You’ve created or updated your resume, found positions you’re interested in, tailored cover letters to fit the positions you’ve discovered, and now you’re ready to apply. Before continuing the application process, take a few minutes to consider the following tips.
Re-Read the Job Description
Make sure you’re clear about the duties and responsibilities of the position you’re applying. Re-read the job posting before applying to refresh yourself and confirm that it’s close to what you are looking for. Some employers post intentionally ambiguous job vacancies to draw in a larger applicant pool. If any parts of the job description are unclear, take time to research it a bit more.
How do you feel about submitting a resume to a company, then being forced to complete their internal application? Annoyed? Too bad! You need to put just as much effort into that annoying application as you did when crafting your impressive resume. Employers WILL compare your resume and the application looking for any inaccuracies. If you hurry through the application, leave questions unanswered, use poor punctuation or grammar, or leave spaces blank, it will reflect poorly on you and make the company question your commitment to the process.
Expand Upon Your Resume
Sometimes it’s a tough call when deciding what to add to your resume and what to leave off. This is where an application comes into play! Items you think are relevant to the job you’re applying for or highlight your skill-set are suitable to add to an application. This allows you to expand on skills you’ve listed on your resume or bring up a list of others you didn’t have room for. Have any gaps in your job history? Do a thorough job of explaining the gap, so there’s no question as to what the circumstances were.
Following up on a resume or application submission can be tricky, especially when it involves a large company. The first issue is timing. How long should you wait? You certainly don’t want to come across as pushy or desperate. Waiting for 5 – 10 business days is considered the appropriate amount of time before following up with a potential employer. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell which department or employee to seek out when contacting the business. When calling or emailing the business, it’s usually best to start with Human Resources. A simple introduction and explanation of why you’re reaching out is a sufficient strategy when calling or emailing. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point! Simply point out that you applied for an open position and you want to follow up to make sure it has been received. This will help you confirm nothing went wrong with the process and demonstrates your continued interest in their position and company.
These tips may slightly change depending on where you’re applying and other job search variables, but the core ideas will remain consistent. Don’t get discouraged if you’re rejected from a job you’re applying to; request feedback whenever possible and learn from any mistakes you make.