1. Actually read the job spec
Don’t just mash “Quick Apply” to any job that has the right job title at the top. Go through the job spec, highlight the stuff you’re really good at and start to build a narrative about why YOU are a good fit.
2. Job requirements are a wish list, not a specification
Most job specs are written by non-experts, probably in a hurry. You don’t need to be able to tick 100% of the boxes. 60% is a good starting point.
3. Customise your resume / cover letter
It’s a good idea to have an MVP resume / cover letter available as a starting point. “Customising” them doesn’t mean rewriting from scratch every time. Adapt these skeletons to the job in question and make your unique attributes stand out.
4. ATS systems do exist, but they’re not your enemy
Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems but in most cases these are just used as a categorisation aid, and real people still look at them. It’s an easy excuse for struggling job hunters to blame AI. It’s mostly not true.
5. Years of experience is not a hard requirement
Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs that require X years of experience if you have less. There are limits (6 months is a lot less than 10 years) but focus on owning your narrative & what you bring to the job, and how you explain it.
6. It’s OK to interview for jobs you don’t want
If we’re going to treat our careers as products, we shouldn’t be afraid to experiment and learn. You’ll also get fantastic insight on whether you’re paid right, and you might even end up wanting the new job!