It’s important to understand the recruiter’s needs. What are they looking for?
A job opening within a team is indicative of a specific situation. Either a staff member has left, or the company is growing. Many different circumstances can generate an opening.
First, work to understand the job posting through the words and expressions used. What type of applicant is expected, what skills are necessary, etc.
Then, take enough of a step back to decide if you are the ideal applicant! Should you apply? Do you have a realistic chance of meeting their needs?
Now Put Yourself in the Employer’s Shoes!
Read the job posting again and ask yourself the question:
What is the employer looking for?
The most important thing in this step is not to think about yourself or your skills, but to focus on the employer’s needs. The employer is looking for a specific candidate to complete their team, bring in new skills and succeed in new challenges. Try to understand the reasons why they are recruiting. Which responsibilities do they need the employee to take on within the company?
When you read the job posting, pull out all the words or phrases that represent the different criteria they are looking for.
Identify the Skills That Define the Desired Profile
Here, identify what skills are expected by the recruiter. Some may be obvious, while others will require some thinking and a good understanding of the job and its missions.
It’s rare to meet all the criteria a recruiter is looking for. There’s no such thing as the perfect applicant!
Different Criteria Can Offset Another
For example, operational experience may be more important than a qualification. Digital tools skills could make up for an inadequate command of English, etc.
Only the recruiter really knows where the limit is, so it’s sometimes worth taking a chance!
Aim Specifically at What is Expected
The objective of a job is to be effective and productive as quickly as possible.
There are three possible situations:
The job posting explicitly lists the required skills. In this case, simply copy them.
Certain skills are implied, and you’ll need to deduce them from the list of tasks.
Both of the above situations are listed together, and you’ll need to think about both of them!
Now It’s Your Turn!
Read this job posting carefully:
Assistant Community Manager
Reports to the Community Manager
The Assistant Community manager will assist in improving our social media presence and contribute to the growth and retention of customers through implementing our social media marketing strategy and monitoring our communities. To do this, you will:
Moderate social media accounts (messages and content)
Implement actions to lead our communities and identify influencers
Increase the brand presence and its offers on social networks
Create the relevant content (visuals, videos, texts, etc.)
A bachelor’s degree in communications or digital marketing, and initial experience in a similar field.
You are enthusiastic about all things digital and are very familiar with social media and moderating online communities.
You have good writing skills and are a good listener.
You are diplomatic, thorough, proactive, curious, creative and like working in a team.
You want to be part of a unique adventure.
Familiarity with platforms like Google Analytics, Photoshop, etc. would be a plus.
Now list all the elements corresponding to the desired profile, including essential and bonus skills, experience, qualifications and qualities.
Don’t forget to read between the lines!
Is This Position For Me?
Once you understand a job posting, check if this is the right job for you. If you're not a fit, don’t waste your time. Move on to the next one!
You've identified a promising job posting. Now what?
Compare the Desired Profile With Your Own
To submit a convincing application, go through your job analysis and list the ways your skills meet what they’re looking for.
Desired technical skills
What are the skills that I have and what level am I at in each?
What experience can I highlight in my résumé?
What are my qualifications, levels of training, etc.?
Languages and levels
What is my language level? Certificates/time spent abroad, etc.
Tools to be mastered
How skilled am I at using the tools mentioned in the posting?
How can I make the most of my knowledge of the sector, as a customer or from working in it? If I don’t have experience, is there still time to learn more about it?
Type of customers/ partners
When and in what ways have I been in contact with this type of customer/partner?
When have you worked in this type of team? What are your key assets?
Which qualities correspond to you, and in what way? What concrete examples could you give in an interview?
On each line of your résumé, note how you correspond to the job! This will help identify your strengths, make the most of your résumé, write your cover letter and then structure your interview.
For example, how do you prove:
your knowledge of the business sector? You have five years of experience in large-scale retailing.
your command of Spanish? You lived in Spain for a year.
Adapt Your Résumé to the Position
It may be useful to adapt your résumé to the job being advertised! Apply for a position if your profile meets at least 70% of the requirements. Highlight this in your résumé and make sure that it's clear to the recruiter.
Make the Most of Your Strengths in Your Résumé!
Be honest but keep in mind that it's a good idea to reuse the recruiter’s own words. In this way, you give the impression that you are speaking the same language and “match” what they’re looking for.
So go back over your résumé and check each section!
For example, what have you written in your résumé’s “Career Objective” section? Make use of the job title as advertised.
If you are at a junior skill level:
In the job offer:
Job title used
In your résumé:
Junior web developer
Junior web developer
Experienced salaries manager
Salaries manager (That’s enough. When requesting someone “experienced,” companies sometimes only need a “junior” level.)
It’s not necessary to give your address, but it’s useful if it’s within a reasonable distance of the job location.
If you live further away, you can:
indicate the region within which you are able to travel.
use the address of a friend or family member.
just provide a phone number and email address at this stage.
Highlight your most recent years of experience and detail those that have a direct link to the position or business sector.
If the main responsibilities listed in the job advertisement stipulates among the main missions “analyzing user requests and proposing technical solutions, developing new websites, performing tests, etc,” Detail an experience where you have performed this type of task! If you are just starting out, use the projects completed during your training.
Similarly, highlight the qualifications and certificates that are relevant to the posting. Be specific about the title of the qualification.
Front-end developer: OpenClassrooms, Paris (Bachelor's-level Web Developer diploma, Level 6 on the EQF, registered with the French National Directory of Professional Certifications)
Your Technical Skills
Here again, highlight the skills listed in the job posting. Specify business experience, include a link to your ePortfolio, explain something you’ve achieved and give figures where possible, including:
size of the team you supervised
budget allocated to the project you managed
Be prepared to give details when called for an interview!
In your résumé, check the qualities outlined. It may be useful to adapt them, without selling yourself short!
Use at least two of the qualities highlighted in the job posting. Explain and prove in what ways you are, for example, organized and creative. Don’t be tempted to try and bluff your way through – otherwise your trial period may only last a few days!
For example, if “team spirit” is mentioned, don’t hesitate to highlight your five years of experience as a trainer for a football club or as a rowing champion!
It’s common practice to add a section listing your involvement in the arts, clubs and associations, sports or hobbies, etc.
The résumé is your business card for employers. This means it has to highlight your career to date as it relates to the type of job you’re applying for.
If you want to be shortlisted, give yourself every opportunity and optimize it!
Read your résumé through carefully and adapt it to the job posting in a realistic manner so that your best qualities and strengths stand out! 😁
Keep a record of the applications you submit, including the jobs you've applied for and the specific version of your résumé that you sent.
File all applications carefully. You might apply on dozens of occasions, and gradually build up a portfolio of résumés. Using this portfolio, you'll be able to adapt existing résumés to a new job posting.
Now that you know what an ideal candidate looks like for a particular job posting, let's look at deepening your understanding of the company.