Before you apply for a job

Kia Ora Whanau! Alex from Costas Enterprises here to help you apply for that new job.

Don’t have time to read?? You can listen to a copy of this post from my podcast the “Get a job and get healthy with Costas Enterprises” podcast on Spotify right here.

I hope I can give you some guidance into creating things like a Master CV and a Cover Letter … Wait …What do you mean a master CV??

Don’t worry we will get to that shortly but first, let me break it down for you,
If your about to venture into the workforce for the first time, or your not happy at your current job and you want to do something else you need to do a couple of things first.

  1. Think about what you want to do.
    When applying for, or even thinking about applying for, a job you should know what is required of you to do the job.
    I suggest you think long and hard about what it is that you actually want to do.
    Once you know what you want to apply for, then comes the hard part!

    I’m not going to sugar-coat this, I can help you create a master CV, Cover Letter and give you help with interview skills, but if you haven’t taken the time to think about what you actually want to do and it will not come across in your application for the job.
  2. Do your research.
    What I mean by this is simply, look at the job description you are applying for and ask yourself these questions:
    Can you easily identify what skills are going to be needed for the job?
    What are the duties listed or expected duties of the role (if these aren’t mentioned)?
    Do you have these skills?
    Are you going to be doing something your interested in?

3) Apply for the job!
Ok so it’s not exactly that simple but let see what you need to do first, You need to create a CV and Cover letter that is going to grab the attention of your audience (this is the employer who wants to interview you). This will allow the employer a glimpse into what you can bring to the job.

I suggest you do the following:

  1. Create a master CV

This CV should have all of your skills, education, employment and references in one place. I will break down each of these sections in a future post but effectively, you want to be able to use this master CV to chop and change the relevant skills that the recruiter is wanting.
This will make your CV adaptable to the job you are applying for.

2) Working out your best skills

When looking at the job you want to apply for try to identify the skills that you have that the employer is wanting to see from their job description and adapt your CV and Cover Letter to reflect those skills.
These skills could include, but not limited to:

Excellent Customer ServiceComputer Literacy
Excellent Communication Skills Proficient in [Microsoft Office or/ CAD/ ETC]
Time Management SkillsHighly Effective Organisational Skills
Adaptability and/or FlexabilityCash Handling/ Payroll Administration
Able to work independently or as team memberLeadership/ Management
Table 1. Example of skills that can be placed in a Master CV

Once you have a list of skills that covers everything that you feel confident you can demonstrate, you are on your way to creating a Master CV.

3) Identify the skills being asked for in the job description  

But “How do I identify the skills needed?”, Put simply, most employers will have some base skills that the require to have before applying. These skills are usually clearly defined within the job advert/ attached job description, however sometimes you won’t be so lucky.

You have to learn to “read between the lines” so to speak. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. While reading the job description look at the duties that are being mentioned, what are they asking you to do? This usually indicates the skill the employer is looking for.

Let me give you an example, if the job description says something like: “Due to the nature of the role you would be required to engage with internal and external stakeholders to provide quality assistance and feed-back”

What do they actually want???, well if we break down their sentence they are basically saying you would be required to “engage with internal and external stakeholders” – basically you need to talk to staff (internal stakeholders) and customers (external stakeholders) “to provide quality assistance and feedback” – to help with customers questions and provide information back to staff.

But hang on Alex, what skill are they wanting me to identify??
It’s actually more than one skills they are wanting you show.

  • The first skill is Networking and/or Customer Relationship Management skills,
  • The second skill is Communication Skills,
  • The third skill is Problem Solving skills,
  • And finally the fourth skill is Accountability

Funny how one sentence can be four potential skills right? However, now that you know what to look for you can now adjust your master CV to include the skills you possess.

4) Write a Cover Letter

Ok so some people think they don’t need a cover letter these days given all the online activity we have and also the resources we have available when people apply for a job but let me tell you right now, They are wrong!

Your cover letter can get you an interview by itself!

With a lot of HR departments these days dealing with hundreds if not thousands of applications for jobs, the HR department’s have to be mindful of how they can shortlist their applicant’s.

One way they do this is by looking at the cover letter first without looking at the CV and checking to see if you have mentioned the skills required.

The CV will still be looked at by the potential employer but HR may not be your direct employer (this is especially true if you are applying for a job within a larger organization).
HR will need to create a shortlist of the applicants that might make the cut. Because you have already identified the skills needed you can also show what the employer wants to see in the cover letter (or get past HR so the future employer can actually read your CV).

That’s all for this post but keep your eyes open and click that subscribe to be notified everytime a new post becomes available.

While I am still building this blog you might need some extra help.

Note: The link below does go to Amazon.com and I am a Amazon Affiliate so, if you click through and buy something from them I do get a commision, however I will only do this for products that I actually have used, read or watched and would actually recommend. That said, I have read the following book High Impact CV’s by John Middleton which had some good ideas and is a great place to start .. until I can provide you with more content.

I love to hear your feedback so feel free to leave me a message or a comment.

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