Writing a Job Application – Then vs Now

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  • Avatarby admin-redtapebusters
  • May 12, 2020
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When I was in my early 20’s, a very long time ago, I attended a jobs course. Without revealing just how old I am, this course was in the years BC (Before Centrelink). I had never been unemployed before, having left my job at a café to join the Australian Army as an apprentice when I was 16, so I was sent to one of the new job’s programs. This program was designed to help young unemployed people by providing training in writing job applications, preparing resumes and attending interviews.


I was excited and ready to make the most of the experience, especially the job application writing. The lady running the course was very excitable, comparable to a puppy nearly. The computers were far from today’s standard and I was quite inept at using them, but we carried on. I clearly remember this experience because I was so excited and very keen to find a job as I had never not worked.

Our instructor made a very strong point about job application writing that is just as valid now as it was then. And that is, that we must make our application stand out. But this is the only part of that point that carries any legitimacy into our current job’s climate, as her next proposal was, to achieve said standing out we should use coloured paper, Flashy fonts and if we were confident enough, glitter. GLITTER? Her next suggestion was to put as much information into the job application as possible. Every piece of education, every morsel of employment, regardless of relevance and each hobby we have ever had an interest in.

So basically, in the years BC, we were encouraged to send bright yellow, sparkling, fancy novels to prospective employers. As ridiculous as that sounds, there was probably only 10 or so job applications for every advertised position. Jump forward to today and employers have 100’s of legitimate applications for each position plus the 100’s that are not legitimate or genuine. So, the advice on standing out is definitely still as valid but let’s look at how by comparing then to now.

The coloured paper. Now, no. A lot of job applications can be submitted digitally and for those that require a paper copy, make it white and clean and not creased.

Flashy Fonts. Now, another no. Keep your fonts, layout and formatting clean and simple. If an employer is struggling to read your name through the swirls and curls of the font, then you job application will be eliminated very quickly.

Information. Now, limit the information you include to just the relevant information. A job application or cover letter should be contained to 1 page. Relevant education, relevant qualifications and unless you are applying for a job as a furniture restorer, employers do not find it pertinent that you liked restoring furniture in 1982. Tailoring your job application to each position you are applying for will help you in keeping it updated and applicable.

And finally, glitter. NO. NOT THEN AND NOT NOW. NEVER GLITTER.

Where ‘help’ was available then, real help is available now. Red Tape Busters have consultants who specialise in Job Application writing ready to assist you today. Pairing yourself with the right Job application writer can give you that stand out edge you need in this current job market. Red Tape Busters can help you obtain your dream job.