15 tips for a successful job application

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Catch the attention of the recruiter and embark on an exciting career adventure!


You are now ready for your next adventure: finding a new job! The first step is already behind you, you found a job offer that suits your qualifications. Now what? Here are a few tips to help you put all chances on your side and catch the attention of the recruiter and embark on an exciting career adventure.

  1. Read the job offer carefully

Sounds basic. So, you’ve read it once already? Read it again! Reading it (at least) twice will help you understand it better and catch nuances you may not have got the first time. This will also allow you to better grasp the company culture, wording and note keywords to be reused in your application or special instructions when sending your documents (no recruiter wants to receive an application by e-mail if they mentioned you need to fill out an online form).

  1. Keep your CV relevant (and short)

You are now about to update your CV. Obviously, it should be clear and easy to read. Also, don’t be afraid to keep your work experience relevant. Though ANY experience is rewarding, it’s OK not to mention the summer job when you were 18 as a waiter at a beach bar for three weeks if you are 30 and applying for a position as an engineer. It’s not about having as many experiences as possible, it’s about being the right fit for the right job. This will help you avoid making it too long as well. Recruiters receive dozens of CVs; they don’t want to end up with a 4 page CV detailing every single little task you completed.

  1. Adapt your CV

Keeping your CV relevant for the job you are applying for is also important. Every job is different and requires different qualifications. This is the reason why you should adapt and put a focus on the skills that are necessary for this one job. Your CV will tell a different story for your next application since the expectations will be different.

  1. Fill the gaps

A personal project, a long trip or any other reason for a 6-month gap (or more) is worth mentioning. It will help the recruiter understand what happened during this period of time and reassure them instead of worrying about it. You can also show what this experience taught you or the soft skills you gained.

  1. Add figures

Again, the objective is that your CV is easy to read so that it stands out of many applications. By mentioning figures about your achievements, the recruiter will understand quickly how much experience you have and what you are able to manage. For example: validation of 2 production processes, 6 projects completed, etc.

  1. Speak the recruiter’s language

Talking about languages: telling someone your level of English is “good” or your German is that of a “beginner” is more of your personal interpretation. The best way is to tell about any language certifications you obtained. If you have not gone that far, there is a European framework of references to evaluate your language skills. Use it! “B2” makes it much clearer than any adjective. Needless to add: be honest, or the recruiter will be annoyed – and you might end up finding yourself in an embarrassing situation.

  1. Don’t get confused

If you mention “Soft skills”, make sure you do mention interpersonal competencies like team spirit, problem-solving attitude, or creativity. Your technical competencies rank under “Hard skills”. Not the other way around. If you are unsure of a title you are using, ask Google for a double-check.

  1. Proofread all your documents

Nowadays, this one is an easy one. Activate the spell check, you will get to correct a good 90% of grammar errors easily. But no computer beats the human brain, so please proofread all of your application documents, and in case you are not comfortable with grammar, it is also ok to ask for some help.

  1. Make it look professional

Do you remember how we mentioned in the first tip that your job application is your first assignment for this company? Well, this is also a glimpse of your way of working for the recruiter. You would not show up at a client meeting dressed as if you were going on holidays. It is the same for your documents: give them professional file names (avoid the “CV_final_2_2_finalfinal”) and create a new professional e-mail address if you don’t already have one (and keep gregthefunnyguy@gmail.com for your family and friends).

  1. Review before submitting

Did we mention proofreading already? Yes, we did. Well. Review the whole application before clicking on “Submit”. Would you want to read it if you were the recruiter? Yes? Ok, you can click now.

  1. Keep track of your applications when on a job search

It would be too easy if we only had to submit ONE application to be invited to ONE interview and then get this ONE job. Since you will be sending a number of them, keep track of your applications in an excel file for example, save the job description and all of your application documents in a file mentioning the name of the company. It will help you in case you are invited to an interview!

  1. Update your LinkedIn profile

It’s all about digital today. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile yet, create one and keep it up to date (and professional… did we need to mention that again?). Recruiters WILL google you and if you can make a good impression in the digital world as well, it’s some good extra points for you.

  1. Be ready to talk to a recruiter

You clicked on “Submit”. This means, somewhere, some recruiter has your contact details and will hopefully be interested in your profile. Remain reachable, and be ready to talk about you, give some availabilities for an interview, your salary requirements… and keep the “Hey what’s up?» again for your family and friends only, in case you are 200% sure it’s them calling.

  1. Use your network

We ALL have a network. At the beginning of your career, it’s your family, your former classmates (who also most probably happen to have a family…) and then it grows with you and your professional path. You may know someone or know someone that knows someone working for the company you applied for. It’s definitely not a 100% guarantee, but it can give a little help to your application. Some companies like agap2 even reward their employees for any recommendations they make, so don’t hesitate.

  1. Use LinkedIn

In case you can see who posted the job offer on LinkedIn, contact them directly and send them your CV (don’t forget to mention the job you are applying for… they might have posted more than one job offer) to shorten the process and show your interest.

So… now let’s get this application sent. By the way, have you checked our career page? https://agap2.com/swiss/en/jobs/