You probably are a fresh graduate or a career-hopper looking for new job. Sure you have different motivations and goals why you want this job. You do so think you have what it takes to get hired – a good academic credential, impressive professional background, significant trainings and not to mention of your average good-looks, a not-so-very-pleasant personality that is.
Whatever it is, you have to go through the application process and spark good impression to attract your target employer. Here are few tips I learned from my experience in human resources on how you can be considered in the shortlist of potential candidates:
Customize your resume and cover letter. Some employers are very particular with the format of your resume and your writing style (we will tackle on a separate topic the difference between a “Curriculum Vitae” and a resume; and the perfect pitch for your cover letter). This will help them gauge if the candidate is really interested and serious with his/her application.
Check the accuracy of information on your resume such as dates, spellings, contact details, etc. Use formats and fonts that are not too hurting to the eye (don’t forget to include a decent photo of yourself). Be honest and truthful about the things you put on your document in order to help the employer assess if you’re match with the job.
In preparing your cover letter, avoid using “canned” or generic lines. Candidates tend to overuse certain expressions that have no significance in the application. Come up with a brief summary of your qualifications and mention in your letter why they are significant in your application.
A well-crafted application establishes the initial connection between you and your target employer.
Review and highlight your skills. Assess your key competencies, strengths and skills. Compare them against the qualifications of the position you wish to apply for. There may be some skills, whether interpersonal or technical, that you have to be proficient with in order to apply for the job.
You can also indicate the business knowledge you acquired from your previous job that has relevance to your desired position. If you are a fresh graduate with no work experience at all, you can include certain seminars and programs you have participated in during your College as well as significant positions you handed in your school organizations and other extra-curricular involvement.
Filter your options. Review the qualifications of the position you want to apply for including the academic requirement, job description and years of experience required for the job. Apply only for positions which you think are commensurate with your background.
Sure you are willing to learn and be trained. But there are companies that specifically require an experienced applicant so they only have to invest a little for training programs. Look for annotations in the job posting if there’s anything that says “fresh grads are welcome to apply” or “no experience required.”
Think also of your personal considerations such as shift schedule, location and salary before applying for the job. Not only will it save you time and money for attending interviews, but also help you find a job that is more fit both with your qualifications and expectations.
Explore application boosters. If you’re applying through an online job portal, chances are your application is swimming in the ocean of many other applicants. Look for some features that may help elevate you as “priority” candidate. These may require certain fees though, but will surely put you on top of the bucket and make you an apple of the eye.
Some professional networking sites such as LinkedIn also have features that allow your networks to rate your skills and recommend you for the job. Ask the people who know you well such as those who you have worked with to vouch for you and give their recommendation.
These boosters may work for certain extent but doesn’t guarantee you “employability”. It could help you set your one foot forward but your qualifications, attitude and performance during interview are what matters most.
Review the application details. You’re almost ready to start your quest. Review the details of the job posting before you hit the button: does it require you to send your application through email, company website or through the job portal? Follow the instructions and make sure you let your documents reach the appropriate person that will facilitate the processing.
Now, wait and watch your target employer drooling at your application! Keep your communication line open for possible contacts from the sourcing specialists. Check your mobile phone and mailbox regularly for interview invitations and make sure to make timely responses.
You are just one step closer to your dream job. Good luck!