How to tailor three different types of job applications


Employers use different ways to recruit staff. If you understand how employers recruit, you can match your application to their needs and improve your chances of getting the job.

Some common ways include:

1. The electronic keyword match

Some recruiters use scanning software to automatically reject résumés that don’t include these specific words. This approach is often used by employers who use online jobs boards or recruitment agencies.

For more information on including an employer's keywords, read our article 'Why you must use keywords in your job application'

2. The short and sweet approach

Some employers specifically ask for a ‘brief’ résumé (1 to 2 pages). These employers want to make a quick decision and don’t have time to read anything too detailed.

For more information on writing a résumé, check out our article 'Building your résumé'.

You could also consider writing a 'one-page pitch' for these employers.

3. The detailed story

Some employers (usually larger business, including government agencies) ask applicants to address selection criteria, and provide a tailored résumé and cover letter.

Employers use their selection criteria to check your suitability for the job. For example, they might ask you to describe experiences working in a team, meeting a deadline or dealing with conflict in the workplace.

For further information, check out our article 'How to address selection criteria.

These tools can help you: