same profession hence no older and copied application can match it. I am saying this because there is continuous growth and new ways to achieve things are discovered daily. By the time you apply for a similar job, the requirements will have changed.

In addition, the vacancy may belong to the same profession but in different environments or localities. Ensure that you have read and understood the description. Then, you can go ahead to tailor your cover letter and CV to match the job description.

3. Using the right keyword in your application

Companies receive a large number of applications. So, imagine yourself as the hiring manager and you have to go through thousands of CVs and cover letters. 

There is a way to achieve that and companies use software to scan through the applications. The software relies heavily on keywords to scan and point out the applications. Read through the application, identify and note down the keywords. Ensure that these keywords appear in your application. 

If you are not sure how to do this, copy and paste the job description into your CVs and cover letter and change the font colour to white so that it is not readable to the human eye but it remains readable to computers.

4. Make your application (CVs or Resume) easily skimmable

It may be right for employers to skim through your application but not for you to skim through the job description. 

Ensure that your CVs and resume are summarized in bullet or point formats highlighting your best achievements.

Use easy-to-read and medium-size font between 11-13px and proper formatting. Make sure that you pass the information easily and comfortably without straining the recruiter. Most employers will ignore applications due to messiness and improper formatting.

5. Be focused and result oriented in your application

Employers are always looking for a candidate who gets the work done and delivers great results. It is your responsibility to prove to them that you are the type of candidate they are looking for.

Use numbers to show and prove that you are the right person. For instance, you used a specific tool to increase online sales by 15%. In addition, applying actions words such as “I led XYZ in shifting to digital marketing “to help in strengthening your points. If you have any quotes from your referees, this will be the right place to add them. 

6. Proofread your application

Attention to detail is always a requirement for a job application even when it is not mentioned in the description.  Most people have missed out on opportunities due to one or two typing error mistakes.

Take the time read through your application before sending it. This will enable you to spot simple mistakes such as grammar and typos. Please make sure that you correct all the mistakes before sending out your application.

7. Apply the STAR technique in your application

Use this technique to communicate and convey important information more clearly. The STAR technique will help demonstrate your capabilities and achievements as a potential candidate who is more fitted for the position. 

Have a look at this example by MichaelPage:

Situation: Describe the situation in which you completed a task or faced a challenge at work. 

Example: My team was tasked with conducting market research for a new high-value client.

Task: Describe your responsibility or role in the situation. 

Example: I was responsible for collecting, sorting and summarising survey results from target markets in eight locations.

Action: Describe how you completed the task or met the challenge. 

Example: I used the X system to identify relevant survey participants and collect responses. I then visually presented common themes and insights to the client and made recommendations as to the next steps.

Result: Explain the outcomes or results achieved by the action taken. 

Example: Based on my research methodology and strategic recommendations, the client doubled their budget with our company.

8. Build a strong online presence

A strong online presence will help strengthen your application by giving further information about you. Building a strong LinkedIn profile that you can share with employers will further strengthen your application.

Another way social media can help you stand out is by engaging directly with the company you are applying to. Follow their activities and actively participate. This will not only build confidence in your will application by making you look like an insider but will also help you learn more about the company you are applying to. 

9. Follow up on your application process

When you are sure that you were a great contender and you have not heard anything for a period since you applied, it will be reasonable to follow up either via email or by making a direct call. A follow-up phone call to the recruiter may go a long way to support your application.

To conclude, putting the extra effort and demonstrating a genuine interest in the role at the main keys to success in a job application and a better chance of being hired.  My greatest is that you succeed in your career and find a great place to grow. Follow the tips and apply them in your job applications.

Share this article:
Create Job Alert!

Get jobs sent to your email