Whether you’re a fresh graduate who has the faintest idea what it’s like to apply for a job, or someone who’s looking for a major career move, the whole process of seeking a post can be quite a challenge. Tired of the frustrating course of applying and someone else taking it because they crop up as “more qualified” than you? Chill out! Most of the time it’s not about incompetence, sometimes, you just haven’t found the slick hacks to entice employers in saying, “Hey! I’m calling dibs on this one.”
Here are some pointers to get you through applying and getting ahead on other applicants:
Polish your resume
Knockout credentials have no merit when laid out as crude. It’s important that you organize the things that you want to put in your resume. Remember: your resume is your ticket to the next phase which is the interview so if you don’t put more work and tweaks on it, you’ll lose your chance at selling yourself. These days a resume may be scanned in a matter of seconds — if at all. Highlight what you think are your selling points and outline it to the job posting. And please, put your latest email address, not from when you were a kid with lots of characters and numbers e.g firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prepare for the interview
Research on the company and job you’re applying to beforehand. Don’t just barge in without knowing what you’re putting yourself into. Companies don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t know why or even if they want to work there. Look into the job position responsibilities, accountabilities and growth opportunities. Being knowledgeable about these things creates an impression to the hiring managers that you mean business, and not someone who just wants to take any job you can get.
It’s time to make use of your connections specially in social media. Sometimes, job opportunities can arise in the unlikeliest places. Be open to communicating and networking with others in your field. Whether at industry events, over email, make the effort to connect with others.
Make sure to stand out
In a very competitive market where everybody highlights their winning features, the challenge lies on how to brand yourself as a cut above the rest. It’s not enough to fire companies up with your resume and hoping you’ll get a call afterwards, you need to be a step ahead all the time, be creative and unique. Ask the right questions to find out what the company’s problems are and prove that you can solve those problems. Another hack is to research on the interviewer as he or she is the key to your potential break, see if there’s something you can talk about while being polite and professional. You need to make the hiring managers feel comfortable about you on an emotional level to sell yourself and stand out.
Questions like defining your strengths and weaknesses are some of the trickiest as they could be fallbacks if you don’t answer them smartly. Be authentic about your weaknesses — not necessarily overcoming them, but state what steps you’re doing to manage them. A weakness can become a strength if you spin it right. But remember: employers do not want fake smiles or rehearsed answers during the interview. They want to know whether you really align with their culture and the position. Being honest is the best way to show off your skills to nail the job of your dreams.
Look the part
First impressions might not always be accurate in real life but when it comes to seeking for a job, it is everything. Dress for the part of an upper or senior management (even if you are fresh out of college). Hiring managers would only talk to you for a few minutes so make sure to leave a lasting impression. Most of the time, people get eliminated because they have bad postures, thus be confident and carry yourself well like a professional would.
While all of these are just things that could increase your chances at landing success, the power of whether or not you’re gonna get hired lies solely on your own ability and remember, getting rejections is not the end of the world. Don’t stop looking until you find the job that matches your values and meets your needs.