The job interview is the best place to present yourself as a capable employee, but how do you land one in the first place? Sometimes you feel like you’re sending resumes and job applications into the void. Give yourself the best chance of getting a meeting with decision makers by following these steps.
Don’t Apply for Every Posting
Sometimes people think if they blast out their resume to every possibility, eventually someone will respond. That’s not the best use of your time and effort. What works better is to make a super-concentrated list and focus on the options that offer the best fit. Take a two-pronged approach.
First, list the companies or types of employer for which you would most like to work. Before you focus your energy and effort on getting them to hire you, you want to know if they’re a match for your long-term goals and career expectations.
Second, identify which of those companies have job postings that match your strengths. You should read the description and say “That’s me!” If you say, “well, that’s at least partly true,” go on to the next job description.
Research, Research, Research
Get in the door by learning everything there is to know about the companies at which you’re applying. Research helps you identify contacts within the company, gives you a better sense of company culture and helps you tailor your cover letter and resume to catch the right manager’s eye.
Look at their website, comb through social media accounts and read what other sources have to say about their products and services. Know how they’re active in the community and what the media has to say about them. As you’re preparing your application materials, note the following:
- What the company does and why they do it
- What duties the job you’re applying for includes
- Who uses the company’s products and services
- Who are the people in leadership and what is their history with the organization
- What’s their hiring process
Use Your Contacts
When you’re researching, you might uncover contacts you didn’t realize you had within the organization you want to hire you. If it’s someone you’re close to, give them a call, explain your interest in the job and be specific about your skills and qualifications. If they give you a referral, be sure to follow up with a thank you.
You also might find connections within your professional organizations, alumni association or LinkedIn groups. If you email a request for help give yourself the best chance of success with a clear, concise subject line, thoughtful body text that outlines your qualifications and possibly a link to a pdf of your resume.
Tailor Your Cover Letter and Resume
Use your cover letter and resume to highlight how you fit the job description. For your objective, opt for a targeted section that includes the company name. Hone your qualifications summary by removing statements that don’t match up with the job requirements and being specific about the skills you have that do. Go through your employment history and include language that puts related work experience front and center.
When you’ve finished with your resume, do the same thing with your cover letter. Use the job description and what you know about the company to show how you’re the perfect fit.
Try a Fresh Approach
It’s great so much information is available online, but sometimes you just want to interact with actual Northeast Texans who can help you with your career goals. At Brelsford Personnel, our staff has more than 35 years combined experience with staffing, and we’re trusted by some of the best employers in the area. Find out more about our fresh approach or view our open positions to get started.