At its core, applying for a job is relatively simple. Create a CV, do your groundwork, network, connect with potential employers through online portals and – hopefully – land an interview.
What makes it difficult are all the other factors in between. Is your CV as good as your colleagues’? Is your online profile full of spelling mistakes? Did you forget to get that guy’s card at that networking event? Are you up against hundreds of similarly-skilled candidates for a total dream job?
While there are factors we sometimes can’t control, what we can control are the very simple things. In fact, these tips for job seekers are so simple that people often forget about them altogether.
Let us help refresh your memory and hopefully land that interview.
1. Match your language to their language When you apply for a job online, chances are your resume will go through a bit of a screening process. This is often done via a tracking system, and then by a real life human. Because of this, if your resume doesn’t match what the company is looking for, you could get skipped over completely.
Have a look at the job ad. What words do they use to describe who they are looking for and the competencies you need to have?
Use those exact same words in your resume, cover letter or introductory email you might be sending to an internal recruiter or HR. This will help get you through any screens and will also show that you have read and understood the job description, and why you are a suitable candidate.
2. Change up your online profile regularly So, you have a Monster.com profile – or any other online profile – great! Now, don’t be afraid to change it. It’s not set in stone – you can update, tweak and switch around the language to suit your current experience and the job you’re looking for at the time.
If your online footprint remains stagnant, so will your job search. Remember that!
3. You can be professional, but don’t be boring Yeah, it’s good to have a professional CV and keep a professional tone in your communications to potential employers, but it can also be a big snore-fest. How will you stand out if you’re simply sending through the same, old boring resume that everyone else is?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Inject some humour, personal anecdotes and language that will endear you to the hiring manager. Don’t go way off the other end of the spectrum, but think about how you can move beyond your bog standard CV.
4. For goodness sake, get organised and stop making mistakes There’s nothing worse than that heart-stopping moment when you accidentally send an email meant for company A to company B.
It starts with, “I’d love to work at company A because….” and just gets worse from there. Company B isn’t going to be too impressed.
Use some online organisational tools to help you manage your applications. We understand that during a job hunt you might be emailing 20-30 companies – so keep track of what you’re doing! Personalise each and every piece of communication so you don’t come across like a robot, and send any emails to a real person, not a “To whom it may concern”.
5. Don’t forget your manners You would be surprised how few candidates send thank you emails following an interview. It’s a very small gesture, but it can go a long way to making you a memorable candidate, even if the job interview didn’t go well. If that’s the case, so be it, but at least a follow-up thank you email will show you care and are polite. Your manners might ensure your name crops up in the future when a more suitable position comes up.
It takes about 10 minutes to craft a thoughtful, personal email simply thanking the interviewer for their time in meeting you. Why let 10 minutes be the difference between unemployment and gainfully employed?!
Got your CV ready to go? Upload it here and kickstart your job hunt right now!