A Few Things to Know Before Applying for a Job
The job search has always been a frustrating process no matter how many tricks or shortcuts you think you know. Job applications, as a part of this daunting process, can sometimes be all the more confusing, especially with so many opportunities available on the jobs market today. Neither Prime-Resume, nor any other resume writing service or career counselor will be able to rid you of this headache (regardless of what they promise or guarantee on their websites). However, there are some things that will definitely make your life easier on this. Asking yourself right questions should at least clear up a few things regarding your job search making your application experience less frustrating. So just before you sit down to fill out another job application, make sure it’s worth the effort.
Do I Need Them and Do They Need Me?
Do I need that company (to hire me)? Well, the answer to this question may sound obvious, especially if we are talking in the context of you desperately seeking a job. If you are looking for a job that must mean you need the company willing to hire you. While it is true to some extent, you should be thinking strategically here, otherwise you will soon end up looking for another job (it can go like this forever). Instead, consider your ideal career and dream job – what does it take to get there? The thing is that each position you are applying for should help you move towards that ideal career of yours (even if you are seeking a part-time job to pay the bills). Seek opportunities that will allow you the chance to work in your target industry or help you gain the right skills. In other words, don’t apply for jobs that you will likely leave soon anyway. Ask yourself whether you really need THIS company.
Now as we have taken care of your long-term career planning, we should move on to understanding whether employers would want to hire you. When you are writing your resume or applying for a job, you have to be thinking about what the employer needs in order to be seriously considered for the position. So after you realized the company is the right fit for you, it is time to understand whether you are the right fit for the employer. Luckily, you don’t need to guess what kind of candidates employers are after – everything is usually listed under the requirements section in the job ad. So next time you want to apply, carefully read the job description and identify the deal breakers (those must-have qualifications without which the application will be a waste of time). If MBA and 5 years of managerial experience are required while you have none, then don’t waste your time – you are not the one the company needs.
Am I Prepared Really?
Most job seekers are not prepared for making the most out of each application simply because they apply to every opportunity they come across if the company is offering a decent salary. However, having eliminated those employers that won’t fit your long term career plans as discussed above, you will now have more time to prepare meaningful job applications. How can you be prepared? It’s pretty easy: you are prepared when you know exactly what you need to be doing in order to get the interview call, and eventually, the job offer.
First and foremost, you should get to know about your potential employer as much as you possibly can. Ideally, if you have a friend or relative working at the company (or anybody you are acquainted with who can provide a referral). You may have not known this but your chances are 10 times higher when your job application comes together with an employee referral. So check your network to find out if there is anyone you know who works for the company. Obviously, it doesn’t guarantee you an interview but it certainly gives you preferential treatment. But even if it doesn’t work with the referral, that person may provide you with some insights into the culture of the company as well as current hiring practices.
This should help you tailor your resume and cover letter and prepare for the interview. When you have enough information about the company, it is time to adjust your resume and cover letter. No matter how well your resume was written 2 months ago, it still requires an update to match specific requirements of the job. Make sure that all of the core qualifications required by the employer take the central pot on your document. Identify the right keywords and integrate them into your documents. In other words, make sure your resume is ready to impress that specific employer with your experience, quantifiable accomplishments, and educational credentials.
If you use all of the aforementioned recommendations, it doesn’t mean you will automatically land a job. In other words, no guarantees. There are no magic pills or secrets that make job search a one-minute deal. It takes time and efforts to develop an effective application package and then to ace the interview. It takes time to understand your long-term career planning, your potential employer’s requirements and integrate all of that knowledge into your application package. Despite this, it will direct your efforts making your job search more efficient.
If you need any resume writing help, we’ll be happy to provide it for you here at Prime-Resume. Please, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions on how we can help you overcome your career challenges. Our friendly customer support agents are 24/7 for you.