Unfortunately for you, whenever you apply for a job, your application won’t be the only one landing on the employer’s doormat (or in their email inbox). There will be hundreds of others applying for the same posts too, so you need to up your game in your bid to beat the competition. So, if you are noticing the signs that it’s time to quit your job, or if you have been suffering the misery associated with the unemployment line for a while now, here are the guaranteed ways to edge out the competition during your next job search.
Create a stunning resumé
To end up on the shortlist pile, your resumé needs to stand out from the crowd, so presentation is key. Therefore, rather than constructing something from scratch, use these field-tested resume templates when putting something together, as they will look better than the half-assed attempts other applicants might have made when creating their resumés.
Of course, it’s not only the design that matters, as it’s what you say on your resumé that counts too. When you’re looking at your previous places of employment, list your accomplishments within each job, rather than writing down a generic list of duties. Within these accomplishments, try to match them with the job specs that you should have been given before applying. These will indicate why you’re the perfect candidate and will stand you head and shoulders above those applicants who have barely made the effort to embellish on their skills.
Be sure to write eye-catching headlines too, as you can then draw the employer’s attention to specific areas of interest within your resumé. Click on the previous link for some helpful advice on this matter. And finally, remember to include a cover letter with your resumé. While this is often marked as optional when applying for jobs, you should know that the fact you have made the effort to put something together will impress your prospective employer. Again, consider your content, as you don’t want to write something that waffles on and bores the reader. Check out this step-by-step guide, and you won’t go far wrong.
Find out as much about the company as you can
You should know to do this anyway because you can almost guarantee you will be asked questions about the company at the interview stage. Still, you can do more than visit the company’s website, because this is something that every other competitor for the job is bound to do.
After scouring their website for information, why not give the company a call? You don’t have to tell them who you are, as you might pretend to be a client or a customer trying to get more information from them. Ask questions such as “Why should I buy from you?” as this will give you some inspiration for answers to interview questions such as “Why do you want to work for us?”
Within your research, you might Google the company too, as you might find customer and employee reviews, local news articles, and social media networks pertaining to the business. Pick up any useful bits of information you can, as you can then use these at the interview stage.
Assuming that the other candidates have made a little effort to put in as much research as you have, you should then have more to say when you’re sat in front of your interviewers.
Improve your social media profiles
Generally speaking, most employers will Google their applicants for extra pieces of information. They will invariably come across your social media profiles, so you need to do a couple of things. For starters, remove any problematic posts or pictures you have put online, especially those that reflect badly on your character. You might then add new posts and pictures that show you in a good light, especially anything that pertains to your good character and positive world views.
Secondly, check the professional profiles you have posted on your social media accounts. You might want to amend them to incorporate the job skills your prospective employees are looking for. And if you have exaggerated your credentials on your resumé and application form, you should jazz up your profiles too, so the employer doesn’t notice any discrepancies. Be sure to add your professional awards and certifications too, if you have any, and any other pieces of information that could receive positive interest from the employer.
Do what you can to stand out at the interview stage
It shouldn’t need to be said, but we will anyway: Dress smartly! Not only will this will ensure you make an excellent first impression when entering the building, but with the right clothing, you will also feel more confident. Check out this article on interview attire, and according to your budget and the position you are going for, choose something that will help you to look and feel the part.
Remember too that every interaction counts. So, while you might understand the need to be respectful to your interviewer, don’t forget to show similar respect to the receptionist and any other members of staff that you meet. Chances are, these people might later be asked to report back to the employer on your approach and attitude. And be respectful to the other candidates you are seated with too, as again, there could be eyes around the room watching to see how you interact with others.
When you are called in to the interview, remember to smile and shake hands with the interviewer. And when answering the questions posed to you, focus on your positives, and bring these into the equation even when talking about your weaknesses.
Assuming you have put the research in beforehand, you should also impress the interviewer with your company knowledge. However, where possible, talk about yourself within the information you have garnered, such as explaining how you fit in with the company’s mission statement, and how you would make a perfect fit within the company.
And be sure to have some questions for the employer at the end of the interview too. There are some excellent examples within the previous link, and are better than those generic questions that every other candidate is going to ask, such as ‘How much do I get paid?’.
Will you get the job? We can’t answer that, but you stand a better chance of edging out your competition if you follow our tips. We wish you the best of success and sincerely hope that you do land the right job role for you.
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