When searching for a job, you need to separate yourself in the hiring process through LinkedIn, your resume, your cover letter and hopefully, the interview. Making a great first impression online is important to catch a hiring manager’s interest. Once you have them interested, your personality and achievements can prove why you would successfully fulfill their open position.
Update Your LinkedIn
Your LinkedIn account has multiple areas that need to be updated in order to be a complete, professional account such as photos, settings, and posts.
Since your LinkedIn account is about you, have a professional headshot as your profile photo. When preparing for a headshot, be sure you are dressed professionally appropriate and have a neutral background. Do not use a group photo or crop yourself out of a group photo because it will look unprofessional, and you want the user looking at your profile to notice you, not have to pinpoint which person is you. Additionally, choose a clear photo; a blurred photo will not attract viewers to your account.
Like your profile photo, your cover photo should also be clear and unique. Don’t use a default option as your cover photo because it will lack your personality and creativity.
Once the design of your account is complete, you need to fill in the content by:
Adding a Headline
Below your profile photo is an area for a headline. To fill in that space, add keywords that are relevant to the career you want to be hired in.
Asking for Recommendations
To prove you are capable of what you say you are in your profile, ask for recommendations from your peers. LinkedIn has a feature where you can add your skills and have peers endorse them which is a validation your experience is credible.
Organize Your Experience
Like a resume, you can post previous jobs on your LinkedIn account. List jobs relate to your skills are that are relevant to you.
On your account, add quality media such as videos, images, documents or links to showcase your experiences.
After your account is complete, let recruiters know you’re interested in a new opportunity by making sure your job search settings are up-to-date. You can search for a job on your own on LinkedIn, but a recruiter may have the perfect position available for you based on your account summary—let recruiters know you’re available!
When listing your skills, make sure they’re relevant to your field and what you want for a future job. Instead of a long list of skills, have a shortlist because it’s more specific to target your area of work.
Write a Cover Letter that Tells a Story
Listing your experience is not a cover letter. When writing a cover letter, you need to make a connection from the beginning then lead to why you would be suitable for the position.
Start by attracting a reader from the instance their eyes dance with the words on the paper to result in a sense of belief in you. Opening with a compelling paragraph intrigues the reader from the start. Explain how and why you became interested in the position and/or the company.
Businesses already know your employment history from your resume; your cover letter is where you sell them on why they should choose you for the job. Reflect on real-world experiences by connecting with the job’s description. The company doesn’t want a list of your skills, they want to know how your skills can apply to their job.
When Writing your Resume:
Use Quantitative Information
To prove your accomplishments on a project, use facts and figures to describe how you made the outcome successful. You can use sentences or format the data into an infographic on your resume to break up your text and show an eye-catching display.
If an employer reads a resume filled with mistakes such as their name, the company’s name or the job title misspelled, you will look incompetent. Don’t let an employer reject you based on your spelling; proofread your resume and have an acquaintance also read it.
Your resume represents your job history on paper. You need to customize it by showing you have researched the company and read the job description by using key terms and keywords that tie directly to the job. Your previous experiences should show you have the skills they want for the job.
Update Your Resume
As you are given more opportunities, make sure you update your resume so it reflects your most recent jobs and skills. As you work, you learn more skills and need to note them along your timeline.
Rules For the Interview:
Your first impression will last with the interviewer so make it reflective of your personality while being appropriate.
Be Gracious to Everyone
Be kind the moment you set foot on the company’s property. You never know whose opinion the hiring manager will ask for during the hiring process. From the receptionist to the janitor and the hiring manager, all should be treated with kindness.
Have Open Body Language
To show you are upbeat and interested in the job, smile, make eye contact and nod when someone is talking to you. Also, don’t cross your arms because it displays a closed-off personality.
Do Your Research
Always research the company prior to the interview. The hiring manager could ask you questions that could be answered by looking at their website.
Prepare Your Own Questions
In addition to answering questions, be prepared to ask your own questions when appropriate. For example, you could ask about the job’s day-to-day operations, what projects would need immediate attention and about the company in general. Avoid asking about the salary, vacation, and benefits in the initial interview; ask later in the hiring process.
Always Send a Thank-You Note
Through email or a handwritten card, send a thank you note to show you appreciate their time. Email or mail it no later than 24 hours after the interview.
Competing with other prospects in the hiring process can be difficult but stay true to who you are as a person when job hunting. Your achievements and personality should be shown through the written word and during the interview. You want the hiring manager to remember you, so be yourself and showcase your personalized portfolio.