Think of applying for a job as shopping. You are shopping for a job and the employers are shopping for employees. When employers are looking to hire new employees, the job description that the employer posts is their shopping list. Let’s just say they are shopping for oranges.
What most people do to ‘sell’ themselves to an employer is send them a fruit basket. Their resume is their fruit basket. It includes some oranges, but it also includes all sorts of things that the employer is not looking for. Maybe it’s their old resume or a resume that they send out for every job application. They include everything they’ve ever done on it, just in case. The job seekers’ hope is that the employer will look through the fruit basket and find the oranges that they want.
Unfortunately, in this Labour Market, sending out ‘fruit baskets’ is likely a waste of time. There are so many people applying for the same job that you need to send a basket of oranges to get the employer’s attention and to get an interview.
What that means is that you must read the job posting very carefully and respond on your resume and in your cover letter by providing information about the skills, abilities, accomplishments and qualifications that you have that they are looking for. These types of resumes are called ‘targeted’ resumes. They are written to directly address the needs of the employer. The more ‘oranges’ you send them, the greater the likelihood that you will be offered a chance to interview for the job.
One of my specialties is helping people identify what ‘oranges’ they have to sell to the employer and putting them into a resume and cover letter in a way that appeals to the employer.
Many more people get interviews and jobs because they went to the trouble of finding their oranges and selling them to the prospective employer.