As a job seeker, it can be extremely tempting to send out resumes at random, and hope that one (or a few) catches an employer’s eye. Although I must admit that doing this may eventually get you some responses from employers, it probably won’t be for the job you want (or at a company you like). When it comes to job searching, clarity is key. You need to understand your purpose, your value, and the way you communicate those things so that you attract the opportunities that align with what you consider an ideal job. Whether you’re desperate to make a change in your career, are searching for a new challenge, are a first time job seeker, or anything else, these are the 5 tips that are crucial to follow if you want your application to lead to a job offer.
Read the Requirements
This is the first step to every job search: reading and researching job roles and requirements, and ensuring that you are qualified. When you find a posting that looks right up your alley, don’t act too hastily in either choosing to apply or not to apply. People often find themselves applying to roles that they are not qualified for because they skim the requirements instead of carefully considering them. On the other hand, people often scroll past the perfect posting because they do not feel like they meet 100% of the requirements. Do not be dissuaded by a job posting that you do not meet all the requirements. Employers and recruiters sometimes use a tactic called the “credential creep” to weed out applicants that do not feel confident in their abilities. To avoid this, demonstrate that you can do the job and would be an asset to the company, have credentials to support your claims, and go ahead with your application.
Research the Company
This is another incredibly important step in the application process. There are 3 major reasons why you want to thoroughly research the company you could potentially be working in:
- Ensuring that you would feel comfortable working in whatever type of environment the company offers. Why spend your time at a job that you do not like due to any number of physical or social environmental factors when you could’ve been dedicating that time to searching for the perfect job?
- To appropriately tailor your application (resume and cover letter) to the company’s specific industry, market, and unique tone of voice: job postings often include the keywords that will stand out to employers. Lending your cover letter to a business’ unique tone of voice also gives you a competitive edge and shows that you understand the company.
- To be prepared during an interview: knowing details and critical information about the company shows employers that you are interested and invested in the position, and that you are not trying to “just get the job”.
Some great ways to research the company is to read their website, look at company reviews, Google them to see if they have any major news-worthy buzz, and check out their social media.
Clean Up Your Online Presence
We all live on the internet, which can be both an exciting and dangerous place. Employers now have the power to dive deeper than just your resume and look up your social media or other online presences. If you have anything online that you wouldn’t put on your resume or is inappropriate, it is in your best interest to get rid of it before an employer sees it and takes your name off the list of potential candidates. While you’re at it, this is a great chance for you to update your LinkedIn or online resume/portfolio.
Know your worth and stay within it. Don’t waste your time applying for roles that offer less than what you are worth or would need to live comfortably. Employers feel similarly in that they do not want to entertain applicants that they are interested in, only to find out that said application is way over their budget. Nowadays, there are many stages in the hiring process, the first one being a phone interview. If you get to this stage, after applying to a job that you have already researched the salary for, be sure to align with the employer or decision maker about your salary expectations. Communicating your wants and needs is always the best way to go.
Have a Strong Resume
Your resume is the first impression you make to an employer—make it a good one! A crisp, clean, and impactful resume will help you be noticed in a crowd of competitive applicants. For helpful tips on how to write the perfect resume, read my article here on the Top 6 Resume Writing Tips.
The most important things to keep in mind before applying to jobs, other than the practical tips listed above, is to keep calm and have an open mind. Your success comes when you trust the process and yourself to make the best decisions for yourself.
Applying to jobs is hard. There is a lot of confusion and miscommunication around the practice, which is why I am here to help YOU. I offer professional resume review, writing, and job search coaching to help job seekers find their dream job. Whatever stage of job searching you’re in, I can help you reach your end goal. Want to work with me? Want more details about my services? Contact me today.