In a competitive job market, how do you get your application noticed, or what will cause your application to be file-not hired?  What things are recruiters looking for?  We get many applications each day.  We do look at each one, but I have limited time, so that application needs to stand out and it needs to be done properly. 

            For instance, look carefully at the job for which you are applying.  If the job is part-time and all you are looking for is full time it is best not to apply.  If the job is an administrative assistant position and you have not used the Microsoft Office Suite, why apply when there are other jobs for which that skill is not required.   You should have an idea of what local salaries are for the jobs in which you are interested.  This can be pulled from the Department of Labor.  If you have applied for a job that typically will pay approximately $17.00 an hour and you are looking for $12.00 an hour, I have to make an assumption that you are not a serious candidate for the position as you do not have the depth of experience which the job requires. 

            It is important to show that you are managing your career with well thought out moves.  Realistically, in a job market where there have been excessive layoffs, career management is not easy.  However, when I see an application which continually lists the reasons for leaving jobs as failure to get along with management, we assume that eventually that applicant will not get along with management here.  If you indicate that you have left a job for more money, and your next job is the same or less, the assumption is that you were not thinking out that next move.  Likewise, if you left a job because you were seeking growth, and wound up in basically the same job at a new company, that may not have been a well thought out move.  Periodically, we will see an application from someone who is leaving a job after a brief period because there is not growth.  If you have only been in a job for a short time, you may not have mastered the job enough to be promoted. 

            Searching for that one great job is not as easy as just filling out an application.  It takes some energy, some time and some thought.