We all know writing is an important part of the job application process. No matter what kind of work you're looking for, be it hospitality jobs or something else, you will have to prove that you have some writing skills, because virtually all employment begins with a written application.
But as well as ensuring that you write with care – that your application is error free, that it's concise and that it has all the right details, for example – you also need to learn the art of careful reading.
Before you even get to the point of applying for any job, the first thing you'll tend to see is a job advert. And though it's tempting to scan this once, decide the job is for you and fire off an application, it could be that taking the time to analyse the ad more thoroughly will pay off in the end.
Applying for a job that doesn't actually suit you may not seem like it would cause many problems – but it can waste time for both you and the person reading the application. Giving the ad several read-throughs and thinking about whether this is actually a job for you can help prevent this issue.
Consider whether you have what the employer wants – something the ad will outline. You don't have everything they're after? It doesn't always matter, but make a judgement as to whether you're missing something really crucial, or something the employer may be able to overlook. Applying for a chef job with no prior training or experience, for example, will probably not land you the position.
At the same time, consider what your life would be like in this role. The job ad will give an idea of the day to day things you'll be doing. Do these sound like ways you'd want to fill your time and could be enthusiastic about?
Often we simply want whatever work we can get, it's true, but always prioritise making applications for work that you'll get something out of where possible. After all, if you get offered a job and then realise you don't actually want it, that can be a very awkward situation to be in!
Check the salary
There will often be information in the job ad about how much would earn in the role. Needless to say, you'll want to ensure that this is enough for your needs if at all possible. But remember that this is often also a good indication of whether you are in the right position to take on the role. If the pay is a lot higher than what you're earning now, it may be that you're not quite in a place where you'd be considered for this job yet. That said, use your instinct and don't let high pay put you off if you feel like your skills are right for the post!
If you can see who the company hiring is, look into them and get a good idea of if you want to work for them before you apply, using sources like their official website.
Change your application
It's often a good idea to cater your application to a specific ad, by highlighting skills that are a good match for it on your CV, re-ordering and adding information, for example. Careful reading of the job ad is a must so that you can match what you present about yourself to the role.