Applying for a job is a nerve-racking experience for even the most qualified of employees. However, it’s important to remember that everyone gets nervous: you don’t need to be a perfect candidate; you simply have to put your best foot forward. Here are some tips to follow during the application and interviewing process.
Always Read the Job Description
You may be going through hundreds of job descriptions and eventually get fatigued. To the employer, though, they only have one description up — and it’s important to them. If you make it obvious that you haven’t put in the time to read the description, they may not want to spend any time on you. In particular, try to address at least one or two elements of the job description directly in your cover letter.
Check Your Social Media
Looking for a job is when it’s time to update your social media profiles and put your personal information on lock down. Take the time to look yourself up by name and do some reputation management. Your social media is going to tell your employer a lot about you — you want to control what they discover.
Always Proofread Your Communications
It can be surprising to a hiring manager just how many job applications have common spelling errors or typos. These things matter: an attention to detail is critical in many jobs and industries. If you can get a family member or friend to proofread things for you, even better. The more time and effort you spend in your job hunt, the better your chances are of landing each individual job.
Consider Investing in a Professional Resume
Resume standards have changed dramatically in just the past decade, with one page resumes falling out of favor and functional resumes, rather than chronological resumes, becoming more popular. If you have doubts about your resume, it may be well worth it to invest in a professional service.
Be Forthright When You Don’t Know an Answer
As a follow up to the application process, you may be asked a few questions. If you don’t know the answer to something, it’s absolutely acceptable to say “I don’t know the answer to that. However, I can look it up and get back to you.” Sometimes employers will ask questions not to gauge your knowledge of a subject but to find out how you react when you don’t know something. An applicant who isn’t honest about their lack of knowledge is an applicant who may make mistakes later on.
Relax and remember that you likely have a lot of interviews ahead of you. Not every interview has to be “the one.” Be open, honest, and earnest; with practice and preparation, it will eventually become effortless.