Tailoring Your Tech Job Application to the Audience

Bill Rybinski
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Using a job application template will save you a lot of time when applying for multiple positions, but you should always customize the template for each potential employer. Customizing your job application template helps show off your most relevant skills for each position, making it more likely recruiters will want to interview you. If you submit an electronic job application, customizing it also improves your chances of getting your application past a screening program and into the hands of a recruiter.

Renee Dahring, who leads workshops on interviewing and writing resumes, says submitting a generic application or resume is one of the top reasons recruiters reject applicants without interviewing them. Taking the time to customize your application shows potential employers you are interested in what they have to offer. Before you fill out a job application, read the advertisement or internal job posting carefully. Doing so will give you the information you need to tailor each application to a specific audience. If a job posting says you must have three or four specific skills, list those skills at the top of your job application template.

Editing your job descriptions is one of the best ways to customize your job application template. Your employment history will not change from one application to the next, but it is possible to highlight different skills by changing the wording of each description. If you are applying for tech jobs requiring experience with MySQL, you should emphasize your MySQL experience. If a job does not require programming skills, do not waste valuable space discussing your experience with COBOL or C++. List your most relevant qualifications as close to the top of your job application template as possible. This will make it easier for recruiters to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for each position.

If you include a career objective in your application, make it specific to the employer. Instead of saying your objective is to "use managerial skills to lead a team of employees," include the potential employer's name in the objective statement. "To use my managerial skills to lead the IT department of ABC Company" is an employer-specific objective. If you want to include a summary of your qualifications, customize this section so you list only the most relevant qualifications for each employer.

Customizing your job applications takes time, but it is well worth the effort. Doing so will help you demonstrate interest in each position and improve your chances of being invited for an interview. Customizing your job application template will also help you make it past electronic screening programs, giving you a better chance of convincing recruiters you have what it takes to succeed in challenging tech jobs. Making the extra effort could mean the difference between landing a job offer and receiving a rejection letter.


(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)


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