You’ve just found your “dream job” posted online. Now, you’re rushing to submit your resume in hopes of being called for an interview. But, when you push the “submit” button, your stomach churns as you wonder “Will they see what they are looking for? Were my resume and cover letter compelling enough?”
If you’ve ever applied for a job that you knew was perfect for you, but never received a reply, then these tips are meant for you. Developing and perfecting a strong “value proposition” – what you uniquely have to offer a company – is the most important aspect of getting the job you want. Here are a few key points to remember:
Identify the company’s “pain point”
What specific need does the company have and how does it tie to this role? What problem are they trying to solve? What key responsibilities will the organization as a whole count on from this role?
Refine your value proposition to fit specific needs
Cite examples from your career history where you “solved” similar organizational needs. Draw out skills or expertise that are unique to this role to differentiate you from other applicants. Be as specific as possible, so that the connection will be easy to catch, and include metrics to objectively measure you or your team’s achievements.
Incorporate industry terminology and sound bites
Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just for online advertising. It’s an important technique in successfully getting past screening filters used by many companies. And once you’ve cleared that hurdle, sounds bites resonate with hiring managers, helping you to be viewed as a peer and potential team member.
Eliminate irrelevant information
Oftentimes, certain aspects of professional experience are no longer relevant for the roles being sought. This is particularly true for career transitions. It’s tough to leave off experience that you worked hard for, but it can be a detractor from your overall “value proposition”. If it doesn’t fit, leave it out.
Tee up a great interview
I’ve heard coaching clients say “I’ve done that before; if only I’d had a chance to talk about it in an interview – I know I’d have gotten that job.” Don’t miss the opportunity to tee up a conversation. Even if you can’t tell the whole story on paper, due to confidentiality or complexity, include something on your resume in such a way to entice queries for more information and an opportunity to get your foot in the door with a personal conversation.
Objectively evaluate how well your revised “value proposition” fits
When we believe we’re “perfect” for a role, it is difficult to be objective. It can help to dive into the details for a more objective view. Take each element of the job description and assign a number (0 = low; 10 = high) for how well you feel your resume demonstrates that skill/expertise/experience. Then, “map” that specifically to a line on your resume. Objectively compare the company’s need versus your resume point. If your “value proposition” isn’t strong, fix it.
Now, submit that resume, and wait for a call to interview for your “perfect job”!