How to Match Your Qualifications to a Job
Employers will usually only spend a few seconds deciding if you are a good enough fit for a job to warrant a more thorough review of your resume and cover letter, so you need to make sure that it is immediately obvious that you have many of the skills, experiences and qualities that they value most highly.
Tips for Matching Your Qualifications to a Job
It's also important to focus on your most relevant skills and strengths when writing resumes and cover letters, and when interviewing.
Make a Match
Once you have assembled a detailed list of the qualifications for your target job, review each item on the list and try to think of how you might prove that you possess that asset. Write a sentence about as many of the qualifications as possible detailing how you used that skill or exhibited that quality in a work, volunteer, academic or co-curricular role.
Whenever possible, point to any positive results or recognition you received while applying the skill. For example, if a job requires strong writing skills, you might say "While working as a campaign intern, I wrote press releases about the candidate's platform which resulted in two articles in the local media."
Prioritize Your Qualifications in Your Cover Letter
Prioritize the sentences about your qualifications and incorporate the hardest hitting statements into your cover letter.
Compose a thesis statement for the beginning of your cover letter which references 2 – 4 assets which make you an excellent fit for the job.
For example, for a bank teller job, you might say "my strong mathematics skills, customer service orientation, attentiveness to detail and ability to work with precision make this job an excellent fit for me." In subsequent paragraphs, you should provide examples of how and where you applied those skills.
Review Your Resume
Review your existing resume and make sure that you have incorporated as many statements about the preferred qualifications for the job as possible. List the highest priority phrases at the beginning of your descriptions to get the most attention.
If you have a couple of jobs which are more qualifying than others, you might develop a lead category towards the top of your resume like "Related Experience" (if they are not your most recent jobs).
Some candidates will have clusters of experiences which correspond to key qualifications. Take the example where writing and event planning are highly qualifying for a particular job.
If a candidate has experiences which fit those categories, then they might have headings like "Writing Experience" and "Event Planning Experience" and place the related experiences in those sections of the resume. Relevant headings will draw the employer's attention to key qualifications at a glance.
During Job Interviews
Prior to interviewing, review the list of qualifications you created when working on your job application. Be prepared to discuss the specific skills and assets you have during job interviews. You can also reiterate what qualifies you to be selected in your job interview thank you notes.
Related Articles: How to Decide if a Job is a Good Fit | What is Candidate Fit? | How to Use Advanced Search Options to Find Jobs That Are the Best Match
Read More: Resume Examples | How to Create a Professional Resume | Cover Letter Examples