Many job seekers fall into the SEO trap, relentlessly trying to pair up the phrasing on their resume and cover letter to match the phrasing in the job description. Craft a better resume by switching your focus. Companies are looking for vibrant individuals ready to step into their new roles with excitement and drive. Show off your passion for the position by focusing more on the company than on the exact job description.
Let Your Curiosity Show
Before tailoring your resume and cover letter to meet the needs of a specific position, spend some time researching the company. Dig deep. Peruse its website to find out about the organization's history, goals and principles. Read profiles of the company's management team, and learn about their products and services. Think about how you would fit into the picture — how your skills, experience and natural aptitude could benefit the organization. Create a better resume and cover letter by using this as your focus.
If you score an interview, take your company research up a notch. Look for news articles about the company, both recent and in the past. Get an idea about how things have changed and the direction in which the company is moving. Check out the organization's leaders on LinkedIn, and look for web articles about them. Spend time focusing on the department for which you'd be working. What are its current goals? Then, at the interview, be prepared to ask questions that show your curiosity, not just about the position you are applying for but also about the company as a whole.
Share Your Value
In your better resume and cover letter, be sure to share the specific value you'd bring to the organization. What problems are you ready to help the company solve? How will the company be better off with you than without you? What do you offer that is different from other candidates? Although the job description likely lists skills you need and the job duties you'll be expected to perform, a better resume focuses instead on how you are prepared to make a difference.
Provide Examples of Your Passion
In general, organizations receive many applications from fully qualified applicants. Your passion for both the organization and the type of work that you do is one way to show your unique aptitude for the job opening. After refining a better resume to show your worth, describe some of your passions in your cover letter. Share specific ways that you have used your passion in other positions. Perhaps you helped a co-worker move up the ranks or have gone well above what was required for a project. Be sure to explain why you did more than what was expected. When hiring managers see your history of determination and dedication, they are better able to visualize you doing the same type of work to transform their companies.
Oftentimes, getting the job isn't about being able to do the job; it is more about fitting into the company culture and offering solid worth to the organization. Dig deep during your company research, and then share your curiosity, passion and history of determination in a better resume and cover letter to win over hiring managers with your special combination of skills and drive.
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