So you’ve found the perfect job – great location, good salary, relevant to your interests, and attractive benefits. What next?
Applying for a job can be a solitary process, with little information about the competition you face. But chances are if you’re excited about a job, many other people are too, and they’ll be doing their best make a riveting application. Even if you meet all the baseline qualifications, distinguishing yourself from other applicants is critical. Landing an in-demand job is all about setting yourself apart from the pack.
When you first enter the job search process, it’s important to be realistic about your job prospects and mentally prepare yourself for failure. You may even have the perfect qualifications for a job, but with so many other applicants and only one spot, you may not make the cut. It’s important to not take it personally, move on, and learn from each application cycle.
[Related: How to Land An In-Demand Job Today]
Once you’ve found that perfect open position, it’s time to apply.
- Don’t waste a second stalling or procrastinating; getting your application in early can put your foot in the door and show how serious you are about the position.
- Make sure to revise your resume for each job you apply for to showcase relevant achievements.
- Consider bringing your resume to a professional graphic designer or design-savvy friend to make it tasteful and visually striking.
- Your cover letter is an easy place to set yourself apart. Make sure to start your first paragraph with attention grabbing information. And don’t forget to have an outside reader edit your letter.
- Don’t be afraid to submit extra materials to boost your application. Were you featured in a news article? Do you have a well-written blog? Have you developed any website or apps? Well-curated additional materials can help set your application apart.
You’ve applied. Now it’s time to wait for an interview.
- If it seems like it’s taking longer than you think it should for the interview to come through, don’t be afraid to contact the company and ask if the interview is going to happen. If it is, you’re in luck, and if it’s not, you know to divert your attention elsewhere.
- This is also the time to reach out to any personal connections at the company if you have them, and let them know what you’re applying for.
So you landed the interview. How will you stand out?
- Prepare for your interview like it’s a final exam. Let your dedication show through your preparation.
- Do your research. Know what type of questions to expect and the ins and outs of the company.
- Ask questions to your interviewer that show your depth of understanding about the company and the position.
- Bring relevant materials with you. That’s an extra copy of your resume, cover letter, and even printouts of relevant webpages or articles. Even if you never end up pulling them out, it’s always good to know you have backup.
You’re not done yet. Make sure to follow up after the interview.
- Send a thank-you note to your interviewer, and include any relevant information that may have been omitted during the interview. Remember to keep it brief!
- If you’re applying for a job with multiple rounds of interviews, make sure to keep in contact with your interviewer, and don’t waste a second preparing for each successive new interview.