In today’s climate – there is so much competition for job seekers, which is all the more reason the make sure you stand out. As Christie, the Founder of Style Nine to Five says, personalization and customization are key to a successful application.
While customization will help you stand out amongst others also applying for jobs – there’s no denying it can be quite time-consuming. Even more so when you’re applying to multiple jobs at different companies.
The good news is that there a few ways to make your life easier and your job hunt more successful! You’ll still have to put in some work and time to make sure you capture the attention of the company and ensure you haven’t missed any details, but it doesn’t have to be quite as grueling each time.
While you could start from scratch each time you look at a job listing – we’re in the business of working smarter not harder. Here are a few ways to reduce the time putting together a great application.
1. Follow Christie’s Cover Letter Formula
I know that for me, writing with a blank page in front of me can be quite daunting, and cover letters aren’t exempt. This is why following Christie’s letter formula (which breaks down the 3 main paragraphs your cover letter should include) and creating a template of sorts for your cover letter is key.
It makes the rest of the writing so much easier each time and flow better. I follow her guide that you get when you purchase one of her resume/cover templates! Now I can spend more time infusing my passion for the company and role into the letter.
Once you have a basic cover letter put together, you can then use it moving forward with a few modifications for future jobs that you’re applying for. There are things that you always include in your resume – and the basics will remain the same. The main things that will change are the company name, why you love that company, why you would love to work with them, and what specifically qualifies you for that position.
2. Put Together a Master Resume
This step requires a bit of heavy lifting on the front end – but will save you time in the long run. It can be difficult to retrieve the nitty-gritty details for every resume – but those details might be what lands you the role.
In this master resume, include all of the achievements (relevant personal achievements and career/school achievements.) Make sure to also include the projects you’ve worked on or have been a part of during your career and every milestone you’ve hit as well. Take note of as many details as possible (numbers, increases, significance, and other metrics).
When it comes time to apply for specific jobs, you can look at the master resume, and pull the most relevant details for that job pull all of the relevant pieces into the new customized resume. Once you have a strong master resume with high-impact points, your customized resumes will always be strong as well, and you won’t need to reinvent the wheel each time.
You could even take this a step further – and create master resumes for different job titles if you have an interest in different ones. For example, maybe you’re looking for social media coordinator roles, as well as communications roles and digital marketing roles. Try creating specific resumes for each type of job that you can use moving forward. This would involve taking your master resume and looking at job listings for a few different roles/titles and creating resumes for each. Each time you apply for let’s say, a social media coordinator role, you may still want to reference back to your master resume for any hyper-specific experiences and details, but you’ll still be maximizing your time.
3. Use a Template
Using a template for your resume and cover letter has a few different benefits and can definitely save you time while also improving your overall application.
First, with a well-designed template, you’re going to have an impressive-looking application without having to put in your own time designing it.
Additionally, you can insert the details that will likely not change and are relevant to every job you’ll apply to in that season. This could include your education, as well as transferrable skills.
Another great thing about templates is that they’re customizable. A great way to customize the application for each job is to use colours that are brand/company-specific – or at least match the tone of the brand. By customizing colours to match the brand – you’re showcasing that you care about the details and you’ve put some thought into it. By using easily customizable templates – you won’t have to create a new application each time.
It can be really easy to slip into simply sending generic resumes to companies – but customization will truly get you closer to your dream job. Creating a game plan that you work with each time you get ready to apply for a job will ensure you’re always giving them the very best!
Wondering how your cover letter, resume, and LinkedIn profile can work together to create a high impact application? Book a Virtual Career Meeting with Style Nine to Five’s Founder, Christie Lohr, to discuss your next steps and how you can land your dream job.
By Jenna Yeomans – Jenna is a freelance community manager and writer in Hamilton, ON with a passion for storytelling, creativity and supporting small businesses.
Feature Image: Adobe Stock