We all know that the secret to doing a great job once we have the job is having the right skill set, knowledge and work ethic. But is it really the same for your Job Application?
The secret to a great Job Application in fact is this: Speaking the language that your potential employer speaks.
You might recall that when you were completing assignments in high school or university, you absolutely had to know what the teacher or lecturer was actually asking for. In your current case – what is the potential employer actually asking for?
Many Job Advertisements will describe the company, their business culture and what your potential job looks like. Some Job Ads go into detail with Selection Criteria that they require you to address. But often the Job Ads do not stipulate Selection Criteria. As a result many people think that writing a general introductory letter about themselves and their career objective should be enough for the Job Application. But the potential employer really DOES want you to address… well, something!
Here I share my tips with you so that you will know how to do it for yourself next time:
1. Circle the Adjectives
- Print out the Job Ad
- Grab a pen and/or highlighter pen
- Circle all the descriptive words the Company has used. When they describe their company, what are they saying? Are they saying they are “environmentally friendly”, or that they are “dynamic”, or that they are “forward-thinking”?
2. Analyse the Words
Next, grab a cup of tea and have a brainstorming session with yourself. What does “environmentally friendly” actually mean? Yes, they look after the environment. What else? Well, they are probably really strict with their wastage and OHS. What else? Well, they are probably technologically advanced because they are not using paper anymore.
Do you see how I’ve come up with 3 points off the top of my head about what “environmentally friendly” actually means? I’ve come up with:
(a) They look the environment
(b) They are strict on wastage
(c) They are strict on OHS … ooh, I actually came up with 4,
(d) They are technologically advanced.
3. Analyse the Words from the Words!
Next, finish your cup of tea and flesh out each of those points further:
What do each of those points actually mean?
(a) They look after the environment – global awareness, big picture thinking
(b) They are strict with wastage & OHS – stick to the rules, precise, concise, efficient business culture
(c) bTechnologically advanced – updating of knowledge, self-development
And voila! Suddenly it all comes together. You now need to show in your Resume & Cover Letter that you are:
(You got it!)
- globally aware
- big picture thinking
- adhere to policies & procedures
- that you have a precise/concise/efficient approach to your work
- that you continually update your own knowledge through self-development.
And that’s not even getting into the Job Description! And that’s not even adding your own personality and experience (Point of Difference) into it yet!
You will need to do the same with the Job Description – circle the descriptive / action words, flesh them out, and flesh them out again.
You will soon have a Resume and Cover Letter that speak your potential employer’s language!