We’ve all been rejected for a job we believed we were perfect for, whether it was as an entry level candidate fresh out of school, or as an experienced worker looking to explore a new industry. Getting the standard auto-rejection e-mail, or even worse, dreaded silence, can definitely take a toll on your confidence and self-esteem.
A successful job search requires covering all your bases-keeping tabs on and answering job ads, perfecting your resume, networking and working with a recruiter. But working with a recruiter can often seem unfamiliar or out of your control. With the large number of applicants a job opening usually gets, the entire process can be frustrating.
In this post, we’re going to share some tips on how to get your job application noticed and how to impress in an interview!
Avoid Common Mistakes
To avoid having your resume lost in cyberspace, start by addressing your application to the right person. Take a moment and ask yourself if you’re guilty of any of these common mistakes:
- Dear Miss-should be Dear Ms (marital status is irrelevant, so this is the business appropriate way to address a women-unless she’s earned a title such as Dr. or Prof.)
- To Whom It May Concern
- Dear Sir or Madam
- Dear Steve –should be Dear Mr. insert Steve’s last name
Make sure you take the extra time to do some research and find out who “Whom” is. Job postings often have a contact listed at the bottom, so taking that extra step and addressing your application to that person shows your attention to detail. If for some reason you’ve done all your due diligence and still can’t find a name, use their job title. Also, make sure you reference the position or job posting number in the subject line of your e-mail.
Spend Time Tailoring Your Resume
Take the time to format your resume and cover letter and tailor them to the job. If you’ve worked for a well-known or relevant company, make sure you’re highlighting those experiences. If you have a gap in employment, let us know what you’ve been doing to fill that gap, whether it be community involvement, volunteering or bettering your skills, we want to know.
All recruiters work for the hiring company and most look for candidates who have a stable history of doing well at their previous or current job. To set yourself apart from other candidates, highlight activities that demonstrate expertise and leadership in your industry. Once that’s done, proof read, proof read, proof read!
Leave An Impression
Before a recruiter presents your application to an employer, his or her plan is to interview you to make sure you’re the right fit for the job. Your role in an interview is to show the recruiter why you’re the right fit. From the way you enter a room to the clothes you wear, this is your opportunity to shine. Make sure you’re on time, dressed professionally and that you greet the recruiter with a firm handshake and good eye contact.
Be yourself. Tell relevant and positive personal stories and give real-life examples. Give honest, but polite opinions and show some enthusiasm. There are times when personality can trump experience, so don’t hesitate to show your personality!
Occasionally send resume updates so that the recruiter is aware of your continued interest, and follow up after you’ve submitted an application or had an interview. This doesn’t mean daily calls and a flood of e-mails. Be reasonable and trust your judgement. Simply taking the time to write a short and sincere thank-you e-mail can be what sets you apart from other candidates.
We know that the job hunt can be brutal. We also know that there are people out there doing all of these things and still not having any luck, because in some ways job seeking is a game of luck. While it certainly comes down to having a strong application and using your resources, it can partly rely on a chance encounter that the right person will see your resume at the right time. And if that’s just not happening and you feel like you want to curl up in a ball of woe, try to stay positive. Pause, take a couple of breaths, give yourself a pep talk and don’t give up! Every step you take is getting you closer to your goal.
We want to know about your experiences job hunting! How do you stay positive? What has/has not worked for you?