Should I Apply for This Job?

"Spray and Pray" method of job applications.

Have you ever heard the term “Spray and pray”? This is what we call it when people liberally distribute resumes without much care for the job description. In other words, apply everywhere and hope for the best.

Sure, this could be considered a strategy, and if your job search is fairly homogenous and saturated – i.e., “Enterprise Account Executive in Tech” – it might just work.

However, if you’re applying for various jobs in different verticals, I recommend taking more care to understand the job description and adapt your resume to show how your skills align with its requirements.

First, a quiz:

The question is “Should I apply for this job?” Which answer is correct?

  1. Sure, why not? The worst they can say is no.
  2. Not if you don’t meet all the requirements.
  3. If you meet at least 70% of the skills listed in the job description.

If you picked “C,” you’re right! As career coaches, we generally encourage candidates to apply for jobs if they meet at least 70% of the requirements.

How do you know if you meet 70% of the requirements?

Option “Old School”:

If you’re old school, you can:

  1. Paste the job description into a Word document.
  2. Highlight skill keywords.
  3. Implement the relevant keywords into your resume’s Key Skills section.
  4. Refine your Experience section and Summary to demonstrate how you’ve applied those keywords.
  5. Eyeball that you’ve reached at least 70%.
  6. Submit.

Option “Robot”:

If you’ve stepped into the world of AI, you can use ChatGPT or your favorite bot with this prompt. Note that this is all one prompt, so it’s easier to paste it into a .doc file, set up the prompt, and then paste it into ChatGPT together.

On a scale of 1-10, how well does this resume align with this job description?

Resume: (Paste resume here.)

Job Description: (Paste job description here.)

Your trusty robot friend should spit out where you land on the scale, its rationale, and suggestions for improving the alignment. Follow the tips, rinse, and repeat until your resume scores at least 8 or above. Then, apply!

These days, the early bird truly gets the worm. So, don’t let your head get in the way of applying as soon as possible.

The best way to know when a suitable job has been posted is to set up alerts for the jobs and companies that interest you. My Job Search Strategy course, which I provide free of charge to my resume clients, covers this process extensively.

Need help with your job search?

Fill out the contact form on this website to get started.


On Key

Related Posts

Should I Apply for This Job?

Have you ever heard the term “Spray and pray”? This is what we call it when people liberally distribute resumes without much care for the