Replying to job ads – generally, there are 2 ways that people reply to job ads. Mainly they will pull out highlights from their background and send a generic cover letter to all job applications.

The other way when replying to job ads is to take a diligent approach to showing how well you match to the competences within the job ad. This is helped when there is a detailed job spec/person spec provided and does make shortlisting easier. This can still work for some job applications.

BUT … when people have much less time it can be too overwhelming.

We also need to consider changes in job ads … recent research from LinkedIn has found that 17.8% more candidates apply for jobs with a post length of under 150 words compared with those of 450-600 in length.

Applicants also no longer expect to see detail about the company in the job ad, most will do an online search to the company website and more to find out this info. However, people want to know what the job involves – the tasks to be performed and the measures of success, along with what is in it for us. So, the company does need to sell the job to us to make us want to apply.

If you don’t get measures of success from the job ad it will be one of the questions you will ask at interview.


Replying to job ads – First, it is now an email – you don’t want to send it as an attachment.

Use short paragraphs as it is likely to be read on a screen. We now have so many distractions that people can’t focus on long pieces of text. We need to break up text into shorter chunks, as when read on a phone screen it can seem text heavy.

You must find out the answers to this, it’s the main reason why people I work with have not passed through their probationary period.  

Be concise. Remember the Oscar Wilde Quote about not having time to write a short letter, so he had to send a long one. That’s because it takes time to be concise.

Think about what is key from everything you want to say – aim to get it to 150 words. Short can be very powerful.  You want them to meet with you to find out more.

So how is your job search going – if you need help on getting clarity on what you want, or to ensure your CV, LinkedIn profile and overall job search is as effective as possible we need to talk – let me help you get the success you deserve.

Published On: March 17th, 2019 / Categories: Job Search / Tags: /

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