If you are on an employment search and applying to jobs over and over and getting no responses, then change your game. Do you find yourself saying “there are no jobs, I can’t get an interview, and I’m not getting any responses”? Take responsibility, stop applying the same way and change the way you are going about finding jobs. The “crap” comes in two forms: one, mistakes job-seekers are making and, two, excuses job-seekers make, both of which are sabotaging success. Career advisors see the same common mistakes when helping those looking for a job:
- Just submitting a standard resume with nothing tailored to the job specifications (job description).
- Typos, grammatical errors
- Boring descriptions vs. keywords and “power verbs”
- Applying to the wrong jobs – R.A.A. or Random Acts of Application with no relevant skills or experience
Hiring managers want to find the best candidate. They truly are looking for a good fit and the best hire for their position. If there is a job description, then they are sharing the “specifications” for that job and you need to answer how you fit those specs via your application. Put yourself in their shoes: They are receiving tens or hundreds of resumes for the one position. They know what they are looking for and it’s your job to punch them between the eyes with why you are the BEST candidate for them. That doesn’t always mean that you have the most years doing a similar job.
You are selling yourself, positioning your background and qualifications as being a wise investment for them to interview you. The application process is NOT ABOUT YOU. It is ABOUT THE READER. Do not use it as a venue to ramble on about how brilliant you are, how you were awarded top recognition in things the reader doesn’t care about, or, worse, how you are the “perfect” person for their job. Nobody is. Everybody has gaps in some areas and it would be wise to point them out as “opportunities to learn” both in the application and in the interview.
Three Tips to Make a Difference with Your Job Application:
- Research before Applying: You may find amazing insights about the company, this particular division, this department and more by researching on the web. These insights will help you with the next tip.
- Cut-the-Crap Cover Letter: If you can attach a Microsoft WORD or PDF document, then you can add a cover letter in the same file (do not attach two separate document files). That cover letter should look like a formal one-page cover letter and your resume starts on page 2. A new Cut-the-Crap Cover Letter will only talk about the main skills and experiences you have that correlate to the specifications of the job description. Do NOT simply re-state your resume. Do NOT say “I am the best candidate for your position” without telling them at least 3 reasons why.
- Highlight Relevant Matches: Within the Resume, highlight skills and experiences they are looking for, based on the job description. You may even find that you left some important things off of your resume (skills, tasks, experiences) that this position needs. Add them in, being 100% truthful, of course.
Finding jobs in today’s economy is hard enough. However, if you change your application approach, stand out and “Cut the Crap”, you will get a job. Good luck!