All too often, when people start the job hunt, they want to get as many applications as possible out there as quickly as possible. While getting your résumé in front of the decision makers at your preferred companies is a great way to get a job you’ll love, just blindly applying for every job posting that comes your way is a terrible strategy that will waste your time—and any potential employers’ time too.
To avoid wasting precious time—and potentially missing out on great opportunities in the process—answer these four questions before you fill out and submit an application.
Have You Read the Posting Thoroughly?
Employers want to attract the right employees for their companies—and for the positions they have open. When they write advertisements and job postings for specific opportunities within their businesses, they include as many details as possible. These include a description of responsibilities associated with the position, required experience and/or education, and other information you’ll need to know if you’re right for the job.
Be sure to thoroughly read all job postings before you apply for them. They’ll often tell you a bit about the company culture, as well as your specific position—so you can learn a lot about whether or not this is the right place for you before you apply.
Are You Qualified?
Along the same lines, you should pay close attention to the job qualifications listed in the posting. In some cases experience can be substituted for formal education, but in others a formal education or certification is essential. If you read this section carefully, along with the responsibilities involved with the position, you’ll be able to deduce whether your qualifications match with the position—even if you don’t have a four-year degree in the field, or if your experience is just shy of what they’re looking for.
Are Your Résumé and Cover Letter Tuned Up?
Once you’ve decided that it’s worth a shot, take a look at your résumé and cover letter. First, are they up to date? If not, it’s time to update all of your latest experience and education, along with non-work interests and accomplishments. Next, do some fine-tuning on both your résumé and your cover letter to better match them specifically with this job and this company.
Have You Fulfilled All of the Application Requirements?
Finally, read the job posting one more time and make sure that you have everything the company requires to be considered for the position. Do they want a link to an online portfolio? Do they need a sample of your writing or other work? Triple-check all of the requirements for the application. Once you’re sure you have everything in order, then you can hit “Apply”. Good luck!
Share this post:
About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
Improve Your Resume: Download Your Free Executive Resume Template Today
Are you struggling to create an executive resume that will impress employers? Download this free executive resume template and receive a series of 10 emails with expert guidance on how to write resume content that resonates with employers so you get more interviews.
It's everything you need to stand out, make an impression, and accelerate your job search.