When preparing to apply for a job, I want you to consider three key items: Resume, Qualifications, and Interest. If you can master these three things, you will have a more productive job search.
Writing a compelling resume is the first step to finding a job. Your resume does not have to be perfect, but it should highlight your accomplishments, be free of spelling and grammatical errors and its length should be appropriate to your experience.
There is practically no limit to the resources available to you that will help you write a good resume. Find a template online. Read one of my many articles on resume writing. Have a friend review it for you. You can send your resume to me for a free evaluation as well.
Pro-tip: Don’t get too caught up in the “best” template. Pick a format that works for you and go with it. You can adjust later.
Most job postings will include minimum experience required to be considered for the position. Typically, these qualifications center around education, years of experience, and type of experience.
Pay attention to these requirements. If a position asks for a bachelor’s degree and 5 years of experience, and you just graduated high school, you do not qualify.
The opposite is also true. If you have lots of experience and they are looking for an entry level person, you are over-qualified. This is a challenge because the pay and type of work will generally not be at your desired level.
Pro-tip: If you are changing careers or truly believe you should be considered for the position, consider writing a cover letter that details why you should be considered for the position.
Once you determine you are qualified for the position, ask yourself if this is really a position you see yourself doing. Is it an industry you are comfortable with? Does the type of work seem fulfilling? Is the company legitimate?
Personal interest in the position is an under-valued aspect of job search. Beyond pay and location, the type of work you are doing is a big reason why people stay with a company or leave to find a new position.
Pro-tip: Company reviews can be helpful, but nothing beats driving by the location or checking a satellite image online.
If you have the required experience and the job looks interesting, apply. Let the company decide if you qualify.