If you’re in the market for a new job, you probably have your resume updated and ready to go. However, if you want to increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams, then you need to know how to optimize your application process and understand exactly what hiring managers are looking for before they even look at your resume. The tips in this article will help you increase your chances of being hired while also helping you avoid common mistakes people make when submitting their applications.
Step 1 – Research
Researching employers can make all of the difference when job hunting. Spend time looking at LinkedIn and other social media sites to get a feel for what companies are all about, who they hire, and their industry standing. Even better, reach out and make connections with people already working there. The more you learn in advance, the less likely you’ll make a foolish move like bad-mouthing your last boss or blatantly lying on your resume. Also consider reaching out to former colleagues or co-workers at previous jobs if it will help your case; it may be useful (and ethical) to get referrals from them. Recruiters take note! Make sure any potential employer knows that you’re interviewing elsewhere so that they don’t call references before making an offer—or risk losing you completely.
Step 2 – Write a Great Resume
Building a great resume is essential to your job hunt. You may think of it as a piece of paper that lists your job history, but a resume is so much more than that. It’s a comprehensive overview of you and everything you’ve accomplished so far in your career. Here are some tips for making sure yours is an A+ document.
1 – Write an Amazing Cover Letter: Crafting an excellent cover letter can make all the difference between landing interviews and not getting calls back—so don’t underestimate its importance! Here are some pointers on how to nail down yours so it really sings.
2 – Follow Up Persistently: Following up with potential employers after submitting your application is key if you want them to take notice of your application. It’s also a way to sell yourself as someone who’s organized and excited about an opportunity. Here are some tips for ensuring your follow-up moves an employer from interested to impressed.
3 – Use Social Media Strategically: A major part of finding a job these days involves using social media, but be careful not to overdo it!
Step 3 – Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
When you’re writing a cover letter, edit carefully for spelling and grammar errors. Being careless with your cover letter can make a hiring manager think you will not be careful on the job, either. Remember, too, that your cover letter is one of your few opportunities to convince a hiring manager that you are not only qualified for the job but also worth calling in for an interview! So proofread like your life depends on it—because it does! That being said, don’t obsess over tiny mistakes. No one likes being nitpicked or corrected every time they make an error; keep things positive by giving yourself a solid once-over before sending out your letter!
Step 4 – Follow Instructions
If a job posting doesn’t have any additional information, review it before you send in your resume. This is an excellent opportunity for follow-up questions that can help you secure an interview with hiring managers. Is there a specific way they want you to format your documents? Do they want answers to specific questions included as part of your application? Is there someone else involved in making an employment decision, or will one person ultimately be making all final decisions?
Step 5 – Take Care of Business
Research your competition and decide on an appropriate fee for your service. Consider how you will market yourself, what business structure you will use (Sole Proprietorship, LLC, etc.), and any necessary licenses or permits. Create a logo or branding that represents who you are and what you do as a professional writer. It’s also wise to create a website or social media page dedicated to your career as a freelance writer. What is Freelance Writing? Is it really something I can do?
Can I Earn Enough Money Freelancing to Make Ends Meet?
How Do I Start Earning Money Freelancing?
How Much Can I Earn as a Freelance Writer? However, you may find that you love writing so much that you don’t want to give it up. In which case, maybe freelancing is for you.
Step 6 – Send In the Form
Take a few moments to review your work, and if it’s good, click Preview Draft in the bottom right-hand corner of your new post. This will give you one last look at what you wrote before sharing it with everyone else. Check your draft again and hit Publish Post when you’re ready.
Step 7 – Wait By the Phone
You’ve done your research and have filled out your applications. Now what? Wait. Many employers don’t get back in touch with you right away, so take a deep breath and wait by your phone or e-mail account for their call or response. You might not hear from them until a day or two after applying, so stay patient while waiting it out. It’s normal for companies to contact you at different times throughout your job search. But if no one calls or emails you within a few days of filling out an application, follow up with them yourself (politely) via email. Saying something like Just following up—I still haven’t heard anything about my application for [job title], but I really hope to learn more soon! Can you please let me know how things are going? shows initiative on your part and gets people interested in working with you again.
Step 8 – Get Feedback After Interviews
After you have interviewed with a prospective employer, if you feel that there is a good fit between your needs and requirements and those of your potential employers, ask for feedback. Often times, employers will be willing to provide references as long as you do so in a professional manner. In order to ensure that you are not alienating or offending anyone during your request for reference, it’s important to follow these steps before calling a previous employer:
This part of your job search is no different than your resume – make sure it’s tailored specifically to each position you’re applying for!