With so many job seekers applying for any one job in today's economic climate, it's good to have an understanding of what happens to your application once you've pressed the 'send' button.
Many companies now use applicant tracking programmes to help with their recruitment process. This means your application goes into a pile and is sifted through by a computer programme as opposed to a human. The computer scans your job application for selected key words, appropriate to the company and the sector you're applying to, therefore you want to ensure your application isn't thrown out at the first hurdle.
You must be specific with the key words you use. Don't simply generalise with words like 'administration' or 'marketing'. It's best to go into more in-depth detail and use more specific terms from your previous jobs, such as 'database analysis', 'market research coordination', 'communications and social media coordination'.
It's also important to put your keywords into some sort of context. Don't simply list them, provide examples from a specific previous job role and include any achievements in that area. You might want to give the key word and then briefly explain what action you took in this area, which will help to highlight your skills and why you're a good candidate for their job.
Be sure not to over use keywords in your job application. It needs to sound natural, so that once your application is finally read by HR it's not obvious it's been written to get past the initial computer scanner. It's important to strike a balance; use keywords but make them fit in naturally and ensure you link them to specific job tasks.