First, let me show you how recruiters like me see your job applications. My team at ExeQserve and I receive hundreds of applications everyday, sometimes they even reach a thousand. In order to manage our work and our time, we need to implement methods for efficiently seeping through those bundles and bundles of job applications. We actually don’t get to see all of them. Most of the applications fail our auto-filter criteria and end up in a resume database which is a virtual junkyard that we mine from time to time, if we are not too busy with new applicants. Whose resumes are likely to end up there? Those who have no or poorly written application letters, those whose resume’s file name is “resume” and those whose resume contents are too far fetched for the job.
Here are a five steps to what you can do to make your application stand out from thousands of other mediocre applications:
Step 1: Look closely at the requirements of the job as posted and ask yourself if there is indeed a match between what they are looking for and what you have to offer. Don’t bother sending your application if you yourself can’t find a match.
Step 2: So you believe there is a match, great! Now, write a good application letter that describes why you think you are suitable for the job. Putting your personal qualities there is cool but you need to do more than chest beating, you need to specifically mention relevant experiences and skills. Emphasize also your desire to contribute to the company’s productivity and profitability. The web is teeming with application letter templates, go Google.
Step 3: Work on your resume. First, change the file name. You won’t believe how many people use the file name “resume” on their resumes, it’s mind boggling! Let’s say I will apply for an HR Director position, I will name my file “ecebreo-hrdirector. If I apply for a Training Manager job, I’ll save my resume as ecebreo-trainingmanager. If a job you are looking for needs your Microsoft Certified Professional certification, you can save your resume file as “yourname-MCP. This will alert the recruiter that you have one of the critical requirements for the job.
Step 4: Work on your resume content for each application. Don’t send a one-size fits all resume when you are applying for different jobs. It’s lazy and ineffective. Be honest with your resume information. Save everyone some time and disappointment by not writing lies in your resume. The farthest it can get you is the first interview. If you get past all the screening with lies in your CV, you should change your career and consider becoming a con artist.
Finally, consider this. If you are good at what you do, someone will hire you. The application letters and resumes will get you through the door but it is your personal and professional qualities that will get you through and through. Invest in personal and professional development. Strive not to find a job but to build a career.