HOW TO RESPOND TO A JOB AD

Everything you need to know

How to respond to a job advertisement

Have you ever hesitated because you didn’t know how to respond to a job advertisement you found online? On this page, I will explain step by step all the useful rules to effectively respond.

You will learn mainly how to apply for a job via email, but also how to call for an advertisement, ensuring you a job interview.

The advice you will find here is valid both for email application, on the company’s website, or an external site, but also to understand how to respond to a job offer on LinkedIn, and call for a job advertisement.

It all depends on the ability to effectively communicate to the human resources recruiter what you can do for the company in terms of added value, i.e. you have to do personal branding.

Furthermore, every company needs corporate branding, and this is also one of the most requested digital professions. At Digital Coach® we offer specific training in this field through the Personal Branding Course.

Evaluate your professional qualifications

Before doing anything, evaluate if it’s worth responding to a job advertisement like the one you found. Don’t apply if there’s a skill mentioned as essential in the ad that you don’t possess; in other words, if you lack the qualifications.

how to respond to a job via email

Similarly, if you are overqualified for the required position, opinions vary, but it might be futile to apply: the selector will wonder why you are applying for such a position, and there’s a risk they might see you as desperate, making it a waste of time for both parties.

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Add a LinkedIn profile or personal website

In your CV or cover letter, always include a professional reference, preferably your website or at least a LinkedIn profile.

The latter can also be useful for responding to a job advertisement through the Easy Apply feature, as you will see as you continue reading this resource. It will make you appear more prepared and competent.

Use a professional email

Always use such an email, preferably with your full name, if possible Gmail, mentioning your first and last name, preferably separated by a dot. If possible, avoid combinations of numbers, especially your birthdate.

Refrain from using emails with fanciful names. Selectors consider it unprofessional and immature to use email addresses with nicknames or aliases. Responding to a job advertisement also includes this aspect.

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Curriculum and cover letter bot-proofing for job applications

In larger companies, it’s common practice to use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen job applications.

Applicant Tracking Systems are software that filters through the vast number of resumes and cover letters for keywords mentioned in the job posting.

They will shortlist candidates whose documents contain the most mentioned keywords, so include them in your cover letter and resume to increase your chances of receiving a positive response.

Effectively responding to a job advertisement involves overcoming this initial obstacle because unfortunately, many times our resumes and cover letters are rejected even before they have a chance to be seen by human eyes.

In your cover letter, use keywords related to the company (such as the company slogan), the offered position (like required qualifications and experience), and the career you are interested in (such as the names of positions you’ve held).

This way, you’ll demonstrate that you have exactly what the company is looking for.

Additionally, there are services like Jobscan that check if your resume contains the necessary keywords to respond to the job posting and generate lists of these keywords to include in your letter.

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Jobscan allows you to assess how well your resume aligns with the job expectations

Besides Jobscan, there are alternatives like Resume Worded, Resunate, and Vmock.

  • Resume Worded, which can also evaluate your LinkedIn profile along with your resume.
  • Resunate, which gives you a job-ready resume in less than 30 seconds for every job posting.
  • Vmock, artificial intelligence provides feedback on your resume based on a database compiled thanks to employers.
hard skills sample

Jobscan shows you how many of your technical skills match the job posting

The Resume: how it should be

This section explains the technical aspects of writing a successful resume.

Why not use Europass CV

When you need to write a curriculum vitae in response to a job advertisement, avoid the Europass format.

It is too common, with graphic disadvantages and disorganization. Many recruiters have openly stated that they do not appreciate the Europass format. In this format, there are also sections of not great usefulness.

For example, the Social Skills section is redundant, as such skills will be evaluated during the interview, and the space used to write such information could be used for other more relevant qualifications.

Use the Europass format only if explicitly requested in the job advertisement.

How long should a CV be?

The perfect curriculum vitae should not exceed two pages, but preferably just one if you don’t have much experience.

If you choose 2 pages, keep in mind that the most important page is the first one. In any case, the ability to synthesize is highly appreciated by recruiters, so demonstrate it when writing your resume.

Choose the right file format, docx or pdf

Always follow the instructions in the job advertisement and send the CV in the requested file type. But what if it’s not specified?

Some Applicant Tracking Systems may have issues with PDF, so in any case, it’s better to use the docx format (not doc, as the latter is for older versions of Word and is more corruptible and heavier). When in doubt, send both file types.

Rename the file with your name

To simplify the recruiter’s work, given the enormous amount of CVs they receive, name your file with your first and last name and indicate it as CV or Curriculum.

This way, the file won’t get lost in the sea of received documents and will be easily retrievable.

Don’t inflate your qualifications

In your CV or cover letter, absolutely do not think about adding skills you don’t have; you will only be exposed during the interview and labeled as an unprofessional and deceptive person.

This can also damage your reputation.

 

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Cover letter: how to write it

Advantages of customization

When you write a letter to respond to a job advertisement, always be careful not to use “To whom it may concern” because it’s too generalized and shows that you haven’t taken the time to find out who you are addressing.

Instead, demonstrate that you have researched the company. Find out the last name of the HR manager through LinkedIn or other websites and address your cover letter to him/her.

If you can’t find their details, you can call the company and express your intention to respond to the job ad, asking for the email and the name of the selector.

Brief but covering the points mentioned in the advertisement

The cover letter should be between half a page and a full page long and should be divided into 3-4 paragraphs.

However, it must clearly mention the points requested in the advertisement, such as knowledge of a certain foreign language, a specific computer program, or any other specific skills mentioned as important or essential.

Express your added value to the company

In the letter, make it clear what you can practically do for the company and propose ideas. Explain how your work can benefit the company, in terms of production or human resources.

Do not add references

Since space on the CV is very valuable, it should be used wisely. Do not include any references.

Also, do not add the famous phrase “References available upon request,” as this also takes up space that could be dedicated to something more useful. If the selector wants references, they will ask you.

 

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Responding to a job offer on LinkedIn with easy apply

On LinkedIn, you can respond to a job advertisement by simply clicking the Easy Apply button instead of emailing, thus applying very quickly.

This applies only to some positions. In this scenario, keep these key factors in mind:

  • The first thing to do is ensure your LinkedIn profile is as complete and high-quality as possible.
  • Since you can optionally upload only one file during this process, it’s better to combine your cover letter and CV into the same file.
  • You will be asked for your phone number. You won’t be required to provide any additional personal details, but you might be asked some questions about your professional experience.
  • The selector will look at your LinkedIn profile and will primarily rely on that to choose you or not.
  • Since you can see how many people have already responded to the job offer, it’s a good idea to respond as soon as possible to increase the chance of being noticed. The keyword advice given above applies here too.

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Calling for a job ad over the phone

It might happen that the job ad requires you to call a number provided in the listing. In this case, be prepared in advance. Here are some practical tips outlined below:

  • Before calling, dress as if you were going for a real job interview. It will assist you in securing the position. Keep in mind, you have just one opportunity to create a favorable initial impact.
  • Place yourself in a distraction-free room.
  • During the call, introduce yourself and get straight to the point without much ado, explaining the reason for the call, and mentioning the position you are interested in.
  • While speaking on the phone, smile and maintain a friendly tone, using professional and formal language. Explain your qualifications and experiences.
  • Show genuine interest in the company.
  • Do not ask about the salary.
  • Remember, the goal is to secure an in-person interview, so do not linger excessively.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time even if the outcome is negative; you might have to call again in the future.
job advertising interview

Prepare well when calling for a job ad

Once you understand how to call and how to behave in a telephone interview, test yourself by starting to call the numbers found in the adverts.

How to respond to a job rejection

Responding to a job ad is certainly important, but equally important is your response to rejection. Most people who receive a rejection email dismiss it without much thought.

In reality, this is a mistake. It’s better to send a reply email, so as to leave a good impression on the interviewer:

  • Thank them for the opportunity received.
  • Express your disappointment at not being selected.
  • Mention that you are still interested in the company and any other positions that may open up.
  • Ask for feedback to understand the reason for the rejection.

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