Employers have fears, uncertainty and DOUBT (the FUD factor) over your ability to actually do what you claim you can do in your resume and cover letter.
Combine this with the fact that EVERY candidate looks good on paper, no-one leaves their previous job because they were paid too much, the work was too interesting and all the people were fantastic, and you can see the challenge you're facing. (I'm yet to see a resume or cover letter that says the candidate is just average...)
Specifically, here's what they fear about YOU:
* Your resume is too good to be true and you won't be able to do the job. * You won't stick around. * You don't play well with others.
So with all that in mind, over the next week or so we thought we'd share some thoughts, ideas and tips that help remove some of the FUD factor surrounding YOU (and our business too).
---- How to make an employer WANT to read your application ----
Employers don't really care about YOU, they only care about what you can do for THEM.
I've lost count of the cases I've seen where applicants with the best education, training or experience lose the job to someone with less education, skills and experience. The reason for this is that the applicant with the better skills or experience simply didn't sell themselves to the employer as well as the less skilled applicant. This leads us to a really important question: how do you know if your application is selling you as well as it could be?
Well for starters, cover letters are valuable in helping sell you to an employer because they're like mini-ads for your resume. Interest them with a brief summary, and you'll get your resume read and not thrown into the trash.
Secondly, you need to make sure that your cover letter doesn't say the same things as everyone else's! The problem is that we all learned to write our job applications the same way. Following the rules you were taught is the best way to ensure that not only will you not get noticed, but you'll stay unemployed for a long time.
Almost every application uses phrases like: "here is my resume for your position", "I have been seeking an opportunity such as this", "I can contribute to your company."
It's the same as a business saying they have good quality and after-sales service. Every business says it, and these days it's just not a good enough reason to want to do business with them. Apply this logic to your application letter. If it only talks about YOU, how good YOU are and how many years experience YOU'VE had, then you're missing the point!
The real purpose of your application should be to show the employer how your skills and experiences will benefit THEM. If your application doesn't do this, you're making it too hard for them to give you the job.
Here's an actual before and after example from my files:
"Senior NT and UNIX Systems Administrator position utilizing web development, network support and multimedia experience."
Notice how it says nothing of the company being applied to or what the applicant is intending to do for THEM. Off the top of my head, I suggested to the applicant that they could turn it around quite easily like this:
"To break all records for network stability in your company, thereby creating a productive and skilled workforce that can generate even MORE customers, support them better and make more money for you."
It's just a very quick example of turning your skills into results that an employer would be interested in. This may look relatively simple, but it can be tricky to get right. But I assure you, once you master the trick of powerfully restating your skills and experience in a way that will mean something to an employer, then you'll never be out of work again! The one simple mistake you may be making which immediately kills your chances
Here's the one thing that immediately stops most people from getting the jobs they're applying for: they keep sending the SAME application letter (that doesn't produce results) to every job they apply for.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that if you keep doing something that doesn't work while expecting a different result you really must be a masochist! The problem with sending the same "loser" application to employers is that it raises doubts about your employability. This example below will show you what I mean.
Let me introduce David the Masochist... David has been applying for positions with us for over a year. He was also applying to other companies using the same cover letter. How do we know this?
1. He never used our name in his application letter, and 2. We asked him.
Also - because he keeps applying to us we can assume he hasn't been offered a job from anyone else. This also raises serious doubts in our mind as to David's employability. If he was any good he should have a job by now.
Can you relate to David's situation? If so, then let me show you the simple strategy that turned David's life around. I rang him and asked him why he kept sending the same unsuccessful application to us and everyone else when it obviously wasn't doing the job. He was dumbfounded. It never occurred to him that his APPLICATION was a failure. He was taking it personally - he thought HE was a failure.
He had been on unemployment for a whole year simply because his application letter and resume wasn't performing. I suggested he try a new application to see whether I was right. He invested in a new resume and cover letter from us, and the result: he had three interviews within the first week of trying the new approach.
In summary: If you are sending the same sort of application letter to each job and you're not getting interviewed then CHANGE YOUR APPLICATION!!!
It's not YOU that an employer rejects, it's simply your application that's being rejected. You know you can do the job, you wouldn't be applying if you couldn't do it. So don't take this rejection personally. We see hundreds of applications and resumes each week and I can tell you now, more than 90% of them are letting the applicant down. Most of those that make it to interview will make the same simple yet easily avoidable mistakes and miss out on a job that should be theirs.