The job market is much more competitive than it ever used to be. With companies in both the private and public sector handing out redundancies like gaming tokens, there is a need to make sure that every step of your job application process is relevant to the job that is advertised. If you are convinced that you have the skill set but still didn’t get called for an interview, it is time to look at what you have put in front of the recruiter or hiring manager and take responsibility for your own application.
If you are out of work, you know that it can be really tough to keep applying for job after job without the smile on your face fading with each rejection or no call back. It is hard to stay motivated and put 100% into each and every job application. You find yourself just sending through your generic resume and cover letter for all the different jobs.
I’ve got some news for you – this will not get you a job.
A relevant and often specialised resume and cover letter will however increase your chances of been seen as highly suitable for the job. All you need to do is tailor your resume and cover letter for every single job application that you send out.
You heard me. You must tailor your resume and cover letter for each and every job application you send out.
How will the hiring manager know that you meet all the exact criteria they are looking for if you haven’t inserted and highlighted it in your skills descriptions or in your job descriptions and achievements?
Some actionable things that you can do to improve your chances of making the cut:
♥ Read the job description carefully and highlight each separate skill or experience required. Ensure that these or equivalent are in your resume.
♥ Use the same terminology as the job ad for both job titles and skills. If they call it Director of First Impressions then change any job titles from Receptionist to ensure it reads Director of First Impressions. If they call it Interpersonal Skills then change it from Customer Service Skills.
♥If you have the skills that transfer from a different job altogether then highlight this in a skills summary. A functional resume will describe skills and examples of where these skills were utilised rather than a full chronological work history. This skills summary gives you a chance to highlight the transferable skills relevant to the job description in the advertisement.
♥ Don’t use the word BUT in your cover letter. Never state that you don’t have XYZ experience BUT you have…this will not get you forward. This only highlights that you don’t have a requested experience and it would be best to highlight you strengths instead.
♥Be specific with numbers. Don’t just write that you did accounts payable or processed invoices. Actually list the exact number that you would process in a week or a day. It is this kind of detail that will stand out and inform the hiring manager whether you have done high-volume as they requested or not.