By Jessie Roller, Ed.D., LPC
Manager of Career Services, Turning the Corner, LLC
If you feel ready to apply for jobs online, think twice! The better prepared you are before moving towards online job boards and submitting your application, the more efficient you can be. When working with clients, many have questions about the dreaded “job application process”. What does that entail? What items need to be updated? What should be tailored to the specific job posting? Below you’ll find a breakdown of what items you need to have ready to go when you apply for positions online:
The Power of the Master
First, you need an industry-specific master resume listing all of your experiences as accomplishments. The majority of resumes list job descriptions that “tell” us what they did, but don’t “show” us how well they did it. Here’s an example: BEFORE: “Maintain productivity standards, schedule resources, and handle customer escalations.” While this may be true, it doesn’t really show what or how well the role was done. AFTER: “Created new backend systems and streamlined processes that reduced customer complaints by 80% and improved customer relationship management and retention.” Accomplishment statements can be a mixture of quantitative and qualitative statements that in essence show why you are more qualified than the other applicants.
Polished LinkedIn Profile
Bottom line: you need to be on LinkedIn regardless of your feelings towards social media. LinkedIn is a platform that is frequently used by recruiters. As a job seeker, you want to make sure you are projecting the same image and brand that is in your application materials (resume and/or cover letter). Recruiters often use LinkedIn to find applicants while waiting for people to apply and if they haven’t received any qualified applicants. This means they may view your LinkedIn before you have a chance to send in your resume.
Did you know you can apply for a job directly through LinkedIn? When using LinkedIn’s job board, you are usually applying with your LinkedIn profile. This is why updating your LinkedIn account to match the picture you’ve painted on your Master Resume is so important. LinkedIn is a place for you to expand on your background and show examples of your work in your industry. For example, LinkedIn has a feature where you can upload “media” such as PowerPoint presentations, badges, authored articles, projects, and much more that support your accomplishments. My tip to job seekers, entice recruiters and fellow industry leaders to read your profile by telling your professional story using accomplishments and industry keywords throughout your page. Luckily, LinkedIn does not have a pesky page limit you have to adhere to, so use the space to completely fill out your account with accomplishments you’re proud of.
Ready List of References
Oftentimes in the application process, you will be asked to upload your references. A reference page lists 3-5 Professional References that will speak positively about your work accomplishments, skills, and personality as it aligns with the industry you are seeking employment in. This is a one-page document that has the name, contact information (email and phone), and a one-line description of the relationship you’ve had with this individual. Example: Prior Supervisor. Have this document ready to upload or copy and paste into the company’s application system.
Templated Cover Letter
A cover letter is supplemental to your resume. Not all applications require a cover letter, however, you want to be prepared with a templated version prior to jumping on job boards. How do you create a templated cover letter? The first step is to figure out what all employers are looking for in your industry. You find this information when reviewing job posting with similar titles, you’re looking for themes. Example: 9 out of the 10 job postings you’re reviewing have “leadership experience required”, this tells you to start to write a templated cover letter highlighting and going into depth on your leadership experience. Provide a specific example that proves you’re the leader everyone wants. This will make you stand out from your competition.
Easy as 4 Steps
The 4 steps above are a great precursor to jumping online and submitting applications. If you do the work upfront, it should take you less than 30 minutes to apply for a specific job.
- Your Master Resume can be tweaked in less than 10 minutes.
- Your LinkedIn Profile is ready to go!
- Your References Page is easily uploaded.
- Updating your templated cover letter with a paragraph about the company should take less than 15 minutes.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. We work with people every day who are experts in their industry, but find it hard to create resumes, update LinkedIn, and do all the little things that make job searches successful. Turning the Corner’s career coaches and Certified Resume Writers do the work for you. For resumes, We meet with you one-on-one to discuss your accomplishments and strengths. Within a week, you will receive your professionally written Master Resume that you will spend less than 10 minutes tailoring to the specific job you are applying to. We can also write your summary and update, or even create, your LinkedIn profile to match your master resume.
If you would like further guidance in the job search process, please reach out to us and schedule a 30-minute free phone consultation for personalized career coaching or simply call us at 303-446-8876. We look forward to working with you!