Today’s job market is fiercely competitive and it can be hard to get noticed in a sea of applications. That said, there are some strategies you can apply to help you break through the noise and land your dream role. We spoke to our team of Recruitment Consultants to gather their 7 best ideas for improving your approach to your job search:
1. Give your resume a name
We receive a lot of resumes – many of which are titled ‘resume.doc’ or ‘cv.doc’. One quick way to help you stand out (and make the hiring manager’s life easier), is to take 30 seconds to rename your file. You could do something as simple as ‘Your Name – Job Title.doc’, or for something with more personality, ‘Your Name – Short Branding Statement’. For example, ‘Kylie Smith – Sales Professional’.
2. Write a customized cover letter
Taking the time to write a customized cover letter demonstrates to an employer that you are genuinely passionate about the company you are applying to. Your cover letter should not be a laundry list of your skills and background. It should be a compelling piece written to convince a hiring manager that you are the one, and the only one, for the role. Make sure you spend some time on the company’s website; look at their culture and values, then reflect this in your letter. Now, more than ever, businesses are making hiring decisions on fit, just as much as they are on qualifications.
3. Quantify your achievements
Where possible, add numbers and stats to articulate your past successes. By doing so you strengthen your profile and add credibility. Additionally, it helps the employer envision the positive impact you could potentially have on their team. Examples of the kinds of quantifiable things to include: Grew revenue by 15%, reduced call wait times by 30 seconds per call, delivered 5 on-time and under-budget projects within a 12 month period.
4. Call or email to follow up a couple of days after submitting your job application
Following up on your submission shows a potential employer that you are sincerely interested in the position. Many job seekers throw their hat in the ring for a random of assortment of roles in the hopes that one of them will be picked up. By reaching out a couple of days after applying, you separate yourself from these people and increase your chances of moving to the next round. We caution you to only follow up once, more than that may have the opposite affect.
5. Discover you have a mutual connection on LinkedIn? Ask them to make an introduction or recommendation on your behalf
It is often said ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, and the job application process is not immune to this concept. If you know who the hiring manager is or who the role will be reporting in to, take a moment to look them up on LinkedIn. If you discover that you have a mutual connection through a past colleague or someone that you have a strong relationship with, don’t be afraid to ask them to connect you or recommend you for the role.
6. Include a link to a portfolio of work
Demonstrating your skills and accomplishments through an online portfolio is an excellent way to showcase your talent. You can really set yourself apart from others by displaying work you have designed, written or developed. For a list of 5 free online portfolio websites, check out this article from Vitamin Talent >
7. Send a thank you note after your interview
In the digital world, a handwritten thank you note sent to the hiring manager after an interview can leave a lasting impression. It doesn’t have to be long, a short message such as the below would suffice:
‘Thank you for your time. It was great to meet you and learn more about Company X. I’m really excited about the possibility of working with your team.’
For more resume and interview tips, check out our Job Seekers Resources section >>