Application Instructions: 5 Tips to Ensure Your Resume Gets Considered

Application Instructions: 5 Tips to Ensure Your Resume Gets Considered
Image: Ivan Samkov, downloaded from Pexels

Following the application instructions on a job listing can be crucial in determining whether or not your application is seen by the hiring manager.

When employers include specific language about what they’re looking for in application materials, this is the first test to see if prospective employees read carefully and tailor their materials accordingly.

Below are five tips to help ensure that you have followed directions to get your application read.

1. Pass the Test

Thoroughly read application instructions. This is the easiest way to make a good first impression, by catching any details they’ve asked for and including them in your application.

If the employer does not specify to send both a resume and cover letter, be sure to send both! Unless the employer specifically says not to send a cover letter, then include it anyways. Many employers use this to screen applications. 

If you don’t include a cover letter, at least send a personalized message within the body of the email. If it’s an online form, there is frequently a place for “Additional Materials.”

2. Trust The Power of the Checklist

Applying for multiple job opportunities, each of them with their own application requirements? Simplify the requirements text into a checklist. Then, when the time comes to submit your application, make sure to check each item as you upload them. This exercise will force you to read application requirements more carefully and minimize the chances of you forgetting to include any application materials. 

For example, some applications may request writing samples in addition to your resume and cover letter. Others may ask for examples of social media posts you’ve produced or created. Your checklist will vary depending on the type of positions for which you are applying.

3. PDFs are Best

Avoid sending your resume and cover letter as links to a shareable drive. The employer will most likely not open the link, because they do not want to risk getting a computer virus. Instead, send your resume and cover letter as a PDF to avoid any potential formatting issues.

4. Name Your Application Materials Appropriately

We’ve all made countless versions of our resumes, but be careful not to name your resume “version 16.” Also, be aware when naming a document for a specific company. You wouldn’t want to accidentally reuse it for a different company without renaming it. Keep it simple, like “Resume_LastName.” 

Other times, employers may have asked for a specific naming convention. In this case, always follow the application instructions!

5. Don’t Neglect the Subject Line

For the subject line, follow the employer’s instructions. If there are no instructions provided, create your own clear subject that includes your name and the position title. Here are more email subject line tips from The Balance.

– Mary-kate Grohoski, Sales Manager

Put these tips to use by finding your next job on NYFA Classifieds, the go-to listings site for artists, arts administrators, and museum professionals. Follow us @nyfa_classifieds on TikTok for more creative career tips.

Mary-Kate Grohoski
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