Your Application Materials for Your Job Search

Once you have the logistics for your job search set up, the next step is to prepare your application materials.

These will usually include:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Sample application form
  • List of references
  • Work portfolio

The most important thing to keep in mind as you create or update these materials is to focus on the employer, not yourself.

You will need to think like a marketer to get yourself hired. Many job seekers fail because they do not take the employer’s perspective into account.

Remember that companies are hiring because they need help, not because they want to help you achieve your life’s goals.

This fundamental shift in perspective will help you configure your application materials and how you present yourself to the employer towards proving your value to employers and why they should hire you.

Here’s a quick example:

  • Cover Letter #1:
    I am looking for a position with a company that offers an excellent working environment, great benefits, and opportunities for career growth.
  • Cover Letter #2:
    I am looking to utilize my skills in cost-containment, contract negotiation, and inventory management to provide cost savings and productivity enhancements to a great organization.

The first cover letter statement focuses on what you hope to get out of a job; the second focuses on what you’ll contribute. For employers, it’s a big difference – they’re looking for specific business outcomes and someone to deliver these results.

Here’s another example from a resume:

  • Resume #1:
    Objective: To find a position with a growth-oriented company that values its employees and provides long-term career growth opportunities.
  • Resume #2:
    Profile: Accurate, detail-oriented marketing professional focused on adding value through measurable results. Special areas of expertise include increasing website traffic through search engine marketing, maximizing advertising budget ROI, and increasing product marketing conversion rates.

Fundamentally, this attitude change makes you focus on the results you can bring to your future employer, which is exactly what they are looking for.