A Community of Professionals Ages 21-45 Brought Together By Events
When you’re new to the job search, or perhaps even more if you’ve been in the job search a long time, it’s easy to take shortcuts as you submit your online job applications. While this is perfectly understandable and I sympathize, your job search efforts will be the most fruitful if you remember to do the following five things every time.
1. Scrutinize the Job Posting. The goal here is threefold. First, you want to make sure that this is a job you feel qualified for and that meets your expectations. Avoid making your resume a form of spam! Second, make sure you understand what the core requirements for the job are so that you can properly address them. Finally, keep an eye out for keywords you might want to use in your resume and cover letter.
2. Tailor your Resume and Cover Letter. Once you understand the job posting, you should make sure your resume and cover letter address the core functions of the job. With your resume, one easy place to customize is your Summary, but you can also include or exclude information based on what’s most relevant. With your cover letter, try to provide some anecdotes to prove how well qualified you are for this particular job.
3. Proofread. You should proofread your resume and cover letter every time you plan to send it out again. And ideally, you would have a second person, friend or career counselor, proofread read it also.
4. Send your Job Application Promptly. While it’s important to be thorough with your job application, it’s just as critical to apply promptly. The sooner you apply, hopefully within the first week the job posting is live or at least the second, the higher your odds of being hired.
5. Track your Jobs. It’s a good idea to keep track of which jobs you’ve applied for at which companies and which version of your resume and cover letter you sent. That way you can pay attention to follow up, not apply to the same job twice and know exactly what the prospective employer has in front of them if you’re brought in for an interview.
And of course, before, during, and after you apply for a job, it’s always a good idea to keep a look out for networking connections who might be able to put in a good word for you or pass along your resume to the right person. Best of luck!