I have worked at a restaurant, student newspaper, marketing research firm, bowling alley, car dealership, collegiate marketing firm and even a grain elevator. You might be thinking, “Why would I need to know this?” Well, you really don’t. A lot of people want to tell their entire life story when applying for jobs. There are plenty of opportunities to get your background out there between your application, resume, LinkedIn and interview. Here are some tips on how to get organized and tailor your application to get the job you want.
1. Get Organized
First of all, get all of your social media accounts in check before putting your name out there. Just as you’re researching companies, companies are researching potential candidates like you. If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn with your most recent experience, do it! This is the place to showcase all of your work history, projects, honors and achievements, etc. I would also recommend having a journal or document that contains all of this information and is easy to review, update and transfer to an application you’ll be tailoring to the jobs you’re applying to. This will also be helpful to store situations and experiences you may refer to during the interview process.
2. Research, Research, Research
If you’re not researching companies before applying, you’re doing it wrong. Keep in mind that you’re not only choosing a position, you’re also choosing a company to work for. So make sure it’s a good fit for you. A great place to start is the company’s website. Get a good idea of what the company does, what’s important to them and what you can contribute to the company. You can also check out their social media accounts to see company updates and get a feel for the brand.
3. Mentally Prepare Yourself
Before diving into the application, read the job description very carefully. Get a good idea of what the recruiter is looking for. A recruiter spends a lot of time skimming and sorting applications, so you want to make a good impression. They will be able to tell if you are sending a generic application instead of taking the time to tailor your application to their company and that specific position. Most of the time, they will ask you to attach a resumé, so I recommend putting your personalized LinkedIn URL in your contact section so they have a chance to get to know you better.
4. Filling Out the Application
Go through your work history journal and highlight the positions and skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. It’s good to use some of the buzzwords that are listed as they relate to you. Be concise. Fill the application out completely, and double, triple, and quadruple check to make sure all of your information is correct and if there are any spelling errors.
While researching and applying for jobs, be confident in yourself and your abilities. These situations can be stressful but it is also exciting! This is a good time to look at what you’ve done and how you want to move forward in your career. Happy job hunting!