After browsing the job listings on Care.com you discover your ideal job. It’s as if the position was made with you in mind and you are absolutely the best candidate for the role. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one thinking the same thing. So how can you make your application stand out from the crowd?
Here are our top 10 tips to target your application:
1. Study the Job Posting
When reviewing applicants, those hiring will be looking for someone who fits their specific needs. A careful study of the job posting will help you formulate your application letter. Break the posting down into a list of requirements. What tasks will you be expected to perform? What personality traits is this employer seeking?
The posting may state specific characteristics, such as creative or mature, but look for the unstated as well. Does the position appear to require someone skilled at multi-tasking? Armed with a list of requirements, you can tailor your message to demonstrate how well you meet this employer’s needs.
2. Focus on the Employer – Not Yourself!
First and foremost keep in mind your application is not about you — it is about the employer. What is important to the employer? What are their needs? What is their environment, and what are their expectations?
Anticipate what this employer may consider important. You should first answer these questions, and tailor your application so that you are the solution to the potential employer’s needs. The message you compose to accompany your application is your opportunity to shine. Anticipate what this employer may consider important.
3. Use the Employer’s Tone
Take note of the tone of the job listing. Is it very formal or casual? You will want to communicate using the employer’s language. Mimic the tone and words used as we naturally gravitate to people who are like us so you want to make sure that you convey that you are a natural fit for the position and for the employer.
4. Analyze Your Experience
Think about your past positions and determine the value you brought to previous employers. Focus on the most important aspects, rather than giving a detailed, bullet-point list of every single duty you performed in the past.
5. Write a Yes-No List
Armed with a list of the job’s requirements and your skills, determine how well they match. Write ‘yes’ or ‘no’ next to each requirement, based on how well your qualifications meet each need. If the description is more heavily weighed on the ‘no’ side, do not apply. You will not be happy, and it will be a great waste of time for you and the employer.
6. Be Specific
If a job description includes preparing meals, rather than merely saying you are an experienced cook, give details. For example: ‘In my previous position, I was responsible for preparing healthy, hot lunches daily for a family of five.’
7. Say Why You Want the Job
A prospective employer will get a better feel for who you are if you include a brief statement about your own goals. Keep this short and honest. If you’re applying for a housekeeping position, waxing poetic about your love of vanquishing germs is over the top.
8. Highlight Your Flexibility
Your availability will be the first thing most employers will consider. If your schedule is flexible, mention this. Unexpected events arise, and the position may require you take on tasks beyond the original job description. If you are willing to take on new challenges, say so.
9. Write a Call to Action
Wrap up by expressing your desire for further contact. Let the employer know you welcome the opportunity to present your qualifications during a personal interview.
Double-check your letter for grammar and spelling. A careless error will make you look sloppy. Read it aloud to hear the flow of words. Your ears often pick up what your eyes miss when reading.
You want to engage employers in your application to get them excited to read your resume. You want to tell them you are the best candidate because if you do not promote yourself, who will?
Had an application win recently? Share your successful tips with us using our comments box below.