When you’re applying for a job, the competition is fierce. It’s important to stand out and make a great impression as soon as possible – ideally, from your very first contact with the company. Making a good impression helps get your resume shuffled to the top of the stack and increases the chances you’ll be called for the all-important interview.
Here are six ways to make a great impression with your job application:
Talk about this employer’s needs.
Hiring managers skim resumes with one question in mind: “What is this candidate going to do for us?” When a candidate answers it, they remember.
Focus your cover letter and resume on answering this question. Research the employer, so you know what their goals are and how they want work done. Then, use your application materials to describe yourself as the candidate who can meet those goals.
Describe your accomplishments, not your duties.
A list of your duties in past jobs is a list of what you were expected to do. A list of your accomplishments is a list of what you actually did. To hiring managers, it’s the second one that stands out. After all, they want the candidate who will do these things, not merely the one who is expected to.
Put your biggest accomplishments in your previous jobs front and center. Whenever possible, express them in terms of hard numbers: “Helped increase sales 6 percent in the first quarter of 2015” or “Cleaned 15 rooms per day on average, compared to 12 per day average of the rest of the team.”
If this is the job or the company you’ve wanted for years, don’t be afraid to express it! Enthusiasm sets candidates who get hired apart from candidates who don’t. Find the thing you love most about the employer’s mission, goals or structure, and express how you can make it even better.
Use a single spreadsheet to organize your past jobs, key accomplishments, dates, and other information related to your work history. Use this information not only in every application, but also on your LinkedIn and other online professional information. Consistency will help you avoid awkward questions about your work history and demonstrate your pride in your career.
Clean it up.
One typo is all it takes for a resume to land in the shredder. Make sure your resume is organized, error-free, and consistent in terms of font, spacing, margins, and formatting. Ask more than one trusted friend or family member to look it over.
Follow up at the right times.
Keep track of when you send applications and to which employers, and set a calendar reminder or phone alarm to follow up in a week if you haven’t heard back. A polite, short email lets the employer know you’re still interested in working with them.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters can help you make a great impression. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services in Minnesota and Wisconsin.