The job market can be very competitive, and it’s not unusual for a hiring manager to receive hundreds of resume submissions after posting a job ad online. Even with an amazing resume and shining qualifications, it can still be difficult to get noticed and land a job interview. Sometimes, you have to think outside the box and try other creative ways to get yourself noticed (in a good, non-overbearing way, that is). If you’ve got your sights set on a coveted position, the following tips can help move your resume to the top of the pile:
Don’t just apply through the company website
If there is a specific company you’ve always wanted to work at, you might find yourself frequenting the company’s career section on their website. While this is a good way to see about the company’s available opportunities, it may not necessarily be the best way—nor may it be the ideal way to apply for an available position, either. It may seem like it wouldn’t be a big deal—after all, companies post these job ads on their websites because they want people to apply for them. But the issue is that you won’t be the only one applying through the website, either.
Find out who sets up job interviews at the company you want to work at. It may be an HR manager, the director of a department you want to work in, or it could be an in-house recruiter. Try to connect with this person on a professional platform, such as LinkedIn, and express your interest in working for that company. Not only is this a great way to be remembered when you apply for a job ad listed online, but if a position becomes available that you might be the perfect fit for, you may be asked to come in for an interview before the job even gets posted online. With that being said, however…
Always follow directions
Because it’s so simple, it’s so frequently overlooked and is the fastest way to get your resume deleted. Many job applicants don’t take the time to fully read a job ad’s description and will miss pertinent information. For example, a job ad posted on a company website might clearly state that you should only apply through their website and through no other channels. By stating this specifically, you don’t want to ignore their directions and reach out to the hiring manager in some other way. This also usually means applying online only; most companies discourage applicants from calling or visiting in person to inquire about job opportunities.
Pay close attention to other specific job application instructions as well—for example, they might request to see three samples of work. By submitting less, more, or nothing at all, it sends the message that you have difficulties following basic instructions. This doesn’t give the hiring manager a lot of confidence in you as an employee, and is the easiest way to lose your chance at the job.
Network with mutual acquaintances
Maybe you have a friend who already works at a company that you’d love to work at, or perhaps a friend of a friend. Ask around and find out what’s available, and see if someone can put in a good word for you. By putting in that extra effort, you have a greater chance of your resume and job application getting seen by the right people, and increases your chances of getting called in for a job interview.
Work with a recruiter
More and more companies these days are enlisting the help of recruiters for filling available positions. If you scan online job listings, chances are, you’ll come across several ads that will actually put you in touch with recruiters first. The recruiters will be the ones to review your qualifications and contact you about an interview. Since you’ll likely be working with a recruiter at some point anyway, find one in your area who specializes in job listings for your industry, so that you can find out about available job opportunities as soon as they become available. Your recruiter could potentially match you up with a job that you might be perfect for, and before hundreds of other people apply.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.