This is part one of five in a blog series that will help you effectively tailor your cover letter and resume to any position to help you stand out and get interviews. We’ll share specific techniques that are proven to work. A fictional position will be used throughout the series to help you apply these tips.
By Bock Szymkowicz, Career Development Specialist
Why Tailor Your Job Application
Are you more likely to open a letter addressed to “Occupant” or a handwritten letter with your name on the front? Obviously you’d read the handwritten one. A similar rule applies to job applications – companies are much more likely to be interested in a candidate that has a personalized approach to their application.
Before we jump into this series, it’s important to understand why we need to research and tailor. While it may seem obvious, sometimes the tediousness of applying again and again may have you going through the motions of tailoring without understanding the intent. To effectively tailor, we need to understand:
- Why to Research a Position: To understand the skills required and if this job is right for you
- Why You Need a Tailored Resume: To create a clear connection between your skills and accomplishments and the job responsibilities
- Why You Need a Tailored Cover Letter: To show how your personality and passions fit with the company and position
This will take some extra effort, but it is well worth it. Adrian Granzella Larssen, editor-in-chief of The Muse says: “It’s fine to apply for more than one role if there are a few you’d be qualified for, but it’s best to focus your search on just a couple and, again, tailor your application for each one. I’ve had people apply to every position I post, from the very junior to the very senior, and to me, that says, ‘I’ll take anything!’ Not exactly what most hiring managers want.”
At Byte Back, we know this works. With help from Abdullah Alnassar, job developer, our students who reposted tailored resumes on job boards got more phone calls for interviews. So taking the extra time to match your application with the position will make a strong difference in securing an interview.
A note: Tailoring does not mean recreating your cover letter and resume each application. Rather, we will view tailoring as creating a resume that relates to a specific position so it can match across applications and creating a core cover letter that can be modified to meet each company.
In the second installment of our series, we’ll review how to research each position so you understand the intended responsibilities and duties. Stay tuned …