Recently reviewing multiple job applications for a small business opportunity I couldn’t help but find flaws in each of the applications. Realizing that some of the simple information was missing from the cover letter I decided it was time to focus a blog on helping candidates answer the main question any hiring manager is thinking:
Why are you applying for this position?
This may seem obvious to you, you need a job. But it’s not obvious to hiring managers when they notice flags so I recommend taking the time to address the flags. The position I was reviewing was for a part-time marketing position. I had people with masters degrees applying, people who had 20+ years’ experience, college students and entry-level. In my mind, I could justify college students and entry-level, they were probably hoping to get into the field (although please note, I should not be ‘justifying!’), but what about the Masters degrees? This job doesn’t pay enough for their education level, and same with 20+ years’ experience. Now if someone had said that they were looking for part time position to focus on family or were planning on semi-retiring, I could at least get a picture as to what they were thinking and wouldn’t toss their resume aside.
The same applies for individuals trying to land a position in a new field. When it’s obvious that you’re missing experience or you have a completely different background (going from selling jewelry to medical devices) why not share your purpose. Are you excited and driven by this field because of the continual advancements? Do you see the opportunity to excel? Sharing how your current experiences align with your career transition is definitely in your best interest so the hiring manager isn’t left guessing what you could provide to their organization.
Taking the time to address these flags increases your opportunities two-fold and especially for opportunities that you know you may not be the perfect fit for. Showing drive, interest, and most of all honesty, vastly improves anyone’s chances of landing that next perfect career.