In addition to fully understanding the job description as our Career Coach Veronika Ambertson has shared the How to read a Job Description: Screenshare video, it is important to go beyond the minimum requirements.
The majority of job seekers and applicants do not go beyond the minimum requirements.
Once they check that they have the minimum qualifications and experience required for the job, they proceed to apply and then wonder why they have not heard back from the recruiting organization.
As illustrated by the funnel, 30% of the candidates that applied do not make it beyond that first part. This is typically only your educational background, years of experience, and your language skills.
Only 70% meet the minimum requirements, plus have the right competencies and expertise to excel in the role and conduct the job well. “Meeting the minimum requirements does not necessarily mean that people should move forward in the process” - UNHCR’s Talent Acquisition Manager.
This is where you have to show that your learning curve would not be so steep by sharing examples of similar roles you have had and how you managed them, sharing your transferable skills, and how they would be of value if you were to be chosen for the role.
To continue and make it through the 3rd section of the funnel - duties, and responsibilities - you need to pay attention to the action verbs, usually the first word of each sentence.
How many similar activities have you engaged in, in the past?
You MUST have had similar experiences in your previous job/internship as it is important for the recruiting team to see that you have had the opportunity to demonstrate the competencies associated with the job.
The action verbs you choose to include in your application really matter. This is why we have accumulated a list of action verbs in this article to help you make it through this part of the funnel.
Have you ever felt that applying to the UN is like sending an application into the dark?
Other things to consider:
- Be very specific, explanatory, and concise in your cover letter
- If you have employment gaps, explain why. Life happens, and all hiring managers are human just like you.
- Spelling and grammatical errors - English is not the first language for many of us, and that is fine! Do however make sure the first impression you are providing through your application documents is not filled with spelling mistakes. In addition to regular spell-checking software, our tip is to use grammar-checking software such as Grammarly.
- Using a generic application/CV/Cover letter - Please tailor your application to each and every specific job role - yes! It is time-consuming, unpredictable, and frustrating, but unfortunately, it is part of the process. This is why it is important to really analyze the job description and only apply if you see at least a 75% fit so that it is worthwhile. Here is how to structure a job application in the best way.