For most people, finding a job they want isn’t a problem. It’s getting the job that causes the most anxiety.
Did you know that you can do things before you even hand in an application that will increase your chances of getting that job you’ve been dreaming of?
Would you like to have a list of steps that you can take now that will help steer the applicant pool in your favor?
Well, it’s your lucky day. This is the list of seven steps you should take before you apply for a job.
1. Polish Your Resume
Before you hand in your resume for a job, you need to make sure that it is as immaculate as possible.
Proofread it and check for errors numerous times. Tweak some wording to make it sound better. Have others check it and make suggestions.
Your resume is the representation of your potential in one little document. It is worth taking the time and effort to make it the best description of you possible. Without a good resume, you have no chance of an interview, let alone the job.
When writing your resume, you must create a new version tailored to each job you are applying to.
It may not only be humans that will be reviewing your resume. Some companies use computer programs, called ATS (applicant tracking systems) to filter the resumes before a human even sees it.
Using the right ATS keywords will help your resume land on the top of the computer-approved pile and into the hiring manager’s hands. Try including many of the words that you saw in the job posting — but make it look natural.
It would be best if you paired your perfect resume with an enticing cover letter.
2. Update LinkedIn
Just as you would want your resume to be spotless, you need to proofread your LinkedIn profile now.
LinkedIn is becoming more like the digital version of resumes. Employers will often check a LinkedIn profile when looking at a potential hire.
Make sure that your profile has relevant skills listed to the job you are applying for. Just as you would tailor your resume to the job, you should update your LinkedIn to your current sought after position.
To go the extra mile, LinkedIn offers tests to prove your skills. Find and take tests relevant to the job posting to make you appear even more of a great fit.
Of course, you should upload images of any certifications, degrees, or awards that you have gained.
Take the time to double-check all aspects of your LinkedIn page and really make it shine.
3. Clean Up Your Online Presence
To make yourself look serious about your career, consider creating a professional website. Having your own website where you can show a little personality makes you a person, not just a resume.
In this digital age, it’s hard to make a personal connection with an interviewer. Your website can be an opportunity to showcase your best assets.
It’s also important to check your social media accounts and delete anything that would look unprofessional. Your best friend’s bachelorette party is probably not the best thing for potential employers to see.
Lastly, spruce up your profile to present yourself as an honest, hard-working individual.
4. Create a Professional Email
If you are still using your old high school email with an embarrassing address, it’s time to create a new professional email account.
Create one that is preferably your first and last name or something as close as possible to that if you have a common name.
If you submit your application and resume by email, make sure that you make it as easy as possible for the receiver to find it. They may get hundreds of emails each day, and yours could get lost in the shuffle.
The best way to ensure that someone reads your email?
Fill the subject line with the job posting title.
Also, make sure you send all files in the correct format. Most job postings will include directions on how they want to receive documents.
5. Understand the Job Description
Before the job posting goes away (for any reason), print out a copy for future use.
Read the job description carefully, so you have a complete understanding of the desires of the employer. Read it numerous times if you have to — to ensure that you don’t miss anything.
It would be a shame to have the potential but not get hired simply because you didn’t follow directions.
6. Learn the Company
Every company has a distinct atmosphere and background. Do your research on the company to find out the culture and a brief overview. All this takes is a quick google search.
It will undoubtedly help you to nail the interview if you have something positive to say when asked about your knowledge of the company.
In the process of researching the company, you might determine whether you even want to work for the company. You may find something that you don’t connect with, or you can find something that will make you even more passionate about the job.
Do you know anyone there that can give you pointers or a leg in the door?
If you have a friend or even a friend of a friend that can let you in on some tips for the interview, get in contact with them. It’s not cheating — it’s taking the initiative.
7. Get Your Presentation on Point
Many times an interview starts with the statement, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”
How would you reply to that?
If you don’t have anything prepared, your answer could be quite awkward. Enter the elevator pitch solution.
If you run into someone in the elevator, you have about 60 seconds to give your best presentation. Try to make your elevator pitch deliverable in under a minute.
It’s also essential to prepare for other interview questions. This list of possible interview questions is an excellent place to start.
No matter how you answer, always make sure that you are confident, polite, and honest at all times.
There’s no such thing as too much preparation when it comes to your job search. The more prepped and polished you are, the better you look to prospective employers.
Don’t leave your hiring opportunity to chance. Take these above steps now, and walk into your job interview, confident that you’ll get the job.
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the conventional housing industry and works with 5151 Downtown Littleton on a daily basis to help them with their marketing efforts.