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3 Tips for Job Applicants – Simple actions to get your application read

In the past few weeks, I’ve had more clients ask me to help them with job searches. As all of my clients are nonprofits, and I help them with fundraising, these searches are for positions on their fundraising teams.

I”m not a recruiter. In this role I support the nonprofit in going through resumes, deciding which candidates to move forward, and conducting first interviews.

Through this, I’ve encountered a lot of applicants that surprise me, and want to share some tips based on those surprises.

First tip: If the application process includes answering any questions, answer them. Organizations use these questions as a quick entry way to move forward, or not, with the applicant. Many organizations do not move forward candidates who choose not to answer the questions.

Second tip: Read the job requirements. Then read them again. Does your experience really match what the organization is looking for? Is your experience worthy of the organizations time to consider? I find these questions to be important as I read through applications where the candidate has either completely misunderstood the organization’s needs, or is simply disregarding them.

Third tip: In an email, cover letter, or any other form of communication included with the application, do not refer to the organization you’re applying to as “your organization”. This makes the person reading the application, in this case me, consider the possibliity that this is just your template for a communication. Instead, use the organization’s name. This adds something more personal, along with the fact that you know which organization you are applying to. Also, this separates you from other candidates.

I have been in a job search. I have been laid off. I know how difficult the process of finding the next job can be, and how it can feel. Nonetheless, applying in a way that immediately rejects you doesn’t help you or the organization you have applied to.

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