Being a great candidate is not enough in today’s crazy job search world. At a time when most job openings receive hundreds of resumes, you have to stand out amongst the sea of other great candidates to remove your dependence on luck. Staying organized in your job search process might sound uneventful, but it’s often the difference between an excellent hire and the great candidate that they outshined.
Here’s how staying diligent in running a job search process can help you get ahead:
1. Know more than the next kid
Research is a hugely underrated component of job seeking. Doing your due diligence on an industry, company, or a hiring manager lets you impress with knowledge on a cover letter or in an interview. Employers are looking for someone that “gets it,” so be the candidate that already has a grasp of the situation and doesn’t need to be trained on the basics.
2. Get with the beat
Surveys have shown that most employers think candidates just don’t understand company culture and professional etiquette. The obvious: show up on time, have positive body language, and don’t peek at your phone during an interview. To truly differentiate yourself, learn about the culture of the team you’re trying to join and reflect that understanding in how you interact with them. A small startup? Ditch the business attire and let unbridled passion show through. Consulting company? Iron your shirt and sweat the details. Advertising agency? Show them your style.
3. Have a bird’s-eye view
You know what the worst job search looks like? You don’t set target employers, you apply to any opening that sounds slightly relevant, and you wind up taking the first offer you get out of desperation. Start your job search right -- think about your ideal company, the perfect role, and search for opportunities based on your most important parameters. Only make compromises on this strategy when you’ve run out of options.
4. Use a tailor
Use all you learn about a company and a particular role to customize every single resume and cover letter, even if only slightly. On the other side of the table, someone is reading hundreds of generic resumes to find a standout, and adjusting your documents on the fly is a great way to be that person. You shouldn’t change the fundamentals: you did what you did, where you did, and how you did it. But you should reflect why you’re a fit for any particular company in the cover letter and modify key takeaways in your resume to fit the role you’re applying to.
5. Keep up the good work!
Once you’ve hit apply, set yourself a reminder and follow up after some time has passed. Do the same after you send a thank you note for an interview. Nail the follow up! It’s the difference between being utterly forgettable and the candidate that gets the job. Hiring managers and recruiters are usually juggling a lot of projects, so always be polite but persistent in keeping up to date with your application status.
It’s all about running a process, so head to JobHero and use our free mobile and web dashboard to know more than the next kid, get with the beat, have a bird’s-eye view, use a tailor, and keep up the good work.