Are you analysing a job description thoroughly before applying?
If you don’t analyse the job description you could end up missing a great opportunity or be disappointed in the outcome. To impress employers, invest time in understanding what they are specifically asking for. This will prepare you for writing a job application that shows you are a match. Here’s where to start:
Start with the qualifications
There is no need to spend time preparing an application for a position if you don’t have the qualifications. Sometimes experience can compensate, but for specialised roles, qualifications matter. For example, if a job calls for a degree that you don’t have, it may be that your experience would be enough. It’s important to be realistic without underselling yourself.
Research the company
Know the culture, mission, and values. Do they feel like a good fit? Your job isn’t just the role; it’s the company too. It’s easy to get carried away when you see a job you really want. But, if you’re successful, the job is only part of the picture. Working out whether it’s a company you really want to work for can help focus your mind. It’s also helpful for preparing your cover letter and resume.
Do you have the right skills?
Highlight key skills and understand there relevance to the role. For example, if a job calls for good communication skills, showcase your understanding in your resume and/or cover letter. If it’s a management role, demonstrate your ability to communicate well with a team. If it’s a research role, it might be along the lines of producing written summaries of your work that are easily digestible.
Identify the key tasks
List duties and relate your experience to them. You should tailor your resume and cover letter to align with key tasks. Don’t be put off by key duties that you’ve never done before – highlight those that you have and think about whether you’d be confident picking up the others. No candidate will be a 100% fit for a position but employers want to see that you have most of what they need.
Follow the application process carefully
Never take shortcuts. Follow instructions meticulously. Adapt your resume and cover letter accordingly. Take note if you’re required to send anything else like samples, a portfolio, or case studies. A company may want you to apply online. They might want you to email your application. If you are unsure of the process or a specified format, contact the recruiter and ask. Don’t guess.
Securing your dream job is about more than having the right skills and experience. It’s about knowing how to analyse the job description and tailoring your application to fit. Taking the time to work through the role and understand the company is critical. By using our guide, you’ll be able to dissect the role and demonstrate how and why you’re the best person for the job.
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