A very easy, relatively low-tech way to figure out if you have the qualifications for a specific job is to compare your experience and skills with the responsibilities and requirements laid out in a job description. Here’s how to form the grid itself:

In Word, go to the tab “Table” on the top.

Left click on it. A new little window will come up saying “insert” and “delete.”

Click on “insert.” Another little window comes up that says “Table” (and some other inaccessible things – ignore).

Click on “Table.” A new screen comes up that allows you to specify how many columns (vertical) and rows (horizontal) you want.

Click on the bottom arrow of “columns” until you get to “2” and click on the top arrow of “rows” until you get to “6” or whatever number you think you’ll need.

Then I cut and paste the distinct pieces of the responsibilities and requirements (put both sections in, as both contain vital information), one per left box.

If you run out of boxes, you can make more in two ways.

  1. Go to the bottom right box and hit “tab” and another row will appear.
  2. Right click on “table” and then click on “insert.” You’ll be prompted to add either rows above or below, or columns to the right or left. You want “rows below.”

Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to add more than one at a time, with either method.

Once you have all the responsibilities and requirements in their grid boxes, start writing in the right column how you match those with your credentials and experience. BE SPECIFIC! Give numbers, measurable impact, kinds of people you worked with, type of projects. Include EVERYTHING you can think of.

This grid will help you decide whether it’s worth it for you to apply. If you do, the grid then serves as a basis for creating a very targeted cover letter, that markets you effectively as having what it takes to meet the employer’s needs.