8 Savvy Tips for Snaring a Job Online in Our Robust Economy
Job growth is expected to remain healthy in 2018, and whether you’re unemployed or are looking for a better fit, jobs are available. At the same time, the competition is as intense as ever.
Online applications are now the way of the job-search world, and standing out in the crowd isn’t easy. Know that whenever you apply online, the company will receive lots of applications, and most will look the same. Some applicants figure that online applications are a numbers game, so they simply use auto-load features, upload stock cover letters and standard resumes and push send. But their minimal effort is likely to show. To gain notice in the ethersphere, it’s going to take some extra work.
You can up your chances of landing an interview by giving each application your full attention. It should go without saying that you’re only wasting your time, and the recruiters’ time, if you apply for jobs for which you’re unqualified. Make sure at least 90 percent of your skills align with the job requirements. But when the qualifications and your skills line up, use these eight tips to land that amazing job you’ve worked to hunt down.
Let your LinkedIn profile tell your story.
Many companies today ask that you include a link to your LinkedIn profile in their job applications. Others will likely look at it anyway. Make full use of the forum to share some of your recent projects and provide a sense of who you are and where your skills and interests lie.
Research the company.
Always take the time to click beyond the job board and investigate the company that’s hiring. You’ll want to make sure it’s a good fit before you submit. Learn its mission and values. Your research will help you make a personal connection when sharing your reasons for wanting to work for the company.
Tailor your resume.
Take the time to customize your resume to the job for which you’re applying. Where possible, use key words that match the employer’s descriptions of job requirements and skills. Applications are often screened using software that sorts by key words. Also, even though it seems repetitive, take time to carefully fill in your employment history where required, making sure there are no discrepancies with what you state in your resume. It’s possible that recruiters will scan these fields first rather than taking time to download the resume.
Include a carefully crafted cover letter.
Even if it’s only optional, always include a cover letter targeted to the position and the company. It shouldn’t just summarize your resume. Personalize it by recounting one or two accomplishments that give readers a picture of who you are. Make sure to keep it to a single page.
Review carefully before submitting.
Make sure that your answers and uploads are letter perfect. All your work will be wasted if you mistakenly place the wrong information in the wrong field. Don’t use shorthand words you’re accustomed to using on social media. Any informality can be taken for laziness or a lack of interest.
Follow up by email.
Although job boards discourage making contact with the hiring manager, sending an email shows extra effort on your part. Wait four or five business days, then send a short message saying simply that you’re checking in to see if there’s an update on the timeline or status of the position. Reiterate your interest in the position and say that you look forward to hearing back.
Make an in-person delivery.
When the company is local, there’s nothing wrong with dropping off a hard copy of your cover letter and resume in addition to submitting your online application. A personal drop-off shows fearlessness and commitment. Bring your driver’s license with you and the letter in a stamped envelope. This way, if you can’t get past security, you can always drop your letter in a nearby mailbox. If you’re lucky, you may get beyond securityand the receptionist, and can meet the hiring manager in person. Seeing your face and shaking your hand confirms that you’re a real person with strong interest in the position.
Reach out to your network.
Ask your friends, your alumni group, your workout partners and everyone you know if they have a contact at the company on which you’ve set your sites. Even if it’s only an acquaintance once removed, email that person to ask for help in recommending you. Most people will tell you that they landed their job through a personal recommendation.
Yes, you can land that amazing job you’re seeking!
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This guest post was authored by Vicky Oliver
Vicky Oliver is a leading career development expert and the multi-best-selling author of five books, including 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks 2005), named in the top 10 list of “Best Books for HR Interview Prep,” and 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions (Skyhorse 2010). She is a sought-after speaker and seminar presenter and a popular media source, having made over 700 appearances in broadcast, print, and online outlets. For more information, visit vickyoliver.com.