The job market is a tough, ugly and sometimes downright brutal place to have to spend time. Heck, July alone crammed well over one hundred thousand into an already really tight space.
The signs you see to help yourself out—job postings—are all over the place it seems. But who’s landing them? Well, maybe this post can help you be the next person who finds their way back into the world of the employed.
According to an article on CNN.com, employment experts agree that one of the most critical things a person can do when applying for a job is craft their resume to the specifications asked for on the job posting. Consider the position’s description as a proposal for a service needed. Your resume then, should become your answer to that need. And because all needs are different, you need to make sure you are not sending your square peg to fit their round hole.
In many instances, you may simply not have what it is they are looking for. Sure, some of it sounds familiar but in the end, it’s either work you haven’t done in years or are not at all qualified to do. So applying to these types of postings can become a serious time drag.
We understand that a current financial situation could have you pressed for time or that your Chapter 13 payment plan is starting to become a problem. Be confident that your time is best spend focusing on potential jobs for which you are a good fit. Do not use a shotgun approach. The time you spend researching an employer, discovering if you know anyone in the company and writing your materials to suit the need should be considered an investment. In time, it will pay off.
When working on your resume, re-use words that appear in the job ad. Do not go overboard. Connect the job’s keywords with responsibilities in your background. These words and terms are how human resource professionals scan through the hundreds of resumes they often receive for a single availability.
Do the same thing in your cover letter. You can use a common introductory paragraph format most of the time but make certain you address the job title. Consider:
“Please consider the enclosed resume for the available JOB TITLE position. I am a tenured industry professional with NUMBER OF YEARS IN INDUSTRY of experience and feel certain that I could provide a quick and positive impact to your organization.”
Your cover letter should be only a summary of your resume. The point of the cover letter is to get them to open your resume. So again, include related job terms, cite specific years of experience and lace it with persuasive language.
Most job needs today are being communicated online and asking for a resume to be attached. It is absolutely key that you use the e-mail itself as a marketing tool. Do not just type “resume attached” and hit send. Use the subject line to include the job title being applied for and unless specifically asked not to, consider inserting a quick one-liner. For example:
“Web site copywriter position - 8 years of experience.”
The body of your e-mail should be the same type of cover letter you would write if submitting on paper. This may sound like common sense to some people but you would be surprised at how many examples hiring professionals could cite where this is not the case. Candidates are in the screening process the moment their e-mail appears in the recipients inbox. Make it count.