Standing Out From the Crowd

Standing out from the other job seekers must begin with your resume, cover letter and the tactics you use. The better job seekers have two-to-five resumes that they selectively send to employers, depending on the type of job they are applying for. Instead of only having one resume, as the average job seeker does, I strongly encourage you to have a base resume for each type of position you apply to. The way to stand out is to make slight changes to both the cover letter and resume to target each job you apply for.

Changes made are mostly wording, however it might include adding truthful information about you that is not typically needed for some jobs, or removing items that are not needed for other jobs.

Getting to this point requires research on the company, its goals and philosophies, and then determining how you can help the company maintain and exceed those goals.

Steps:

1. Take your generic resume for the type of position you are interested in applying for and compare it to the job ad or description.

2. Ask yourself the following questions:

Are you showing in a concise manner all or as many of the relevant requirements that you possess?
Every job ad has specific key words. What key words from the job ad are you using to start your bullets with?

3. Research the company, taking time to investigate their hiring processes (when possible), the company goals, and their competitors. By doing this, you can learn much about the company and you can demonstrate your research in the cover letter, as well as the resume. This can be done as follows:

• Read the company website, specifically the press releases (or news) and any profiles of senior management (however, do not limit your search to this).
• Also try search engines such as google.com, and look at the links about the company.
• Visit free financial sites such as at hoovers.com and yahoo.com's financials section. These sites show you how well the company is doing, who their competition is, and also provide news links and website links.

4. After doing the research, ask yourself this question: “Does my resume and/or cover letter show how beneficial I would be to this particular company and its specific goals?” If the answer is no, then you need to include additional items that will help you stand out among the other applicants and close the deal.

The biggest decisions are those made at the start of your job search, as it then becomes an upward or downward spiral. If you are struggling to match your skills and qualifications to the job ad, then perhaps you need to examine your process of finding a position that is right for you.

Failure to do so, even if you somehow land the job, can result in starting over again in a year or less.

Being confident with matching your cover letter and resume to the position and company will bring the much-needed confidence when you are granted the interview!

This is a guest article by my friend, Rachel Goldthwaite. If you visit the Monster.com discussion forums, you've seen many of her posts offering valuable advice to job seekers under the nickname of "rgold." Enjoy...

With compliments from Bonnie Low, from Career Life Times: Best Job Interview Strategies,

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