12 things you MUST do before submitting your job application

Posted by | October 1, 2013 | CVs and cover letters, Job hunters, Looking for work

Job application checklist

There are some simple things you can do to your job application that will make a BIG difference to your level of success. They are small things, but they can be easily forgotten, especially when you are at that final stage and have been agonising over it for so long. Here’s our job application checklist of some simple things you should think about before clicking send!

#1. Have you triple-checked your spelling and grammar?

And then checked it ten more times after that? Or even better had someone else look over it?

This is REALLY important. Employers are often inundated with a large number of applications, and in their first cut they are not looking for a reason to employ you, they are looking for a reason to eliminate you from the process.

#2. Have you researched the organisation?

It’s important to show in your cover letter that you know what they are about, what they are trying to achieve and how you can help them to do this.

#3. Have you found out who to address your cover letter to?

“Dear Sir/Madam” just doesn’t quite cut it. It shows you haven’t done your research.

#4. Have you condensed your CV to two pages (three pages at the maximum)?

In New Zealand, long CVs are not generally a great idea. As I said before, in many cases employers are going through loads of applications, and they don’t want to read an essay.

#5. Have you ensured your cover letter is not more than a ¾ page long?

There’s a saying I love; ‘I wrote you a long letter because I didn’t have time to write you a short one’. This is because it is hard to be concise. But it is important, so put the time in.

#6. Have you addressed everything they mentioned in the job ad/description and related your experience to it?

This shows you are clear about what they want, how you can provide what they need and ensures you address all the areas they want to know about.

#7. Do your referees know you are looking for a job?

Have you asked them to be a referee for you? It is polite and professional to ensure you ask your referees if they are willing to be your referees. It also gives them more time to think about how wonderful you are before they get the call.

#8. Is your email address appropriate?

[email protected] probably doesn’t look too professional. Even though it’s the account you might use all the time, you could set up a new one with your real name, and redirect it to your other email address, so you don’t miss it.

#9. Are you Linkedin?

If you are, update your latest job information on Linkedin and try to get an endorsement or two from people. If not, set a profile up. If you were looking to hire people and you had the internet at your fingertips, where would you look for a background check?

#10. Have you added your signature or a digital signature to your cover letter?

This detail does matter to some people.

#11. Have you applied the way they asked you to?

If they have an application form on their website, download it and fill it out. Read the fine print and make sure you are submitting it in the format they want.

#12. Lastly, did you attach your CV and cover letter to your email?

Yes, seems obvious, but in the heat of the moment, think before you push send. Also a bonus tip: I highly recommend PDF’ing your CV and cover letter so that your beautiful fonts and formatting don’t go astray!


Do you have any tips to add from your job application checklist? 

Let us know in the comments section below. Otherwise, best of luck with the job hunt!


Liked this post? You might also like our blog posts: Win that interview: 10 Steps to create a combat ready cover letter and our CV makeover Q&A.

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