The professional world is full of shortcuts and advice claiming to demystify the job application process, but is there really a silver bullet for gaining employment?
To many job seekers, especially recent graduates taking the first steps in their career, the job market can seem like an equally confusing and intimidating place. As dozens of resumes and cover letters are sent out – and little, if anything, is heard back – it’s understandable that job seekers are keen to find ways to make the career search more productive and manageable. How best to achieve this, though, remains a highly contentious topic.
A recent posting by Forbes provides readers with a series of email templates to land their dream job – just input the relevant data, and you’re all set. These templates range from emails to your professional network to post-interview thank you notes. Given the number of cover letters job seekers must write – and the difficulty in knowing precisely what tone to strike in each – the idea of a set template for these parts of the job hunt is undoubtedly appealing.
Flip the Script
However, this formulaic approach has its drawbacks, and can, in fact, damage your employment prospects. Since the number of applicants for desirable positions is constantly on the rise, nothing is quite as valuable in the employment hunt as being able to demonstrate uniqueness and originality.
Using an email template might ensure that your application doesn’t get immediately dismissed, but it will do little to spark a potential employer’s curiosity about your particular skills and abilities. The scripted application is inescapably constricting, curbing the natural voice of the applicant and limiting their ability to creatively emphasise their core talents.
Let’s Stop Pretending
Often forgotten by the majority of job-seekers is the fact that finding a new job is a two-way process. Employers are able to see right through a job seeker that is obviously manipulating their preferences in order to appear suitable for a position. Conversely, if a job actually resonates with the ideals and interests of an applicant, they’re likely to put forward a much more engaging and memorable case for their candidacy – and the recruiter will notice.
Ultimately, there is no hack for employment success. Even if a candidate is able to land a position via an email template or some such tactic, they’re unlikely to thrive in a role in which they were never suited to in the first place.
Instead, job seekers young and old should focus on finding the position that speaks most to their talents and interests, then dedicate themselves to putting their best foot forward. While that might sound like a familiar platitude, you’d be surprised how many employers are looking for that rare combination of authenticity and capability.
Ultimately, there silver bullet for getting a job – only you can know your own best way forward towards gainful employment.