When you are job hunting, it’s easy to fall into the trap of getting desperate and applying to every single job that might suit your qualifications.
Missed Part 1 - Catch up here: Job Search Strategies
The problem with doing this is that you’re also probably sending each recruiter the same generic CV every time. A generic CV means that you are not using your application to effectively highlight the awesome skills you have that will distinguish you from every other applicant. If you’re not unique, then they probably won’t waste time reading through your CV to find your ‘X-factor’. Your applications have to create a first impression that will entice your future employer to read more. You have to have focus.
Look for positions that you honestly feel were made for you. While reading the job ad, you should be screaming, “Yes! Yes! Yes! I can do that with my eyes closed!”
Then think about why you are tailored for the job and what “can do” skills you have that make you the best candidate, and put that in your application. Update your CV ensuring it is neat, free of errors and communicates your ability to do the job without a shadow of a doubt. I want to also stress that “can do” skills unfortunately do not include willingness to work/learn, commitment, passion and any other non-practical qualities you have. Instead, just imagine if someone offered you that job today, then write down a list of all the things you would spend your day doing to get results. Then transfer those to your application. A willingness to learn is great, but the ability to compile and deliver a comprehensive project report to your manager in just under an hour, is better.
Next you should analyse the job description and ask yourself just how much you actually know and understand about the role you’re applying for. You can’t submit your textbook version based on what you learnt in school. You have to be able to go deeper and explore all of the problems that your role will potentially solve for this company. Then connect those problems to times when you’ve had to deal with a similar problem and how you used your skills to resolve it effectively. Even if you’re fresh out of varsity and haven’t worked a day in your life, you can find a way to give examples that can relate to skills, such as working with others and managing conflict successfully. Mention any success you may have had with streamlining or maximising on procedures that you have been involved with.
In order for you to demonstrate that you understand the job description, it may help to talk to someone working in a similar field, industry, company or environment and get their perspective on it first. That person is your best source of information as they have insider info that you may never get from the outside. You can also do a quick search online to find current or past news about the business or AGM (Annual General Meeting) minutes posted on their website. You could even try this – find out about the owner(s) of the organisation you’re applying to and so get an understanding about what drives their vision to succeed.
Once you’ve done all of the ground work, start applying. Be disciplined and set a target for the number of jobs you want to apply for in a day or week. Touch base with all the people you know and in light of the type of jobs you have done in the past, get tips on how to position yourself to land that job that fits who you are best. Also, ask them to put you in touch with anyone they know who might be looking for someone like you to join their team.
Just remember that if you haven’t found a job yet, there may still be a few things you have to polish up to better your chances next time. Learn about them quickly and implement them immediately. Good luck!4