Match yourself to an employer’s needs and you may have yourself a job! Three examples:
1. Yesterday, Stella was contacted for a job interview about an hour after she submitted her resume and cover letter electronically. She didn’t even use the contact she had at the prospective employer! What did she do?
- Carefully mined the job description for key words – meaning words that provide the key to the job responsibilities and skills needed to perform the job.
- Put those key words into the Core Capabilities section of her resume and into her cover letter.
- Et voila! She showed up as a perfect match for the job.
Stella did not fabricate or embellish anything. She didn’t change the body of her resume. She actually fits what the employer wants. She HAS the right skills to do the job successfully. And she wants the job. It looks like her “right fit job.”
What Stella did was speak the employer’s language.
Different employers use different words to mean the same thing. Marketing yourself is putting yourself in the employer’s place, using the words and phrases that are meaningful to them. It’s matching what you do to what they need. Make that match and you’ll rise to the top of the pile even with a “cold” application (meaning you have no one pulling your resume out of the pile).
2. Today, JJ was contacted for an interview at a place two days after applying. Again, she didn’t use the contact she had in the organization. Her resume rose to the top of the pile on its own merit. Here’s what she did:
- JJ became very clear about what kind of skills she wants to use and what kind of value she can provide an employer.
- She then found jobs that could use those skills, at organizations with missions that she believes in.
- She wrote a compelling cover letter that demonstrated her passion for and knowledge of the issue addressed by the organization (a non-profit), and her understanding of the challenges of the position, as well as telling them exactly how her past experience matched the position’s needs. Her cover letter was 1 1/2 pages, by the way.
- Like Stella, JJ used the language from the job description and organization website in her cover letter, and the Core Capabilities section of her resume.
By making the match for the employer (recruiter in this case), JJ made it easy for them to choose her. Her resume backs up her cover letter. And when she interviews, she’ll have stories to illustrate how she’s used the skills highlighted in her resume and cover letter. She has a seamless marketing package that we created together.
3. Isabel got a job offer today, essentially matchmaking herself into the position. She learned about the job by networking with former colleagues.
- Using her intention statement – telling people the skills she wanted to use and the impact she wanted to have – she communicated so effectively that one former colleague invited her to interview for a job he has doing exactly what she wants to do.
- At the interview, she talked about her core value proposition – the three key abilities she has that distinguish her in the workplace. And she matched those abilities to what her prospective boss wanted.
- Isabel had to go further in making him see that she matched his needs, when he asked “why should I hire you instead of a 25 year old who’s been doing this work?” Her response demonstrated how her experience and aptitude would give him added value, for she came up with a sophisticated proposal for how to achieve his goals.
The moral of these stories is that you can rise to the top of the pile when you target specific jobs and focus on making the right match.
Finding a “right fit” job is all about matching your abilities, talents, interests and skills with the position and employer who needs them. So use the strategies used by Stella, JJ and Isabel to find your “right fit” work.