Updated: Nov 12, 2018
With the increase in online screening processes and ‘rule in rule out’ questions (sometimes seeking purple unicorns in my opinion), job seekers need to ‘think differently’ to be considered for their ideal jobs.
Just because an employer is seeking a specific qualification you may not have, or an obscure software package that you haven’t come across, if you have the capabilities and skills to do the job, don’t let that put you off.
Appeal to the hiring manger directly. Research the company and try to identify who the employer is to contact them directly. Observe their activity on Linked In with the aim to find out what’s important to them and what their potential pain points are so you can make your application specific to them.
Lurking behind every job there’s a problem that needs solving. Figure out the problem you are able to solve. Give them a real version of you, the problems you have solved that are relevant to theirs, the successes you have had that are relatable to their business and show you can add value.
Frame your past employers to provide context. Describe the company (size, turnover, nature of business) this will help an employer understand the scope of your responsibilities. Tell an employer why you were hired in your previous companies. You weren’t hired to push paper around, you had a mission, what was it?
Now, here’s the caveat. This approach won’t appeal to every employer and if that’s the case then you just have to think that they are not right for you either. However, although this approach takes time, it could be the best time you’ve spent!
Humans don’t come with a perfect track history and a list of qualifications as long as your arm, they come with life experience and have a brain and a heart. Your aim is to prove that extra qualification or obscure software package they seek doesn’t really make a better employee!
Humanise your CV and cover letter. Absolutely avoid that long list of responsibilities and show where you will make that difference to them!