You never know how many people are applying for the same job as you. You can be sure, however, that other applicants are using everything in their arsenals to land the job – and you need to do the same. In the first post in this three-part series, we covered the steps you should take before looking for a job. In this post, we’ll share our top tips for standing out when searching and applying for jobs:
Research the company
Before you think about applying for a job, take some time to research the company. Candidates who genuinely care about the company and the job have done their research. Not only will this information help you when it’s time to ask the interviewer some questions, but it will also help you decide whether it’s a place you even want to work.
Give your cover letter some real attention
Most cover letters come off as bland and impersonal. They either recap the contents of an applicant’s resume or read like a form letter suitable for almost any old job. To get the most out of a cover letter, include information not found on your resume, such as personal traits, work habits, interest level, and specific qualifications relating to the position. In short, customize it for the job. It’s important to take note that not all positions require a cover letter. If you’re unsure, talk with a recruiter!
Tailor your resume to fit
As with cover letters, it’s also wise to tailor your resume to fit the job opening. For most employers, the focus is on an applicant’s employment history. Using their job description, tweak past duties and achievements to better match the position — without misrepresenting yourself, of course — and pull the most pertinent information to the top of each job entry. If you have a skills section or a qualifications summary, do the same here.
Network, network, network
Your network is your most valuable tool. LinkedIn is a great place to start! Before you apply for a job, look on LinkedIn to see if anyone in your network has connections within the company. If so, don’t be afraid to reach out to meet over coffee or ask for a referral. Having an “in” within the company is a surefire way to get an edge.
Getting noticed during the application phase of the hiring process is important. By following these tips, you’ll have a better chance of reaching your goal: landing the interview… and then, ultimately, the job!
The next post in this series covers how to stand out during the interview – which is arguably the most important step in the hiring process. If you didn’t already read the first article in this series, we invite you to check it out now!
Questions? Need more information?
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