How To Be Prepared When Applying For New Jobs
You find an ad for a job that you’re excited about. It fits your experience, skills, and competencies to a T. You hurry to apply and expect them to get back to you in hours, if not minutes.
Then, the hours become days, and the days become weeks. You realize you’re not going to be contacted for an interview.
What could have gone wrong? You might have been perfect for the job, but before submitting an application, did you take the necessary measures?
Here are a few steps to be as well-prepared when applying for a job as possible.
Perfect Your Resume And Cover Letter
It goes without saying a resume and cover letter must be well-formatted and grammatically correct. If they’re missing important keywords from the job ad or you’ve failed to include relevant experience, your application won’t reach the right person.
It takes some work, but you need to tailor your documents for every job you apply for. Draw attention to relevant experience and skills.
Before you press “send,” read your resume, cover letter, and any other documents a few times. Ask yourself whether it makes sense overall. You can get someone to help you. A trusted friend or relative will tell you how it reads and whether you can improve it.
Go Back To The Ad
Compare the job description to your documents to see if you left something out. Rereading the job description before you apply can make you decide to add essential details that might make all the difference.
Do A Self-Background Check
When you find out you got an interview, do a background check on yourself to prepare for the questions. The background check might reveal speed tickets, loans you’ve defaulted on, etc. If the interviewer asks about these, you’ll have an answer ready.
A background check might also reveal erroneous information, which you can correct ahead of time. If this relates to data published by the police or a court, notify the corresponding police department or courthouse to correct or remove the data in question.
Failing to act in a timely manner is risky. The recruiter might see this information and decide you’re not the best fit.
Check Your Linkedin
Your LinkedIn profile supplements your application documents. Hiring managers will check it after looking at your resume. It can provide useful additional information. Update your professional qualifications, experience, awards, certifications, work samples, any volunteer experience, and anything else that can set you apart from other candidates and is relevant to your professional success.
Copy The Ad
To remember everything about the job opportunity, copy the ad or job posting. Take a screenshot or print it out in case it is taken down soon. You’ll have the text to refer to when you prepare for common interview questions. It will also help you decide what to ask the interviewer.
Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts
If there’s anything unprofessional or otherwise negative on your social media, remove it to make sure you are seen in the best possible way.
Follow Application Guidelines
This tip relates to technical aspects. Don’t send only your resume if the ad asks for a cover letter, or send documents as .doc files if they ask for PDFs. Not following basic instructions definitely won’t work in your favor.
Research The Employer
Research the employer to see if you might know someone who works there. You might have a connection with a previous or current employee. You can get more information about the job or direct contact information for the interviewer or recruiter.
Check if the organization has a referral program. Hiring managers usually welcome referrals. Sometimes they even give them priority in the interview stage.
Bottom Line: Do You Really Want The Job?
Being perfect for a job doesn’t necessarily mean a person wants it. Don’t overlook red flags. Ask yourself if you will be happy at this job and if you know enough about the organization’s culture. Do you want to be a part of it? Is this job a long-term opportunity or merely a stepping stone?
Consider the different scenarios. If you want the opportunity to work from home, but the job ad doesn’t mention anything about that, would that be acceptable for you? Be honest and realistic. Don’t waste your and the recruiter’s time if you aren’t the right fit. Just move on.