Answering Job Advertisements

By One2One Resumes

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What is your goal when you apply for a position?

You want an employer to be able to assess your application against the criteria in the advert and tick all the boxes. Remember, the employer has put considerable effort into deciding exactly what they are looking for.

Generally, when they screen the many applications, they will have the advert or the list of criteria from the advert in front of them. For them, the easiest way to whittle down the pile is to eliminate candidates who don’t meet those criteria.

So you need to submit an effective response that systematically answers all the job advert’s requirements.

What actually happens in most cases is that a jobseeker reads an advert, thinks ‘I’d be good for this job’ and then attaches their resume without a cover letter, or if one is included it is the usual generic one they use. They only check the advert again to confirm application instructions – e.g. the email address to send it to.

Preparing an Effective Resume and Cover Letter

There is no prize for getting your application submitted in record time – so take the time to follow these tips to prepare an effective resume and cover letter.

Some tips to help you:

  • Print or save the advert and re-read it several times.
  • Make notes; highlight the criteria and think about ways you meet them.
  • Always use words and phrases from the advert in your cover letter and resume.
  • Incorporate every point from their criteria including skills and experience.
  • Include well thought-out and relevant examples to support your claims about your skills and contributions.
  • When you are addressing personal qualities and traits always use examples to demonstrate. For example, don’t just say you are team focused; show the employer how you’ve demonstrated a team focus in your current or previous positions.
  • Customise your cover letter for each and every application.

Your response needs to be designed to meet their needs, not your own. Don’t waste time talking about what you want in an employer or your next position –show the employer how you meet their needs. You are answering an advert so do just that and leave out the fluff.

Taking the time to customise your letter to the advert will pay off. It doesn’t have to take hours and hours – to save time, use an existing cover letter as a base and modify it appropriately. Employers can easily recognise generic cover letters; and most they receive are just that.

What a simple way to stand out immediately from the pile of applications: systematically addressing the employer’s needs.

So the next time you apply for an advertised position, slow down, read the advert thoroughly and take the time to actually respond to the employer’s needs – it will make a big difference to your applications.



© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant | One2One Resumes

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