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The Ultimate Job Application Checklist

The Ultimate Job Application Checklist

Taking that next step in your career can often feel overwhelming but also exciting, so it’s often easy to want to rush things. Instead, follow this checklist to help you feel more organised and prepared before submitting a job application.


What to do
Done ✓
Clear direction
First and foremost, have a clear idea where you wish to take your career. Now is the time to sit back and really think about the type of role you envisage yourself in. Make mood boards, spider diagrams… anything! Just aim to get your thoughts onto paper.  
Industry research
Hopefully, by now your long-term plan should be a little clearer. So start to think about your chosen industry and research into any trends or recent news-worthy articles. That can give you a better understanding of the industry as a whole and where you see yourself fitting into it.  
Job role selection
Now for what could be considered the most important point, the job role selection. Choosing the type of job you wish to apply for can either be completely straightforward or a confusing minefield.


For those who are uncertain do lots of research into different types of roles you are qualified for and if not learn what you need to obtain in order to be successful (ie qualifications, work experience etc…).

Prepare your CV! You can tweak it slightly to match the job description or it give it a complete overhaul to add and take out parts that will help your application. Creating the perfect CV can often be the hardest part of your job searching journey. But if you keep it focused, condensed (to around two pages) and create a true reflection of your past skills and experience, then it will help you land an interview. If you’re struggling to write your CV, we have lots of advice here.


Some argue references are not important during this stage. But it’s a safe bet to have an idea of who they would be without having to physically write them down on your CV during these early stages.

Cover letter
Most employers expect a covering letter attached to your job application. A cover letter shouldn’t be a duplication of your CV. But instead, it should contain a summary of who you are, what you can bring to the role and could even include something a little different (maybe a recent achievement or interest in the industry) that will get you noticed by the hiring manager.


Read our 5 things you must include on a cover letter.

Job board compatibility
How will you find the potential job? Job boards are an obvious choice, as they’re simple to use, have direct links to employers and even provide you with the opportunity to sign up to job alerts. Another great option is Google for Jobs, which will draw in different jobs from various networks, within your area to help choose a role that’s right for you.  
Recruiter ready?
If you don’t want to do the hard work or don’t have the time to scroll online looking for your next opportunity, then a recruitment agency could be your best option. Let them do the hard work! They’ll be extremely effective in helping you find a job, prepare for an interview and guide you along the whole process.  
Online application
Be completely sure your CV is of the highest standard before you submit your job application. Check over and over again until you are sure it’ll impress. Don’t rush this stage, no matter how desperate you are to apply!


Also, a good thing to check is to make sure your CV is ATS ready. Applicant tracking systems are used by lots of employers, utilising hiring technology that will scan your CV looking for keywords that match the job description. So your CV may not be looked at by human eyes in the early stages of the hiring process. If you’re confused about how to make your CV ATS compatible, find out more information in this useful article here.

Digital footprint
Clean up your digital footprint. Take down anything an employer may not look favourably upon and make your accounts private. Treat this as an additional precaution you need to take before applying for a job in this digital age.  
Research the company
Before submitting a job application, really familiarise yourself with the company. Take a look at their website and social media profiles to get a feel for the tone of voice they use. Which you can then try to replicate in your job application.


Obviously, we don’t mean copy word for word. But if for example, the company has a corporate feel make sure your CV communicates this.