A Guide to Creating the Perfect Job Application Packet in 2021

In a market as competitive as now, people looking for jobs must put their best efforts possible into every aspect of the hiring process to ensure their chances. The hiring process has become fairly standardized, with the typical resume, cover letter, and interview process following suit everywhere. Despite a somewhat universal approach, people continue to make some of the most common mistakes in their job application packet.

Here’s how you can create a job application packet that employers will not only want to go through but appreciate, increasing your chances of getting hired:

Accomplishments and Qualifications Audit

Before you’re in a rush to start compiling the documents that you need to present to your employer, your first step is to do an accomplishments and qualifications audit. One of the most common mistakes people make when writing their resumes and CVs is that they don’t have a general outline of what they have to write and what they need to omit. There’s extra emphasis on the latter in some regards. Unless you’re applying for an acting role, it’s not worth mentioning that you played Toto in The Wizard of Oz for your 4th-grade play.

Depending on the position and job you’re applying for, you have to list and explain your prior work and educational experiences in a positive light that explains how you’re a fit candidate for the job. People prefer hiring those that have some grasp of the fundamentals of the work they’re going to do, so any amount of knowledge and experience is a bonus.

Résumé

The two most common mistakes that most employers report are in the resumes they receive and regarding the length and information quoted. A resume presents the reader with your past education and experience in the easiest to skim form possible. Following a reverse chronological order, explaining them very briefly the basic details of what you did.

You must pay attention to the keywords available in the original listing and incorporate them throughout the resume in a seamless fashion. You have to do all of that while keeping the document under one page. While beautification isn’t a must-have, your resume must look clean, easy to read, and divided into sections so that people can quickly skim to relevant sections and find what lies wherein a single glance.

Cover Letter

A cover letter’s purpose is to be a bit more detailed than your resume rather than a skim-worthy piece. It should have vital information about where you sell yourself. One of the biggest mistakes people make in their cover letter is also one of the most commonplace errors – sending the identical cover letter to multiple employers. Before you start jotting away, ensure you’ve gone through the details in the original hiring listing. If you’re applying for a Java developer position, all your Java projects, skills, and experience should be front and center without excessive exaggeration.

A person typing a document on a computer.
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The cover letter should present you as someone that fits the requirements for the listing. Your experiences and formal education work should reflect that, so it should be highlighted above the others and emphasized without exaggeration. Another major selling point is explaining to them what you’ve achieved rather than what you did. For example, don’t just say that you managed the marketing team for 3 years. State that your efforts as marketing manager resulted in 15 successful campaigns throughout your tenure. Numbers and results are crucial.

Recommendation Request Email

Having a recommendation only emphasizes the case for having you on board as an employee. It’s a sign of competence and character, and willingness to offer assurance in the hiring process. A recommendation request email is an email you send to your potential recommender so that they can write a recommendation letter for you in return.

The recommender may or may not know all of the details, so it’s important to present them with the job listing and other crucial details such as your accomplishments and qualifications. An excellent letter of recommendation requires you to cooperate with your recommender so that all of the details that they present in the final draft present you in the best light possible.

Interview Follow-up Messages

Once you’ve had your interview, it’s a strategic move to send a follow-up message to them later on. These can be hand-written notes, letters but ideally, they’re emails or courtesies. They’re an excellent way for you to inquire about your hiring status and present a continued interest in the position. In some cases, if you’re aware you made a blunder or missed out on any aspect of your interview, you can elaborate the point, later on, to correct a mistake or gain extra points in their book.

Conclusion

A job application packet is something you should divert your focus towards. Many of the documents will require several drafts to accumulate a single document that provides all the details without being excessive. Comprehensive doesn’t mean exhaustive, and you have to keep the information centered on presenting you as the best candidate possible for the work.

Two people discussing a job application packet.
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Your goal is to offer them value as an employee, not the other way around. If you’re having an issue creating any of the required documents, it’s recommended you work with services that have expertise in creating such documents.

Are you struggling to get past the job application phase? Been through various iterations of your resume but haven’t found one that sticks? Consider getting help from professionals. You can find professional resume writing services with Resume Professional Writers; we offer help on resume, resume review, preparation, and resume critique services. Our professional resume builder and CV writing services aim to help you be the shoo-in candidate for wherever you apply. Regardless of the industry, we cater to all.

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