How to enhance your chances of landing a job interview?

Most job advertisements list attributes that advertisers wish their applicants to possess.

For example:

  • Must possess a degree in Science with a major in Horticulture
  • At least six years experience as a supervisor in an orchard
  • At least two years experience in project management
  • Desirable to have experience in Rose floriculture and so on

It is these attributes that can be the key to having your resume plucked out of the pile and shortlisted for an interview.

Many candidates responding to a job advertisement will just send off a resume. Other slightly more conscientious applicants will send a cover letter announcing their candidature. Still others will write some information explaining why they should be selected. However, these types of responses force the employer or recruitment agent to go hunting through the candidate’s resume in a search of the expected attributes.

Why not make it easy for the advertiser by addressing these attributes in your cover letter, thus focusing the attention of the reader immediately. This works well when you meet the criteria/attributes and even when you don’t exactly meet the attributes, it at least lets you put forward your case.

For example, in the case of the above attributes, you might respond in your cover letter:

Dear Sir,

I would like to apply for your vacant role as Manager – Horticulture. I believe I am well qualified for the role because I meet the following criteria as per your advertisement.

  • Must possess a degree in Science with a major in Horticulture

I have a degree in Horticultural Science and an MSc in Plant Pathology.

  • At least six years experience as a supervisor in an orchard

I worked for JW Orchards Pty Ltd for the past 7 years as their shift supervisor.

  • At least two years experience in project management

Whilst at JW Orchards I gained extensive experience in project management as a result of my membership of the Orchard rejuvenation team.

  • Desirable to have experience in Rose floriculture

Although I do not have experience in Roses, I do have some two years working on Tulips which like roses have a similar market in the cut flower industry.

Thus in 20-30 seconds your cover letter has clearly established you as a viable candidate and increased the chance that your resume will go to the shortlisting pile.

It is likely that this approach will make the reader look more objectively at your application, because it proves you have interest in the role and that you have taken the time to have properly read the advertisement.