You know you can do the job. You know you would be an excellent employee. You look at your resume but you don’t see much. What can you do?
Turns out there is a lot you can do. This situation can be broken down into two scenarios. Whichever one applies to you, you can come out on top.
Scenario 1: The job is entry level or requirements are very basic
In this case, the employer isn’t looking for much. What separates you from everyone else applying for the job is your enthusiasm and strategy.
Either you have enthusiasm for the type of work involved in the job (e.g. you like learning new things and the job requires performing a lot of internet research) or you have an enthusiasm for the company or its ethics (e.g. you only buy sustainably made clothing and that’s the primary goal of the company). Showing plenty of enthusiasm in your cover letter, resume/CV and conversations for one of both of these will put you ahead of most of the other candidates. Astonishingly, most people never make the effort.
Scenario 2: The job lists experience or special educational requirements
It’s not impossible to get a job that requires specific experience or equivalent education without either of those. I have done it myself. Like in scenario 1, displaying large amounts of enthusiasm for the work and/or company is important, but you need to give the potential employer something additional to select you for. They may even need to justify hiring you to their own boss.
To get that extra something, you should research the details on that particular job or similar jobs at other companies. Find out the details of every job responsibility listed in the job ad or at least be able to talk in general about what goes into fulfilling that responsibility (e.g. creating multi-tab spreadsheets in excel then producing graphs of the results). Also, every job has a vocabulary associated with it that you can figure out before you apply. Being able to “talk the talk” in your cover letter and interview will almost assuredly get you on the short list.
Finally, the advanced and almost foolproof tactic for dealing with both these scenarios is to make your resume/CV the least important part of your job-winning action plan. First, do everything you can to cover the two scenarios above. When you feel confident in what you learned about the job and the company, track down the contact information that isn’t in the job ad.
Chances are, the ad directed you to go fill in some form or send your information to a generic email address. Do this, but don’t stop there. Find out who the likely manager or decision maker over this position is. Their name is out on the internet somewhere, possible along with their photo on the company’s web page. Also try LinkedIn or Twitter. Once you have identified the right person, or got as close as possible, get their email address and phone number.
You next and most crucial step is that you are going to contact them directly and show off your enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to “talk the talk”.
Send an email with your resume/CV attached and explain why you are perfect for the job. Point out that you applied through the requested channel, but you were so interested in the job that you wanted to speak to the person over the position directly. The day after you hit send, call them and do the same thing. This may seem unusual, but it works. Even if the person you contacted wasn’t the manager over the job, the right person will find out that you reached out. The person you contacted might even send you the correct contact information.
If this strategy makes you feel nervous, remember, this person is going to be your boss if you get the job. You might as well get used to talking to them now.
Of course, for a work from home job, this is only half the battle. Want to learn how to convince an employer that you can do the work from home? Then get an alert for my new webinar on landing the best work from home jobs without any previous experience. Add your email below to receive an alert message before the next webinar fills up.