What Employers Really Want to See in Your Job Application
For the most part, recruiters and hiring managers internationally are looking for the same information from your job application. They want to see, especially when it comes to first-time job seekers and entry-level positions, that you’re ready and willing to work — and that you’ve taken the time to make sure that that your application is clear and free from errors. Beyond that, any organization looking to fill any role wants to hire a candidate who shows interest in the industry and the role.
Along with these general characteristics you’ll want to establish in your application materials as well as interviews when you get to that point, different job markets and locations have varying expectations for applicants. To improve your chances of getting hired, these are a few of the qualities and types of information that employers want to see from your job application.
The Right Documents
The first way you absolutely must meet a hiring manager’s or recruiter’s expectations is by correctly completing and submitting the documents that are requested in the job posting. This can definitely vary by the position, but the application requirements for most jobs will ask you to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume that lists any previous work experience in reverse chronological order. If you have limited or no previous work experience, that doesn’t eliminate your chances — you can also highlight your skills, relevant education and volunteer experience.
In addition, most job applications require you to submit a motivation letter along with your CV. Depending on the position for which you are applying there may be an application form that you need to submit online or other types of materials, such as a writing sample. In order to receive consideration from the employer, it’s critical to follow all application instructions completely.
Recruiters and hiring managers use the application process to learn more about you and the other applicants beyond just your professional qualifications. Unlike other countries like the United States, in some European countries you are expected to include a professional headshot on your resume or CV — in fact, your application will compare poorly to others if you leave out this element. Personal data, such as contact information including phone number, email address and social media profiles are expected on your CV; place of birth and even marital status are common on these documents as well.
The final key element that employers want to see from your job application is that you have a definite professional interest in the company and position for which you are applying. Your application documents, such as your motivation letter, other writing samples and responses to any required application questions should first make it clear that you’ve done some research on the organization. Showing that you understand the company and have an authentic interest in the job position in question goes a long way in creating a favorable impression of you as a potential employee.
The application process can feel intimidating, and at times it’s difficult to know exactly what recruiters and hiring managers are thinking. However, by accurately completing and submitted the right documents, showing your personal side and demonstrating professional interest, you can put your best application forward — and put yourself ahead of your competition.