The recruitment process is much like the sales process — except you’re the salesperson, and you’re selling your most important product: yourself! When it’s time to seriously start your job search, consider the following tips to ensure that you make the process as successful as it can be.
1. Quality Over Quantity
When you’re applying for jobs, it’s easy to get caught up in the application process and apply for as many jobs that somewhat fit your field of interest as you possibly can. However, it’s more beneficial to spend your time researching positions that you would be an ideal fit for and applying to those, rather than sending a bunch of applications to a bunch of jobs that only kind of fit your experiences well. We all know how exciting it is to get an email back from a company saying that it would like to schedule an interview with you, but we also know that an interview can turn out to be a big letdown and a waste of time when the position is something you aren’t really interested in.
2. Keep Track of the Positions You’re Applying For
The job-seeking process can be daunting. You might spend hours each day researching various companies, learning about their positions, and crafting the perfect cover letters. When you’re deep into that process, it’s easy to mix up the positions you applied for, when you applied for them, or what exactly each position was.
It’s a good idea to keep a detailed Excel spreadsheet to document your job-hunting efforts. For every job to which you apply, write down the company, the position, who you sent your resume to, when you sent your resume, and any other important details that may be related to the application. Staying organized will help ensure you aren’t sending duplicate applications only days apart. Nothing sounds worse than asking a hiring manager, “What position is this for?” when they ask you to send your portfolio or schedule an interview. Not having a clear understanding of the position and company gives the impression that you don’t value the job opportunity, and no hiring manager wants to hire a candidate like that.
3. Leverage Social Media
Take the time to follow the companies you’re applying to on Twitter. Learn about what’s important to them, the kinds of articles they share, and the types of content they promote. You may even get an inside glimpse at the culture of each organization!
By poking around on social media, you can see if there are any thought leaders from the company whose work you should read. Having a complete understanding of the company will allow you to better tailor your application, and your knowledge of the company can also serve as a conversation starter if you are brought in for an interview.
4. Personalize Your Resume
For every resume you submit, make sure you are tailoring your job responsibilities and skills for the specific position to which you are applying. Pay attention to the details in your cover letter and in your resume, and make sure that you’re highlighting any of your expertise that is closely aligned with the job description that you’re interested in. For example, if the company is looking for a skilled writer, you should emphasize the experience you had at your last job with writing daily blog posts.
At our digital agency, we have a section of our site that includes quotes from some of our employees about what makes the different positions at our company vital to the success of a top digital agency. If you were applying to Blue Fountain Media, you could look at this page, figure out why the role you’re applying for is important, and tailor your cover letter and/or resume according to what you’ve learned. This same tactic can be used at for any organization — just do your research!
Is there a certain company that you’re interested in working at? Want to make sure you get to the top of the applicant pile? Find out if you know anyone currently employed there. Check your LinkedIn connections to see if you know someone, who knows someone, who can at least send your resume along to the proper parties. If a resume is introduced to the HR department from within the company, it’s going to get looked at and considered a lot more quickly than a resume from a random candidate in the applicant pool!
Stand Out for Success!
For most positions, the pool of candidates is deep. There are likely hundreds of other applicants being considered for the position that you want. Follow these best practices in your job search, and you will increase the likelihood of getting some good results. Think about the skills or qualities that make you unique — and use them to stand out when you’re applying!