Does this sound familiar?
“The thing I hate most about job searching is having to customize my resume and cover letter every time I see a new position that interests me. I’m working and in grad school, and I just don’t have time to sit down and re-do my information for every job. It’s such a drag!”
At PediaStaff, we hear this often. We almost always ask our therapy applicants to tailor their resume to fit the position for which we will present them, and very rarely does our candidate jump for joy at the prospect. It is no secret, that a personalized response to each and every position will result in a far greater number of interview opportunities for you. Employers want to know why you want to work for their district, clinic or hospital; why you want to work in their setting; and why you want to work with their particular population of kids.
A great way to reduce the ongoing stress of applying for a variety of positions, is to have multiple templates created ahead of time for both your resume and your cover letter. For example, you can name each of these on your hard drive as “My School-Based Resume,” or “My Autism Expertise Resume.” When a position comes along for which you want to apply, modify that template, while preserving the original using “Save As.” While you certainly can’t come up with a template for every possible job scenario, you can tackle the majority of them with a small handful of pre-composed documents that put extra emphasis on whichever setting, expertise, location or other specific topic or topics you especially wish to highlight. Here are some examples:
Setting Based Templates:
- A specific cover letter and resume for school-based positions that mentions your interest in working with children in a public school environment;
- A specific cover letter and resume for early intervention that highlights your interest in working with children in their natural environment;
Geographic Based Templates:
- A specific cover letter and resume discussing why you are looking to move to a certain area of the country or state;
- A specific cover letter and resume talking about your adventurous side and why you want to try your hand as a traveling clinician.
Population / Experience Based Templates
- A specific cover letter and resume detailing why you specifically want to work with children on the autism spectrum;
- A specific cover letter and resume explaining why you are ready for the challenge of a supervisory role.
You get the picture now, I am certain. Now, of course, you will still want to tweak your documents after you choose the best template, but it won’t be nearly as daunting a task. Don’t forget there will be combination applications that talk about why you might want the job that is both Early Intervention AND in a particular city or state, but I trust that you can handle that part, too!
Have questions for us about any step in the job search process or want to know more about PediaStaff? Feel free to email me personally at “heidi at pediastaff dot com,” our Career Center team at “contact us at pediastaff dot com,” or can call us at 866-733-4278!