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CANDIDATE SUPPORT: Hints & Tips   Applying for the job Stage 1

Amended: November 2015
You need to understand…

Busy recruiters are unlikely to spend more than 30 seconds scanning a CV to decide "is this person worth interviewing?"


To increase your chances of selection, you must tailor your CV to emphasize your skills and knowledge to match the job requirements.

Some basic truths…

  The employer is the buyer. You are the salesman.  Your product is you

  the CV is your sales literature, the interview your sales call.

  People buy from people they like!

Some basic principles…

Adopt a positive mental attitude

which job shall I apply for” NOT “how am I going to find a job at my age?”

And when you find an opportunity make sure you understand your prospect’s needs

 research the company and job

 Why should they choose you?  Be specific

 Use a ‘power letter’ and customize your CV to meet the employer’s need

The ‘Power’ Letter

The purpose is to ensure the recruiter reads your CV, so spend time on it.

Make the letter
one page, factual and tailored to the job

Research the company, product and market to enhance your application,

this shows interest in them and initiative by you.

Ensure the letter is clearly and logically presented and addressed correctly to the relevant person – not always HR.

 Avoid clichés, jokes and sounding arrogant.

 State the job applied for/where advertised and include any reference numbers.


Be courteous and confident, use positive statements. For example

"Your requirement for a ........ is an ideal match for my ..x… year’s commercial experience with…………… ".

 If someone referred you, mention them by name in the opening paragraph.

 Don't over-use the word 'I'. Explain how you will benefit the company, not how the job would benefit you

Build on your CV. If the job is in a different sector, demonstrate links between the two.

Remember, this is part of your 'sales literature'.

 Provide contact numbers, times/dates when you will be unavailable for calls/interview.

 Check for spelling and grammar or even better, get someone else to do this - and keep a copy for your reference.

Don’t rely on computer spellchecker

 End on a positive note, if you say you will follow up with a call to answer any questions they may have, do so!




Contact:  Mike Saunders at


Recruitment agency providing people with experience and knowledge