Looking for a job is a competitive process. We are only a small recruitment company and even we have over 10,000 people on our database. A job alert sent out can elicit over 100 responses and it can make it very difficult for the candidate to be successful.
If you have good MS Office skills and mark on your application or resume that you’re at an Intermediate level of Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you can always bet there will be candidates who are at an Advanced level with the same software.
As my Dad used to quote from Desiderata, ‘There will always be a greater and lesser person than yourself’.
So what can you do to make your application stand out from the crowd?
Let’s talk about job alerts for instance. For those who are not initiated, this is the email we send out to various candidates when we have a new role to advertise. We are often under pressure to find a suitable candidate quickly and the job alert will state exactly what we are looking for. Most people will just send an email that says ‘I am interested in this role’.
Those who are a little smarter will attach their current resume to their email response. Perhaps the resume we have on file is out of date or omits your last job. By attaching your resume, you save us the time of looking you up through our database and means that there is more of a chance that your application will be viewed because you are offering a quick way to review your resume.
Really strategic candidates will review the job alert, seek out the key words and then include them in the email to us and even better within their attached resume.
For example, one time we were needing a QuickBooks Bookkeeper really fast to assist a client. We Job Alerted the role and had plenty of applicants. There were many good bookkeepers applying but they did not specify that they could use QuickBooks, and we did not have the luxury of spending the time to call them all if they could not use the software. We trolled through mountains of applicants muttering, ‘yes; yes; you might have excellent experience, but just tell me if you can use QuickBooks quickly, and to an intermediate level?’. We were just looking for that information and the vast majority of applicants did not mention it in their application. They may have had that skill, but we did not have the time to check it out for each person.
So the moral of the story?
When you apply to a job alert, always attach your resume to the email. Additionally state in your email why you should be considered for this role ‘I have 4 years experience using QuickBooks software’. Whatever is asked for in a Job Alert, make sure your response uses the same terminology and highlights why you are more suitable than the next candidate.
The same really goes for a resume. You should always customise your resume for the role you are applying for. If the company is looking for someone to ‘wear a bucket on their head’, just think: In what roles did I ‘wear a bucket on my head’ and add that into your resume. Do not waste time telling the reader about your fast typing skills, if that is not a key aspect of the role. The reader will be looking for the exact skills they have advertised. At the interview stage, you can let them know about your additional fast typing skills.
Good luck with your next Job Alert application! Tell us why you are perfect for that job!
Important Note: These articles have been prepared for general circulation and are circulated for general informational purposes only; these articles should not be regarded as business or investment advice. The articles represent the views of the writers and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while every care has been taken in the preparation of the articles no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness of any statement is given. An individual or organisation should, before any business or investment decision is made, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to objectives, situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.