After you’ve scanned the list and found the position(s) you want to apply for, here are some tips on what to do next:
1.) Before you apply, determine that you’re qualified for the job. A good rule of thumb is to apply for a job where you match 75% or higher of the key job qualifications. Measure your strengths based on what the job requires in terms of background, education, job responsibilities and other key criteria.
2.) Look for the clues. Each job posting provides you with clues to what the company believes are the key areas they will be ranking candidates to determine if they will be granted an interview. Usually, there are 4-5 critical phrases in the job posting that will help you to understand what the company is looking for. Based on these phrases, customize each resume and cover letter to show how your relevant background and skills make you the ideal candidate for the position. You can never assume that someone will connect the dots – you have to be specific and clear in showing the recruiter who will be reviewing your resume why you are the ideal candidate for the job.
3.) Research the company. The more you know about the company — its business, its industry, its competitors, its culture, its leadership, values and mission, the more you can connect your background to prove it is a good fit. This will be helpful throughout the process, from writing your resume all the way to your final job interview.
4.) Apply quickly. Don’t wait until the deadline to get your resume in. Recruiters tell us over and over that due to the amount of resumes they receive, often they will stop accepting resumes after they have received ‘enough’; and that means you have to get your resume in quickly to make sure it is seen and considered by the HR recruiter.
5.) Have a friend review the job posting and your resume you are about to send in. Often a second pair of eyes will catch typos as well as give a constructive review of whether you are representing yourself in the best way possible in relation to the job for which you’re applying.
6.) Follow up. If you have applied but not heard back after two weeks time, call the company and make sure your resume was received and ask about the hiring process. Companies are known for not responding, so take action and find out where you stand.
Continued good luck in your job search!