You ever stumble across a job posting that ignites your passion, sounds ridiculously interesting and you absolutely know in your heart-of-hearts that you could do that job better than anyone else? As you continue to read that same posting – has that fire ever quickly fizzled once you realized you lack the experience and or/ requirements noted? If you are like us – and many more reading this article, at this point, you probably ask yourself a variation of these two questions:
i. Do I submit my resume with the hopes that my efforts will magically trigger some whimsical fairy that will sprinkle some fairy dust over the recruiter/hiring manager prompting them to invite me in for an interview?
ii. Should I even bother wasting everyone’s time?
Now let’s be clear – if you are a recent college graduate or junior level candidate applying for vice-president level roles, the third and most important question you should ask yourself is “how stable is my mental health?” In any case, you should always be applying to roles that make sense based on the relative latitude of your skillset and experience. If you are changing industries and/or do not possess the precise skillsets noted but generally feel you could learn the role rather quickly based on your previous experience, you can increase the odds of being considered dramatically by considering these five tips in pursuit of that next opportunity.
1. Maintaining a focused approach with a broad industry understanding
When researching the actual specifics of the opportunity, take some time to understand the organization as a whole in addition to the industry it operates in. This broader context will ultimately give you a deeper meaning of the roles and responsibilites the job description entails – spotlighting the skillsets an applicable candidate should have.
2. Flex your creative muscles translating your transferable skill-sets
We recently assisted a young man interested in a role within the financial services industry. He just completed an honorable 8 years in the armed forces and wanted us to critique and provide some constructive feedback regarding his resume. He listed some rather interesting skillsets that included attaining the rank of sergeant responsible for multiple reconnaissance missions leading a squad into many combat situations. Sounds rather interesting and even exciting! However, the typical recruiter/manager would not quite know what to make of it and how it applies to their hiring needs. We advised a change of verbiage to include being a personnel manager responsible for leading a team through hazardous and ambiguous conditions to obtain vital data for analysis. Both descriptions are true and can be backed up with real-world experience; however the translation makes it easier for the recruiter/manager to realize why this candidate would be a good fit for the role. Get creative!
3. Always be real with yourself and others
Do not fudge, lie or provide any alternative facts when presenting yourself to an employer. There are systems in place that are meant to detect any untruths and the chances of the employer finding out are very high. Overall, just avoid the embarrassment. We encourage you to channel that energy into what is genuine and true about you and your candidacy and present that with zeal and enthusiasm.
4. Knock at the front door & whisper through the side window
There have been countless movie scenes that depict the way a guy presents himself when meeting the parents of his lady interest for the first time. He is usually portrayed as this nervous young man with high hopes of impressing the apprehensive parents of the gal he is courting. Now think about the times when the guy is shown on the side of the house vying for the attention of that same young lady – sometimes chucking pebbles at her window or calling her name in a loud-whisper. If done correctly, he would have masterfully and tastefully conquered two different approaches that both (if done in congruence) achieve his primary goal – getting the gal. The same logic applies when in the job market. Understand the art and science behind the machine. Knock on the employer’s virtual front door by ensuring you formally applied for the position and have a firm understanding of the role. Take that understanding and be sure to whisper through the side window by contacting the recruiter and/or hiring manager looking to fill that role and sending a concise and comprehensive email stating that you have formally applied (be sure to include the job number) and BREIFLY note why you feel so passionate about the role and why you would be a good fit. Do not forget to attach your resume in .pdf format – so it can be viewed on multiple devices without losing its formatting.
5. Promote & Position Yourself
You hear all the time about your personal brand and just how important it is both professionally and personally. Be sure to always look for opportunities to promote that brand, creatively tying it with any current job opportunities you may be seeking. By default, this automatically positions you to always be ready at a moment’s notice when you finally land that interview. Additionally, do not underestimate physically positioning yourself at key events that affords you the opportunity to network and reaffirm your interest in any particular role. Just don’t be weird about it.
Seen a recent job posting you are interested in but also feel under-qualified for? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the posting and your updated resume. Be sure to subscribe to receive career advice and updates also! We would love to provide any free suggestions we can to make you stand out.