On page 1 of our Job Applications Guide we said that all employment application forms contain 'easy' parts and 'hard' parts.
We covered the 'easy' parts earlier. Here we give advice on completing the 'hard' parts of job applications.
Almost every job application form will ask you this question in one way or another.
"Why do you want the job and why do you consider
yourself a suitable candidate?"
We see a lot of employment applications where the candidate has only written a few lines here -- in some cases, only a few words! This is not the way to go about answering this question. Keep in mind that it is this section (provided the rest of your job application is solid) which will largely determine whether or not you get the job interview.
In answer to the question about 'Why you want the job', be honest. You may be looking for more career opportunities, greater responsibility, line management experience, a career change and so on. Only you can answer this. But remember to use positive words -- don't dwell on the negatives of your current job -- explain what this new job can offer you instead.
When it comes to answering the part about 'Why you are a suitable candidate', use the opportunity to sell yourself by following these 2 steps:
Follow our help with job applications on this page and the ones which follow and you'll have a great answer to this tricky employment application form question.
Use the advertisement itself to guide you
The job posting itself tells you what the company is looking for in an ideal applicant.
Grab a pen and paper and:
Just because you don't meet one particular requirement does not mean you should ignore that requirement. Your job application will generally be scored against a number of criteria. If you don't address the criteria, you will lose out -- you may not even get an interview this way. So it's better to address rather than ignore a requirement which you don't quite meet.
Be honest about it, but be positive about it as well.
For example, if the job posting calls for experience "dealing with customers over the phone" which you don't have, write something like this instead:
"I have a lot of experience dealing with customers face to face and am confident that these skills will translate well to dealing with customers on the phone".
You will at least get a point (or two) for this answer, since you show you do have the necessary skill set to perform this job requirement.
If you'd like a real-life example of how to do this effectively, take a look at the sample job application in the downloadable version of this Guide. It won an interview and the job, so it's a good example to follow.
If you do the above exercise for each criteria listed in the job advertisement, you will already have proved you can do the job.
Now it's time to review what you've written to ensure you've mirrored the language used in the advert and given examples when filling out job applications.