It doesn’t matter whether you’re applying for an entry-level job or are shifting to a new company, job hunting can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. In Benjamin Franklin’s words: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” With the necessary preparations and skills, you can be confident in landing that dream job.
Before you start sending anything, ask yourself “what makes me worth hiring?” Business Insider notes how essential is it to assess your value in terms of your past experiences and achievements. By branding yourself effectively, you will communicate your worth to prospective employers, and make a positive impression. Understand what you bring to the table and look for a job whose responsibilities match the skills you already have. If you don’t have the required skills make an active effort to learn them. The job market for your dream job is likely to be fierce so you need to show that you are ready to work in your chosen sector.
Make a Good First Impression
After choosing a job, it’s time to pass on that resume. Your resume is the first time your future employers will encounter you, so it has to be perfect. List all your accomplishments, skills and past experiences – anything that you feel will be relevant to the position you are applying for. Huffpost recommends adding a resume summary to go with it. It’s a one to two sentence opening that expresses your career goals and aspirations. Summaries are the perfect demonstration to the company that you can be precise, creative, and clear.
Write a Cover Letter
Beyond sending your resume, it’s a good idea to send a cover letter with it. Cover letters are the company’s way to assess how well you can sell your qualifications and communicate why you are the best fit for the job. In ‘Cover Letter Tips’ we outlined the basic rules in writing them such as proofreading, font choice and addressing the right person. It is these details that count the most, as Special Counsel’s guide to cover letters highlights that even the smallest typo can ruin your chances. They also recommend keeping the letter concise. Besides the content, format and layout also make a big impression on the company. Choose one that’s simple and easy to read.
Going back to Franklin’s quote, being prepared is an essential skill to have. Showing that you have knowledge of the company prior to the interview impresses recruiters. Visit the company website – review their mission, history, and the type of products and services they offer. It also helps to visit their Facebook and Twitter pages to find information not readily available on the company website such as updates, events, and recent product releases. Besides looking into the company you’re going to apply for, it helps to get to know the industry and its competitors. Insights about the industry are bound to impress your interviewers.
After all has been said and done, the interviewer usually asks you if you have any questions. The worst thing you can do in this scenario is say “no”. Job research by Harvard Business School found that people who ask follow-up questions are seen as higher in responsiveness – someone who has the skills to listen, understand, and provide their own inputs, which is what companies are looking for in a potential employee. Ask about career growth, expected outcomes, company culture, and company or job-related questions that can tell your recruiter how interested you are in the job. Your first impression will be a lasting one, so make sure you present yourself with confidence.
Choosing a job should be more than just about the pay grade – apply for a company that has great culture, supportive management and opportunities for growth. The bottom line though is that it is up to you to develop the skills needed to bag that dream job.