Despite a falling unemployment rate, job candidates still have difficulty getting hired. In many cases, they can’t even get interviews. If you’re going to get the job, you need to get your foot in the door. Follow these four tips to make sure human resources calls you to schedule an interview.
Make Your Resume Work for You
Your resume is the first thing that potential employers see. If it doesn’t match their expectations, it could end up in the recycling bin. That’s why you need to make that resume work for you.
A resume should include all pertinent information about you, your job experience, and your skills. Most employers also expect simple formats that make it easy for them to compare job candidates. Put your name and contact information at the top, followed by your objective statement, work experience, education, and additional skills. You may also want to list volunteer experience.
This is your opportunity to market yourself. If you have a master’s in management information systems, make sure you highlight that accomplishment. Employers want qualified candidates who know how to make themselves appealing.
Write a Great Cover Letter
Think of your cover letter as a pre-interview. A great one will make hiring managers want to meet you. Your cover letter should add to the information in your résumé. Don’t bother repeating a lot of information that hiring managers already know from reading your résumé. Interpret that information to show managers why you’re a good fit for the job.
The idea of trying to write a great cover letter fills a lot of people with dread. They aren’t professional writers, so they worry about looking inept. It’s important to make your cover letter as professional as possible, but you shouldn’t waste too much time worrying about details. Write to the best of your ability.
Follow Up with an Email of Phone Call
Companies get a lot of applications from qualified professionals. Those applications can pile up quickly, making it difficult for managers to keep track of which they’ve already read. That’s one important reason for you to follow up with an email or phone call.
You should typically wait three to five business days before contacting the company. Give them time to look at your résumé. No one likes to feel rushed.
Contacting the hiring manager shows that you’re serious about getting the position. Don’t become a pest, though. If you don’t get a response after contacting them two or three times, you should focus your efforts elsewhere.
Keep Track of Your Applications
You will probably apply for several positions during your job search. Keep a log of your activity so you don’t accidentally apply to the same position more than once. That’s a waste of time and it can annoy managers.
Your log should show when you submitted your application and when you followed up with a police email or phone call.
Some industries are more competitive than others. As long as you follow these tips, you can make yourself look like one of the top candidates.