Writing good job-applications — 6 simple rules

Would you like to have an impressive job profile? Here are tips and techniques that will elevate your pitch

How to write for job hunting - Tips - Developer - Programming

Creating a job profile is not easy, and one of the things that usually takes the longest is writing the pitch about yourself. After a long self-examination where you find out exactly what you should highlight, you have to put it in to words in a way that makes employers want to call you in for an interview. This may seem intimidating at first, but once you get some traction you will see that the job becomes much easier.

We at WA.works have a lot of experience with recruitment, and we will use our experience to help you get the job of your dreams. 

Here are our best tips when either writing for an application or a job profile:

1. Why are you the right one? What is your advantage?
Before you start writing: Think about what experience, skills and motivation you have that can make you attractive to a company. Can you do something that very few others can? Are you good at something that more companies are looking for?

Although it can be tempting to jump straight to writing, you will save yourself a lot of time and energy if you start with brainstorming. Close the PC screen and take out a pen and paper. Create a mind map or write a keyword list that summarizes what you can do and what experiences you have. When you write by hand, you remove distractions and your thoughts flow more easily.

2. The inverted pyramid
Write the most important things first. One of the first writing techniques journalists learn is called the 'inverted pyramid'. The principle is simple, but effective: You give the reader short and concise information, as early as possible. The information must be sorted from most important to least important. 

Forget everything you learned in school about writing the conclusion at the end, and make sure to highlight everything you think is really relevant in your text. Not only does it grab more attention, but it also sells your message more effectively.

3. SUCCES(s)
If you want to convince your future employer to call you in for an interview, there is a lot to be gained from  following these six but fundamental principles:

    Simple. Find the essence of your pitch and keep the messages simple. Don't take sidetracks that aren't really necessary to show why exactly you are a good candidate.

    Unexpected. An effective way to get the attention of the person reading your pitch is to write something that breaks their expectations. It can be as little as one funny or joking sentence, or one slightly unusual fact about yourself. Do you want to show that you like programming? Just remember the first S (Simple): Stick to the message.

    Concrete. Don't go around the porridge. For example, are you really good at Python? Instead of saying: "I have a lot of experience working in Python", say: "In recent years I have worked on project x and project y, where I have learned about both x and y. This experience is something I would not be without.” Be specific about the actual experience you have and what you have learned from it.

    Credible. Authority and credibility. Use examples to support your skills, pull in numbers that put your skills into perspective and use angles that show independence.

    Emotional. Make your text personal, and don't write in the third person. Remember that the employer wants to know more about you. Therefore, write so that your text bears your personal touch. When you write about your experiences, include how you learned from these experiences, and what makes this experience useful for the reader. Although your CV text should be informative, it will be more interesting and easy to read if it contains your thoughts about your experiences.

    Stories. We also explain this later in the article — but don’t be afraid to include short anecdotes that provide good explanations about you as a person.

Here is a short pitch you can use for inspiration:

Do you want to create a job profile that is attractive to the IT industry? The recruitment platform WA.works is tailored for IT people, which gives you the best opportunity to showcase your skills to Norway's largest IT companies. Create a free user at https://wa.works/candidate/.

4. Don't repeat yourself
Remember that the attention of the reader is worth its weight in gold. If an employer is to read about what makes you a good candidate, you should avoid the employer perceiving your text as repetitive. So if there is something you think the employer should remember after reading the text, you should rather include it as early as possible in the text.