If you apply for a job with a mining company, or think you may want to work overseas, you will find yourself writing job applications that go through application tracking systems designed to weed out poor applications before a human sets eyes on it.
You need to know how to get your job application past the application tracking systems.
Nothing Beats a Good Job Application
Don’t turn yourself inside out trying to beat the algorithm. Your application can end up sounding phoney.
The application tracking system will scan your application for keywords that are in the job advertisement.
If they are looking for a professional tap dancer you need to use the words “professional” and “tap dancer” in your application.
If you do tap dancing but have never worked professionally put in a Career Goal at the start of your document that says that your dream is to work as a full time, “professional tap dancer“.
Then you can talk about your tap dancing qualifications and experience that lead to this dream under traditional headings like:
Just list your qualifications, where you got them and when. A table of qualifications may take on a life of its own in cyberspace and end up a jumble when it is downloaded.
You can put in headings like:
- Academic Qualifications
- Dance Qualifications
Stick to what is important. If the professional tap dancer is required to work in a team you can talk about your experience working in a team at the local coffee shop where you were required to work under pressure and support other team members. Mention “team” in your answer.
If you can’t make your coffee shop experience add to your story, leave it out.
It will be best if you have a referee who is a professional tap dancer.
The Prime Minister may be your first best friend but he is not going to have any credibility with employers looking for a professional tap dancer.
Don’t Get Fancy
- Pictures of your latest tap dancing performance won’t be picked up by the application tracking system. Leave them out.
- Just save your application in Word or as a PDF, attach it and send. Don’t get fancy with Google Docs or Dropbox etc unless they say that is what they want.
- Use Grammarly to check your spelling and grammar before you send off your application.
- I don’t like pictures of applicants. It is an equity issue AND the application tracking system may not be able to read the picture.
It’s an Online Social World
If your application gets to a human, they will check you out on social media to save time BEFORE you get called in to an interview.
- Start building an online profile that makes you look like the sort of person who would succeed as a professional tap dancer.
- Set up your LinkedIn profile and start building your reputation as a committed tap dancer.
- Join local and world online tap dancing groups. Build your reputation.
The Future of Job Applications
Don’t panic if you can’t get your head around algorithms and key words. Just write your best application. Remember:
- In Western Australia most employers own small businesses so they won’t be using application tracking systems, and even some IGA stores just have a form that you have to fill in.
- 60% of jobs in Western Australia are not advertised. Read Network Your Butt Off to Find a Job.
There are some seriously cool job application apps coming through which will make it easy for employers to find out about you… but probably harder for you to make your application shine. There may be a future in writing seriously cool job applications for these apps.
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