- Approx. 2 hour
- Read time: 15 minutes
- Work time: 1-2 hours
Deconstructing the position
Identifying your qualifications
BUILDING A foundation
Regardless of your experience writing applications, the fundamental skills remain the same. Whether you’re applying for a job or university, it’s critical that you dissect the application information to understand what the organization is looking for.
Without considering how to to best communicate your value, you may be preventing yourself from being offered a chance, or being considered entirely. This guide is designed to help you through the RichMUN hiring process by providing an efficient and focused structure to your process.
Compared to making it up as you go, this process will be worth your time as an efficient way to create a strong application. By following these guides, we hope you will allow our introduction to develop your skills and strengthen with any future applications.
We recommend you start by reading through the entire page to understand what you will be doing, and then get out a piece of paper (or a word document) to get started.
> Let’s begin 🙂
Deconstructing the position
“Rarely are applicants are the “ideal” employee, and rarely do employers know what their ideal candidate looks like.”
REVIEW THE DESCRIPTION
Job requirements are often a list of what an employer would like to see. They may list required experiences, skills, or other information – of which some may not be absolutely “required”.
Additionally, by reading between the lines, a job description may reveal critical soft skills, such as a set of people skills, or self-management skills that they would like to see and are not explicitly “required”.
Before you even consider your strengths and weaknesses, it’s your responsibility to understand what the employer wants. After you’ve identified the critical skills and convenience skills, can you best present yourself to facilitate their evaluation.
What’s a good place to start?
Reading through the job description and any other information again, make a list of all the skills the employer would like to see. Some skills may be clearly stated in the job requirements, which often communicates the skills an employer values most, others may not be as obvious. Re-reading and adding to your list is recommended, but don’t get stuck spending all your time reading! (Recommended time: 15 – 30 minutes)
Identify Explicit skills
> Reading through the job requirements, identify what skills the employer explicitly seeks.
Identify Implicit skills
> Re-reading the description, identify what kind of other skills would be beneficial.
CHECKING YOUR UNDERSTANDING
A job description may not have all the explicit information you need, forcing you to accurately identify the Implicit skills needed. To make sure you have understood the job requirements accurately, take some time to sort your list with the following questions:
> What tasks must I complete and what technical skills do I need to complete the work?
> Who will I work with and what people skills do I need to succeed?
> What responsibilities will I have and what personal skills would be beneficial?
IDENTIFYING YOUR QUALIFICATIONS
“Employers care far more about how you may succeed within the role, rather than how you might fail.”
1. For skills identified:
Are there overlapping skills that you can combine?
Could you be more specific with any of them?
Can you identify why each skill is important?
2. NARROW YOUR LIST:
> Decide which skills are most critical:
> list (3 – 5) critical technical skills
> list (3 – 5) critical soft skills
> Decide which skills are nice to have:
> list (3 – 5) convenient technical skills
> list (3 – 5) convenient soft skills
+ Explaining your competency with these skills will be the focus of your resume and cover letter.
3. How do you QUALIFY?
For each skill in your new lists, reflect and record what kind of experiences you’ve had with each. Try to focus on 1 or 2 meaningful experiences where you demonstrated it best.
Your experience doesn’t need to be ground breaking; small experiences can be meaningful too!
> Do you have direct experience applying this skill?
> Do you have indirect experience with something similar?
“It doesn’t matter if you can’t prove it.”
Until now, you’ve narrowed the skills you want to focus on, as well as elaborated on the experiences you’ve had with each. While this alone would be a reasonable foundation for a resume and cover letter, we’re going to take it one step further.
Using your experiences, write some accomplishment statements that clearly communicate how you demonstrated this skill. In addition to giving you a clear understanding of you qualifications, a well written accomplishment statement can help you prepare for an interview, and/or be used directly onto your resume or cover letter.
An action verb and task
> clearly defined task
> strong action verb
Describes your method
+ quantifiable description
+ tools or techniques
Your result or purpose
+ quantitative result
+ descriptive outcome
Experience: Coordinated a candy gram delivery
Statement: Coordinated an efficient candy gram delivery to over 600 students within 20 minutes by delegating into teams and creating a check-in desk to track unsuccessful deliveries
What: “Coordinated an efficient candy gram delivery…”
How: “delegating into teams and creating a check-in desk to track unsuccessful deliveries”
Result: “to over 600 students within 20 minutes”
Experience: Ran a delegate workshop
Statement: “Hosted a hour long delegate workshop for 15 students that covered research, writing, and public speaking skills in order to improve students’ confidence and preparation.”
What: “Hosted a hour long delegate workshop for 15 students…”
How: “covered research, writing, and public speaking skills”
Result: “to improve students’ confidence and preparation.”