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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Application Tips

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 “If everything else fails, read the instructions”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first weeding-out tool employers often use is evaluating whether or not applicants followed all application instructions. Remember, how you portray yourself in the application process is how employers perceive your future performance on the job. If you can’t follow instructions before you’re hired, how can they trust you will if you’re hired?


General Application Tips:

  • Read the instructions thoroughly prior to preparing your application. Once you are ready to submit your materials, read through the instructions again and double check to make sure you haven’t missed anything.


  • If applying through, be sure that your mavjobs profile is up to date. Incorrect information in your major, academic level, GPA, etc., may stop you from being able to apply to an opportunity for which you are suitably qualified.


  • Be sure to submit all items requested in the position announcement. Many employers will not consider candidates with an incomplete application.


  • If you have questions about the application process, it is better to ask than to turn something in that is incomplete or incorrect. Identify all of your application questions and make one phone call or send one email to the employer.


  • Never assume. If you have just uploaded your resume and now the instructions state you need to fill out an application with the same information, do not assume that the employer will look at your resume. You need to complete the application. Even if it seems repetitive, put in the time and effort.


  • Do not put “see resume” in any parts of the application. Fill those parts out completely. Sometimes employers first screen your application using keyword searches that may not include the resume portion of your application.


  • Double check documents you have uploaded to ensure they maintained their format. If possible, convert your documents to a PDF format to upload. (For more information on converting Microsoft Word documents to PDF format, click on the version of MS Word you are using: MS Word 2007 or MS Word 2010)


  • Acoountability is very important. If you are submitting your resume to an employer who is conducting interviews on campus, it is expected that you will follow the process through to completion including, if invited, signing up for the interview or declining the opportunity as a courtesy to the employer.