Job hunting can be intimidating. There are so many ways to go about it these days as a lot of the process is automated. It’s all about connections and who you know. LinkedIn has come into play over the past decade as an excellent tool in professional networking and needs. But despite all this advancement in technology, it can still be a challenge in trying to land an interview.
During the time I worked with resume writing and cover letters, I was taught that you needed it to customize the job. Sound advice. But that advice felt generic and, at times, hard to figure out especially when you were trying to even begin writing. I also learned it’s important to highlight and show soft skills when one doesn’t necessarily have the experience been asked for. Trying to combine these two concepts was difficult for me and trying to articulate when I did resume writing was hard as well.
Then I looked at it in terms of dating. I know it sounds silly. Job hunting. Dating. What could they possibly have in common? Bear with me a moment.
One of the timeless pieces of advice one receives with job hunting is to customize the job. If you have ever been on a dating app, in theory, you do the same thing. I have many horrible Tinder stories and I have tried my fair share of dating apps. Whenever I agreed to meet with a guy, I would always try and view his profile and make plans to make talking points about what he had on his dating profile. I know, it sounds silly and a little controlling, but in my mind, it was the thing that could make or break a second date. If you find someone interesting and he or she has that they love dogs and hiking, you’re going to try and talk about dogs and hiking in the mountains. Even though you’re more of a cat person and really prefer the beach.
The same idea applies to looking at a job ad. If an employer list that they want public speaking and leadership as skills, you will try to find a way to make that stand out on your resume. Say you only have experience working in customer service. We can make that work! Your ability to speak with customers counts as being skilled with public speaking. Did you ever oversee another employee, for example, checking outside work in a restaurant? That counts for leadership skills as well! If an employer is looking for a certain skill, you will reframe your experiences to make it sound like the skills they are looking for. It will help you stand out as an ideal candidate.