3 ways to impress when you apply for a job

istock 3 ways to impress

Over the past decade, a lot has changed with how people search and apply for jobs. What hasn’t changed is the importance of a tailored CV and a strong cover letter.

We’ve put together the ultimate job guide to help you on your job quest. In it you’ll find lots of useful information, like these top tips to make your job application stand out with a knockout CV and brilliant cover letter.

1. Compile a knockout CV

A CV paints a picture of who you are. It needs to demonstrate how you’ll add value to an organisation, what you do well, and what problems you’ve helped solve. It must be tailored to the job description.  

Recruiters spend their time looking at the following areas of a CV first:

  1. Past job titles.
  2. Previous employers.
  3. Start and end dates of previous jobs (this demonstrates continuity and longevity).
  4. Qualifications.

Include this information towards the top of your CV if possible.

These days employers place a lot of importance on emotional intelligence (EQ) or desirable personal attributes. Honesty, friendliness, a good work ethic and enthusiasm will get you far in the modern workplace.

Demonstrating your personal attributes in your CV will help the employer form a picture of how you’ll fit into the culture of the company. 

2. Get your foot in the door with a brilliant cover letter

A cover letter provides the opportunity to stand out and demonstrate to a company that you’re a good match.

Cover letter tips:

  • Cover letters must be accurate and correct.
  • Don’t repeat your CV – instead use your cover letter to show personality, curiosity, and an interest in the company, role and industry.
  • Keep it succinct, and to the point.
  • Use clear, concise, exciting language with strong verbs like organise, demonstrate and perform.
  • Link your skills and work experience to the job description.
  • Clearly demonstrate how you’ll be of benefit to the company and solve its problems.
  • State what the motivation is for your application.
  • Proofread and edit what you have written.

3. Think before you press send

It takes a lot of effort to craft your CV and cover letter. Don’t let yourself down when it’s time to send it.

Here are some important things to consider when you submit your CV:

  • Follow up your application with a phone call. This can set you apart from other candidates who haven’t made direct contact.
  • Email your CV whenever possible – don’t post or courier it unless the job advertisements requests you to.
  • Put your cover letter in the body of the email when you submit your CV – send a read receipt request so you know it’s been received.
  • Double-check there isn’t an online application to fill out.

For more inspiration download our free job hunters' guide for 2018. It's packed with tips and advice on how to help you stand out in today's competitive job market.

Find out more

Check out these helpful articles to support your job hunt.


  • Eremedia, ‘Why you can’t get a job – recruiting explained by the numbers’, accessed January 2018, (www.eremedia.com)