The ‘Before you Apply’ Checklist
Applying for a job or internship? Let’s go back to applying-basics Honey. I see A LOT of applications and I really want to ensure you know the basics before you apply to anything! It really is the little things that make the biggest difference. Whether you are applying through a website or sending an application email, always refer back to this handy FYI checklist:
- Create an eye-catching and professional subject line (emojis are ideal when appropriate)
- Ensure you use a professional email address and not one you had from MSN days such as firstname.lastname@example.org! Setting up a professional email via Gmail is free. Make it as close to your name as possible and avoid any extra symbols or numbers
- Do not use your Uni email address as they eventually expire
- Ensure your name on your email account is capitalised
- NEVER send assets via WeTransfer as they expire after 7 days
- Ensure the file size of your assets is low, but the best quality. For example, your CV shouldn't exceed 2MB. The aim of this applying game is to make it as streamlined for the employer as possible!
- Do not send any assets as a Word Doc, always PDF
- Know who you are addressing — names are best so do your research and spell them correctly. I see a lot of 'Sir/Madam' and for the field you are in, it is just not appropriate ... We are not recruiting for IT! If you can't find a name, use the brand name
- Nail your professional greeting! 'Hiya' is not appropriate — 'Dear' and 'Hello' are perfectly fine
- Attach assets/work to email — DO NOT paste into the body of the email
- Don't use your full address on CV
- Don't use a photo on your CV
- Never refer to your CV as 'Resume'
- Keep your CV to ONE page
- Never have FULL links to your website/social on your assets. Use cut down versions with hyperlinks. See this article here
- If hyperlinking in the email body, link simply like the above. For example: 'To see examples of my work, please check out my website and my Final Major Project'.
- Being nice and polite in your opening sentence is great, but be professional. Writing something like: 'I hope you don't mind me reaching out to you' doesn't make much sense as you are reaching out to apply. So own it and be direct
- SPELLCHECK, SPELLCHECK, SPELLCHECK. Installing Grammarly on Chrome is a GODSEND
- Capitalise your course. For example: 'Fashion Design student' or 'I studied Fashion Buying at Westminster'
- Ensure you have a professional and branded email signature (more on this soon)
- Make sure your file names are clean, tidy and not full of gobbledygook! Such as ‘Yourname_CV_2020’
- Don’t forget to ATTACH if you say 'please see attached'
- Make sure your LinkedIn matches your CV
- If you have your Social Media handles on your assets/application, do a sweep before to ensure they are all strictly professional
- Make sure your website is up-to-date with your most recent work, contact details and CV
- Add your personal branding to every touchpoint the employer will see (Gmail icon, LinkedIn Header...)
- Is your CV brand you? Does it have that personal edge that will make you different from other candidates?
- Ensure your application reflects the industry/specialism you are applying to. For example, if you are applying for Fashion Journalism roles this means your CV/application needs to be word and grammar perfect.
Did this help Honey?
If not, just post your question in the FYI Forum and we will answer it within 24 hours. Better yet — you may even get other members responding with their prime knowledge!