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Avoid common job hunt mistakes! Three ways to show an employer you’re serious about their job

November 6, 2012

You want your job application to scream “Pick me!” As I noted in an earlier post, up to four out of five job applicants fail to do this. They send standard  CVs and cover letters that give no indication that they even know which job  they are applying for – let alone demonstrating how great they’d be in the position.

Show employers that you’ve read and understood their advertisement and their needs:

1. Show them clearly that you read their ad, by matching your language to the advertisment. If they’ve asked for a team player, say you’re a team player (as long as you are!). But if they asked for someone with interpersonal skills, say you have interpersonal skills (assuming you do).

2. Show you understand their needs – find out what they stand for – their values and mission - and use this in your application. Many places have websites which contain their mission statements. Careers New Zealand’s is:

“To build New Zealanders’ ability to make smart decisions about work, education and training.

“To demonstrate the benefit of smart career decisions to the social and economic advancement of New Zealanders and New Zealand.”

  • So applying for a website job here, you could state “I am keen to contribute to the social and economic advancement of New Zealanders by bringing  my website design skills to your organisation”.

3. Use the layout they use. If their advertisment is formal, use formal layout and  language.  If their ad reads:

Us: fun, flexible,  focused

You: accurate, experienced, trained

then it’s fine to send a cover letter that reads in part

Me: proofreader extraordinaire, 10 years’ experience, Diploma of Publishing

Employers want people who want to work for them, doing the job they are advertising, and helping them achive their goals. Use these tips so your application screams ‘Pick me!’.

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