Whether you’re just starting out in the job market or looking for a new career, odds are you want to find something in a timely manner. At the same time, it’s good to look for positions that meet your skills, experience, and needs. You don’t want to jump at the first opportunity that comes your way, especially if you have options. Employers often receive multiple applications for just one job opening; sometimes, they receive hundreds if the job is particularly promising. To get hired, you must stand out as the most desirable pick for the job. Below are seven essential tips for increasing the likelihood that you’ll be chosen for the position you want.
1. Apply for more than one opportunity
Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon your dream job opening. You may be tempted to only apply to that position and forget all the others, but that usually isn’t the best idea. In the event you don’t get that dream position, you’ve neglected to apply for other jobs, meaning you’re still at square one. Not only should you apply to multiple jobs, but you can also consider putting in your application to more than one opening at the same company. You don’t have to go overboard; apply for a few positions that catch your eye and then go from there. If you put in your application for multiple jobs at the same company, try not to go after more than two. You want to show serious interest but also don’t want to come across as overzealous.
2. Monitor and update your social media profiles
Social media has a lot of uses, including being a valuable place in which to search for a job. If you can create a powerful, attractive social media presence, you stand a better chance of attracting potential employers. LinkedIn is the most popular platform for recruiting and building a profile that sticks out is an important part of using it to your advantage. You’ll also want to ensure your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are either clean or turned to private mode. Many employers look at potential employees’ social media accounts to get an idea of the kind of person they would be hiring. You don’t want anything that’s in your control to harm your chances of getting a job.
3. Improve your networking skills
Networking can be the key to landing your ideal job, but you must learn how to do it well. Since it relies on building sincere relationships, you’ll have to work on your people skills to get better at it. Approaching strangers can be intimidating, but it often gets much easier with time and practice. When meeting someone new, make sure to smile, listen more than you speak, and be yourself. Every interaction is a chance to network, and you always want to make a good impression. You never know when you’ll need someone’s help, advice, or opinion.
4. Get a referral
One of the best ways to have your application noticed among a stack of them is to get a personal referral. A referral is a method that job seekers can utilize to get a hiring manager to pay them special attention. Some companies have employee referral programs, meaning that anyone can recommend someone they think would be a great candidate. To get a referral, you often have to know the right people, which is where your networking will come in handy. When someone recommends you for a certain position, they’re putting themselves on the line too. For this reason, employers are more likely to trust personal referrals. In fact, they’re one of the most powerful job-search tools you can utilize.
5. Prepare for interviews
Having a successful interview can make or break your chances of getting a job. This is especially true when two great candidates are up against one another. It can be tempting to wing it but preparing for each interview as they arise can build your confidence and help you feel more in control. Important steps you can take to prepare are researching the company in-depth, anticipating certain questions, and finding an outfit you feel comfortable and professional in. Once you arrive at the interview (early, preferably), you’ll want to have good body language, be yourself, and ask the hiring manager a few questions at the end. Remember that you’re assessing whether this is a good fit for you just as much as they are.
6. Spice up your resume
If you can get more eyes on your resume, your chances of getting hired may go up. However, you need to ensure that your resume stands out once it lands on the hiring manager’s desk. Many companies use what’s called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to screen candidates and make the process move faster. So, you’ll want to craft your resume to make it through this system and onto the next round. You should research how a resume is read and then build yours accordingly, knowing which keywords and phrases to use. Take time to think about what you want to highlight and be sure to write a solid cover letter to pair with it. If you’re struggling with building your resume, consider hiring a professional service to help. Just make sure they’re reputable before making any big purchases.
7. Work with a career coach
Along with their expert advice, career coaches offer a variety of services and can help with career planning, job negotiations, resume building, and more. They may even assist you in landing your dream job. Not everyone needs a career coach, but they can be beneficial if you don’t know what you want to do, need help with a specific area like interviews, or feel like you aren’t reaching your full potential in your current field. Since career coaches can be costly and take up a good amount of your time, you want to find someone you connect well with. You should research coaches’ experience, training, and qualifications, and get a feel for their style through sample sessions. Before hiring a coach, ensure you’re prepared to listen to their advice as well as put in the time and effort it will take to see changes.
Finding a job that you enjoy isn’t always a simple process, but it is worthwhile. As you apply for jobs, it’s important to stay realistic. You can use the 80% rule to decide which openings are worth going for and which are better left behind. The 80% rule says that if you meet 80% or more of the requirements for a position, you should apply for it. Of course, if you don’t meet stricter qualifications like language or citizenship, there probably isn’t any point in applying anyways. Utilizing the 80% rule can help you focus on the jobs you do have a chance at getting and allow you to put all your energy toward those instead. If you do your best to network, stay on top of your social media, and come up with a powerful resume, you’ll have a better chance of standing out among the other candidates. As you gain experience and grow, you can hope to have even more opportunities present themselves in the future.