4 Easy Ways to Make Your English Job Application Stand Out
This is it.
The job you’ve been searching for.
Limitless opportunities for advancement, a cool and flexible, English-speaking work environment and the best and brightest colleagues in the industry.
And it pays almost twice your current employer!
It seems to good to be true. It’d be like strapping your career to a rocket and launching it into orbit!
You write your cover letter and resume and attach them to an e-mail.
You’re just about to click send but…
Are you sure you’re ready to do this?
Let’s not leave anything to chance.
Do these four things and the hiring manager will have no choice but to pick you.
Build Relationships Beforehand
Does anybody at the company know your name? Are they expecting your application?
If the answer is no, then don’t hit send. You’ve got a little bit more work to do.
Ideally you’ve been networking and either know somebody or know somebody who knows somebody at the company.
But if you don’t, do not panic. You still have options.
The best option is to reach out to the company directly (calling is always better than e-mail).
If you speak with the human resources or hiring manager then you’ve struck gold!
A simple question, followed by a “thanks” and confirmation of the correct e-mail address to send your application, and congratulations, you’ve already separated yourself from 99% of other candidates for the position.
If that somehow proves unsuccessful then you can use the power of social networks like Linkedin to contact employees, or previous employees of the company.
The goal here is not to ask this person for the job. The goal is to ask questions and make your name known.
Responses may vary from “sorry I don’t know” to “send me your resume, I work with the hiring manager”.
Either of these results is better than blindly sending your application to an e-mail address on the internet. Companies are receiving hundreds of resumes for the most desirable positions.
This low-risk technique is a way to separate yourself from the competition, with a huge potential reward: the job of your dreams.
Use Confident Vocabulary
Your vocabulary should be confident across all communication.
Confidence doesn’t mean arrogant or disrespectful in any way.
Confidence means speaking and writing like you truly believe that you are the best candidate for the position. If you don’t believe it then why will the hiring manager?
Then you need to show through your skills and examples why you are the best candidate for the job. Descriptive adjectives and verbs are the key.
All of your correspondence, written or spoken, should give the same message.
You should be able to tell anybody in less than 60 seconds, why you are the best candidate for the position.
It is always shocking to me when people stumble on what should be the simplest question in an interview. Why should I choose you over the other seventy-five candidates?
Again, be aware of, and confident in, what you have to offer the company.
Your skills, experience and polished business English make you a hot commodity in the job market.
Just as you should establish contacts at the company before you even send your application, you also need to follow up at every step until you get the job.
This means ending with an active rather than passive conclusion in your cover letter, and following up on the day that you say you will if you have not heard from the company.
Then after your interviews you need to send follow-up e-mails. I was tempted to write “thank-you’s” but didn’t want to sound like I was condoning the use of the standard “thank you” e-mail template that you find online.
Don’t be afraid to ask a question, make an interesting observation or even express concerns.
Remember, your goal is to stand out from the competition and confidently remind the company of your qualifications.
By letting your contacts know that you are also evaluating the company, you will demonstrate that you are aware of your value in the market and increase your probability of getting hired.
About the Author
Jason Gower is the creator and instructor of Expand Life Business English courses. He has more than fifteen years of business experience and has learned both German and Spanish to a C2 level. Click to learn more about Expand Life Business English courses.