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How to Get Your Job Application Short Listed

This article is for those who send out a lot of job applications every week, but rarely get a call back. When an employer publishes job opening ads hundreds, if not thousands, people apply – but only a few receive interview call. Have you ever wondered where the other applications end up?

Here is the answer. There are two key factors most employers focus on to shortlist the pile of job applications. Those are:

Cover Letter


These are common things but a lot of people neglect them while applying in a hurry. Let’s see why these documents are important and how employers use them.

Cover Letter

Cover letter is sent along with resume. Most employers would look at the cover letter before opening your resume. If somebody does not care sending a cover letter or send a two-liner informal paragraph as job application, chances are high that the application would be rejected readily. Even eligible candidates might lose their candidature because of faulty and inappropriate cover letter.

Cover letter is a part of resume, so take it seriously. It should reflect your understanding about the job offer, the reason why you think that you are suitable for the position and a brief professional summary. The cover letter should convey the message that you are very serious about job search.

There should not be any grammatical mistake. The sentences should be proper and the entire content must be paragraphed to maintain readability.

Before you start writing the cover letter, make sure you have done following tasks:

Read the job offer repeatedly

Make sure you are suitable for the position

Research the organization

The letter is your only chance to impress the employer, hence it should reflect that you know your abilities very well, you understand the job profile and you have researched the organization to know more about them.

Impressed with the cover letter, your employer turns to your resume.

Resume Writing

This is your second and final chance to impress the recruiter, hence take the process of resume writing more seriously. Most people do the mistake of using one resume format for all employers. Don’t do this. Customize your CV according to the job requirement. Add a small professional summary on top, remove the parts that are not required, present your positive sides first so that the employer finds you to be an eligible candidate for the position at the first glance.

Browse internet to find out sample resume to see how a professional resume looks like. If possible take a tutorial on resume writing or consult career counselors to know how to write resume.

Many job portals offer resume writing tips. Before uploading your CV on job portals or while writing cover letter and resume for a particular job offer, go through the guidelines once more. A little bit consciousness on your part might help you get the job easily.

Steve McMains is a career consultant and entrepreneur. For more information on preparing for a job interview he recommends you to

Image taken on 2007-03-31 14:38:18. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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