We can tell! You’re not fooling anybody! I know… we’ve heard all of the excuses in a job search:” I don’t have time; it’s just a phone interview; I’ll do the research when I get the interview; I know enough about them.”
Jonathan found the perfect job posting at a local company that he really wants to sell for. They posted a brand new sales executive position, seeking someone with his skill set, but it’s in an industry he hasn’t sold for before. Oh, well.
He was so excited, he clicked on the “Submit your résumé here” button and attached his latest résumé. Done! Now he waits.
The very same day, Leslie saw the same job description. She didn’t have experience in that industry, either. And she was missing some other skills that were requested in the job description. So she sat down and wrote out a plan. Here is what she did:
- Step 1: Leslie studied the company, the industry, and its competitors.
- Step 2: Leslie found a LinkedIn Group for the company and saw a number of sales professionals having a dialogue there. She even asked a few questions to the group like, “Could any sales executives share his/her background to the group prior to working here?” On LinkedIn, Leslie also saw that a sales manager was a 2nd relationship from one of her contacts so she asked to be introduced.
- Step 3: Leslie completed a Cut the Crap (CTC) Job Description Profile (JD Profile) to compare her own skills and experiences to that of the job description. It was much clearer where her gaps were and where her strengths were. She then had a plan for how she was going to apply.
Leslie took a few more steps to be sure her application had the highest likelihood of being looked at and selected for an interview. She knew that it was going to be challenging and competitive since other applicants probably will come from the company’s own industry.
- Step 4: She altered her résumé to be sure to use similar language. The hiring manager that wrote the job description is looking for “cold-calling” experience but Leslie’s résumé used the term “prospecting” so she made simple edits.
- Step 5: She refined the critical 1-pager that sits on top of her résumé: the JD Profile. It paints the exact picture a screener, recruiter or hiring manager needs to be able to answer, “Why should we consider this candidate for this specific job?” Leslie highlighted her strengths, quantified her years and depth of experience in key categories, and wrote “eager to learn” where she has gaps.
- Step 6: She wrote a great Cut the Crap (CTC) Cover Letter, too, drawing from her Step 5. She pulled out 3 of the most important categories where she is a fit and requested an interview at the end.
- Step 7: She stitched all three documents together – her cover letter, Job Description Profile and Résumé – into one Cut the Crap (CTC) Candidate Packet.
- Step 8: She proofed the entire packet 3 times prior to submitting. She pressed “enter.”
Did you know that if you don’t apply expertly you won’t get the interview? Amazing how that works! Why are so many applications JUST résumés or JUST a résumé and a poorly-written, standardized cover letter? How will that inspire someone to call you and say, “Come on in for an interview?”
Poor preparation is just laziness and being part of the herd mentality. Yes, the website says, “Post your résumé here.” It does not say “…and nothing else,” does it?
C’mon, job seekers. Whether you are searching within your company or externally; whether you are employed or unemployed; do your BEST prior to applying for a role!