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Posted: August 16, 2013

Best of CoBiz: Six rules when applying for job boards

Rule #1: Don't apply if you're not qualified

John Heckers

Job boards can be a real help to those trying to recruit great employees and for those looking for jobs. But most applicants do not know how to get noticed when applying through a job board. Here are six essential rules you should follow.

1). Don’t apply if you aren’t qualified. No one is going to have 100 percent of the qualifications that the posting calls for. But if you have less than about 65 percent of the qualifications, you’re wasting your time and that of the employer posting the opening.

2). Don’t just hit “reply.” Too many job-seekers on job boards have profiles that will be forwarded to the employer if they just some sort of “reply” button. This can seem like a convenience for the job-seeker, but it almost assures that your résumé will never get seen. Apply individually to each opening and address the needs of the employer in your application.

3). Read the posting carefully. It is amazing how many job-seekers just read the headline and apply. Yes, I know you’re probably doing it to report that you’ve applied somewhere to the unemployment office, but it is a waste of time and very rude to apply without knowing for what you’re applying. Know the qualifications you’re supposed to have and address them in your application.

4). “Jump through the hoops.” Today it is an employers’ market. Many employers will ask you to demonstrate, in one way or another, that you are capable of doing the job. They will often ask you to write an essay or to take a pre-qualifying test. I have seen many people, especially those who are in the “Millennial Generation,” refuse to “jump through hoops” to get a job. Considering the scarcity of jobs, especially for younger people, this is a very short-sighted and foolish attitude. Do what the employer asks you to do, and do it well. If you are not willing to “jump through hoops,” get used to unemployment, as your competition is not quite so picky.

5). Check and double-check everything. I have had numerous applications sent to me over the years where the applicant could not spell my name right. Now, if I was Mr. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius, I could understand. But my name is “Heckers,” and it is very easy to check out. Get the company name right, too. Check spelling. Check grammar. Have someone proofread what you’ve written. Carelessness can cost you the opportunity for your dream job. Be aware that your dream job often starts with a job.

6). Personalize. No one likes “canned” cover letters or a résumé that has no applicability to the job being sought. Personalize whatever you send out. Make it apropos to the specific job for which you’re applying. Unless there is no other choice, never send a letter “To Whom It May Concern.” Take a couple of minutes and Google the company. Find out to whom the letter should be addressed.

These few tips will help make your job board experience successful. Make it personal. Make it complete. Make it correct. And do what the employer asks of you.

John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC was an Executive, Relationships, Life and Spiritual Coach in Denver with 30 years of experience  helping people with their lives, relationships and careers.

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