/* Tips for responding to job postings : */

Tips for responding to job postings

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As part of your job search, most likely you will be responding to job postings in some fashion. Real companies have real job postings that are hiring real people. You might have heard that the odds are poor you will get a job this way, but if you follow the tips below, it will increase your chances:

1. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS – I can’t emphasize this enough. So, I’m going to say it again, FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS! If you do not follow directions, your resume may not be opened. No elaboration is needed.

2. Please don’t apply if you don’t have the majority of the skills that are required. You will be wasting your time along with the time of the person who receives your resume. In this current competitive job market, employers can be very picky about who they pick to interview and hire. They can hold out until they get the candidates that do have most of the requirements. Recruiters are NOT going to take the time to see if they can fit your resume to other positions they may have. They are NOT going to consider you because you are capable of learning the skills required. Employers hire based on current skills, NOT on what you can possibly learn.

3. Customize your resume for the job you are applying for. I have been told this since time began and didn’t really appreciate it until I started reading resumes every day like I do now. Don’t expect the recruiter to be able to read between the lines to see if you are a fit. Make it obvious. Make sure you include some of the keywords and phrases in the job description in your resume. Illustrate how you have accomplished tasks that will be required in the new position. Leave out details (maybe even jobs) that do not pertain to the job you are applying for. The tone of your resume should be all about reflecting the position you are applying to.

4. Cover letters stick out, especially well written ones. This is a topic that I will probably write about in the future, but let me give a couple of pointers now. If you do decide to write a cover letter, DO NOT point out how you do not have some of the skills required. Let me figure that out for myself. When I get those kind of cover letters, I do NOT read the resume. Why should I read it?  They have already told me they are not a match. I wouldn’t spend too much time writing a cover letter when you are responding to a position posted by a recruiter. Some recruiters never read the letters. If you are responding directly to the hiring manager, you should ALWAYS write a cover letter. When in doubt, write the cover letter.

5. The moment you send an email in response to a job posting, you are branding yourself. Make sure your email address is professional, some form of your name is best. Make sure the “From” properties is your name only (don’t share with your spouse). Put the job title in the subject line (and anything else per the instructions) so they will know which position you are applying for. Do not send emails asking questions about the position, they probably will not be answered. Put your name and contact info in the email.

6. Keep some sort of record of jobs you have applied to. I get repeat resumes for the same job posting. I think these people are disorganized because they can’t remember which jobs they have applied to. When a recruiter calls you for a phone screen, you need to be able to remember which job postings you have applied to. You are not selling yourself by telling a recruiter you can’t remember because you have sent so many resumes. Yes, I have been told that numerous times.

In summary, responding to posted job openings is about quality not quantity. Take the time to only respond to the postings you are qualified for, tailor your resume to that posting and go for it!

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