The recession is causing great financial stress worldwide. All the more reason why you need to be able to improve your chances of landing the next job you apply for. You do want that job, don't you?
You need to have an advantage over the next person applying for the same job. It does not mean that you have to be better qualified. It does not mean that you need to have more experience. It does, however, mean that you have to communicate your capabilities better than the next person.
At one stage, getting a job was all about qualifications. However, employers realized that qualifications do not always translate into capabilities. Qualifications do not guarantee that the job will be done, or the problem solved. Capabilities, on the other hand, speak for themselves.
All of us collect capabilities throughout our lives. Most of these acquisitions go unnoticed, and we fail to realize their potential value. We forget that previous employers have paid us to apply these skills, and that they could be worth something to someone else.
A good starting point is to think back on all the jobs you had, making notes as you do. Note the different tasks you were required to perform, and the skills they required. You will probably end up with a long list, depending on your working experience. All that is left to do is to figure out which of these would be of possible value to your prospective employer, and communicate these skills clearly in your cover letter.
Most people make the mistake of not clearly communicating their skills. Since your qualifications do not automatically provide you with a set of skills, this is the opportunity you have to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants. You do not have to be better than the next applicant. You just have to prove that you are suitable for the position.
Preparing for the interview is not that difficult. Most interviews will consist of a more or less standard set of questions, for which you can prepare yourself. The challenge, however, lies in making it to the interview short list.
Lastly, keep this in mind: The recruiting officer may be working through a pile of hundreds of applications. By the time he/she reaches yours, it may be at the end of the day, and after working through a few hundred others. By this time, besides the negative attitude which may develop from the monotony, this person is tired. Concentration and perception will not be at their peak any more.
By this time the person is likely to simply scan through each cover letter. Will yours be clear and simple enough to bring your point across?
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