There are many people applying for the same job and it is easy to get lost in the crowd of job seekers. Usually with too many applicants, your chance to succeed is reduced and you never hear back from the organization or recruiter.

Unless you have a specialization or credentials that surpass other applicants, you may have to go through several job applications to get a call back and a possible interview.  It is discouraging when you are not selected for a job you desire, and one that best suits your qualification and experience.

Being selected requires some tactics, maybe even marketing tactics such as differentiating yourself, upgrading your skills and highlighting many of your accomplishments for the previous firms you have worked for which will apply to the new job.

Here are some significant ways to improve your chances of being selected for the next stages of a job opportunity:

1. Focus on the job description

The job advertised usually provides a clear job description on the responsibilities the organization is looking for. Use this description to highlight your matching skills and abilities for both your cover letter and resume. This way it will be easy for the organization to recognize your skills and abilities that fit their requirements.

2. Customize your resume and cover letter

Each job opportunity is different. A standard resume or cover letter will not be enough as it does not address the requirements of the job. If for instance, the organization is requesting for certain software skills and knowledge such as QuickBooks or SAP, you may want to highlight projects you have completed using this type of software. Write your cover letter and prepare your resume to illustrate how your experience will benefit the employer.

Many applicants’ approach to writing a resume or cover letter usually focuses on how working for that organization will benefit them. For example, if you reverse it to show how your experience will benefit a financial firm, you are presenting information that will interest the finance recruiters.

3. Differentiate yourself

Think of your application as a marketing campaign. Answer the question of why the company should hire you? What strengths do you bring to the job and the role? Avoid bragging about your knowledge and skills. Be realistic and don’t be afraid to talk about how you overcame some tough project challenges.

Mirror the job description as honest as you can and provide examples where possible. Try to sell your value proposition by indicating the value you can uniquely offer.

4. Prepare for a successful interview

Do your homework by researching the company, their products and services, location of operations and any recent milestones achieved by the company. Look through their newsfeed to learn about recent events and successes. During your discussion at the interview, you can tactfully use this knowledge to demonstrate that you are familiar with the company’s operations and successes.

5. Quantify your achievements

Don’t just list all the tasks and responsibilities you undertake in each of your previous roles. Instead, quantify your achievements by highlighting the task and then the results. Job recruiters and hiring firms are looking for solid results. If for example one of your tasks included cost savings for the company, then give a rough estimate of the amount that you were able to save for the company.

Another example is working within budget and even less than the estimated budget and still achieving the desired results. A result-oriented resume with quantifiable achievements is a great way to show hiring organizations or recruiters what you can accomplish if you are hired for the job.

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