The waiting period between submitting an application and actually getting a job interview is stressful. It can take months for a response, if there is one, and oftentimes there’s no feedback on how to improve. Job applications are time consuming and we need to identify the problem area quickly.
The interview process is usually where most people start to show their personality and prove why they should get the offer. However, that’s too late. The application period is just as important and your brand and networking will push your resume to the top.
Start building up your professional brand.
- Are you on LinkedIn? LinkedIn is my favorite app for networking and connecting with recruiters. Instantly find opportunities in your desired field, post about your accomplishments, and learn more about your industry all without leaving your bed! When networking, don’t only follow up by email, connect on LinkedIn. Although important, an email can disappear in an inbox whereas LinkedIn sends notifications as a reminder to confirm connections. Don’t just be a static resume, build your profile and stay active.
- Update your resume: Jobs don’t like generic resumes, so throw out those internet templates. Focus on your impact and the employer’s needs. I use the STAR method for resumes and interviews. The STAR method highlights your competencies and provides a narrative about your impact. While perfecting your resume, add action verbs and keywords that work with your industry. Companies receive tons of applications that may scan resume for keywords to get the most relevant candidates. Most resumes are only looked at for six seconds, so be professional and show your impact.
- No need to be shy: I believe in following up. The worst they can do is not respond. My tip is to wait 1-2 week before following up with the hiring manager or position contact. An email inquiring If you haven’t received word back on a job application, reach out. The email should be clear and brief – state your purpose, qualifications, and gratitude. A follow-up may trigger the hiring manager to take a closer look at your application and even extend an interview. Didn’t get a response? On to the next. Do not allow one rejection to block a future opportunity.
Bonus Tip: Know how to communicate your resume verbally.
- Pitch Yourself: Just like your resume, a pitch needs to be tailored for time. Job fairs and networking events garner attendance meaning that you may only get 30 seconds to 1 minute to pitch yourself. Don’t walk away without a recruiter knowing who you are, A recruiter wants to know who you are, you’re skills, and your goals. Know your audience and be enthusiastic in your tone. Have business cards? Leave them with one. Be vocal about what you have to offer.
Turning job applications into interviews is a process. However, it is possible. Create and nurture connections, show your impact, and don’t be afraid to follow-up and speak up.
Ask your career questions below! Got more tips? Drop them below.