Writing the application for an Interview Selection

Application forms are a prelude to interviews. It gives the interviewer a picture of the candidate before his actual presentation. It has a bearing on what happens during the interview. And if it is not done well enough, it is the end of the road. So it is vitally important to be correct at the right earnest, i.e. at the time of applying for a job, which must show the person in the best possible light.

Before you begin to fill in any application form, make sure you have read and understood any accompanying notes. Unless your handwriting is illegible or the form specifically asks for typewriting, it should be neatly handwritten.

You should view your application and CV as a whole and not separate documents. They must complement each other and must have a common theme. The letter should not be verbose. Remember that the recruiter often goes through the applications at the rate of 4-5 per minute. For this reason your application must be easy to pinpoint and draw attraction.

The fact is that while a well-written letter can not ensure you an interview call, a badly written letter will ruin your chances of being called at all. So when writing an application letter following points may be noted:

  • Personalise your letter: Your letter must be unique to you. Do not use a form letter or a letter copied from a source.
  • Address your letter by name: Even if you do not know who the recruiter or the HRD Manager is, it is advisable that you try to find out the same and address your letter on his name.
  • Mention the position in the subject of your letter: Stating the position/post for which you are applying, in the subject line of the letter and on the envelope, helps you to get to the right desk faster and with less risk of it getting misplaced.
  • Refer to your resume: Your letter should not be a summary of your resume but should highlight the key points and important parts of your resume.
  • Conclude with the action plan: At the end of the letter you must state the outcome which you are looking for. Just don’t say that you are looking forward to a favourable response. You may conclude with a specific statement calling for that action like, “I will call your office to request a personal meeting. I look forward to talking to you then.”

Like the resume, you can make an impression through an unusual application. Especially when you are sending a forced application for a job and your letter has to convince someone that you are worth calling for an interview. It is equally helpful when you are trying for a job with a lot of applicants out of whom only a few shortlisted ones will be called for an interview.

A casual but deliberate use of wit/humour is advisable. Though the calculated gamble may at times give wonderful results if the nature of the profession demands such, it is not compulsory for each letter. For example, for an advertising job if your application reflects that you are interesting and have a sense of humour, the combination is clinching.

It is you who have to figure out which kind of letter is appropriate for the job you are applying for. The application for an advertising job may work for a public relation or event management company as well but would be totally out of place for a banking or research.

If your application is an unsolicited one, you should express your keen interest in and aptitude for the kind of work you are applying for. In the concluding paragraph of the application, you must hold out a brief but firm assurance indicating that you will prove yourself by virtue of efficient and sincere performance and devotion to your duties if appointed.

Lastly, make a confident, polite and direct request to the employer for an interview on the ground that you would like to substantiate the statements made in your application as well as answer his question on any point that you may not have made clear. It is imperative upon you to write that you are available to call on him at a time of his convenience.

The application checklist:

  • Your application has all the requested documents
  • Use a covering letter and enclose your resume
  • Your application looks well laid out
  • You can provide documents/testimonials to every claim in your application
  • It focusses on you strength vis-à-vis the job requirement
  • It draws attention to the important points
  • Your resume is job-specific and company-specific
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes are not there
  • Never conceal or exaggerate any fact
  • Do not pity yourself or sort of beg in your application

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