Whether you're looking for your first job or your tenth, there are several techniques you can use to get your foot in the door for an interview and ultimately land the position you want.
look for internal referrals
Sometimes all you can do is submit your resume to an online job site, hoping your resume gets through the robot reading it. But to improve your chances, reach out to someone that you know at the company where you're applying. If you don't know anyone directly, search for 2nd and 3rd connections on LinkedIn and ask your peer to introduce you. Research shows that when a current employee refers you for an open position, you're more likely to get the job.
tailor your resume to each job
Be sure to read the job description and job specification, and make sure to highlight the skills and qualities you have that make you a good fit for the position. Reword descriptions on your resume of current and past positions using keywords - they'll stand out to a human reader and improve your chances of getting through the Applicant Tracking System that scans your cover letter and resume. It takes more time, but is worth it in the end. To help you keep track, name each resume version with the company and/or job position it goes to, so that you don't accidently submit the wrong resume.
customize your cover letter
If you're reaching out about a position to a colleague who works at the company or via a cold "email", you can include your cover letter text as the body of the email. Go ahead and attach your cover letter as well, and make sure to customize your cover letter to the job position. The cover letter is a chance for you to stand out from others who may not include a cover letter or who may use a generic one for each position. In your cover letter, you can briefly summarize how your previous experience makes you a good candidate for the job and demonstrate your interest in the company.
boost your confidence
It's important to make a good first impression when you arrive for your interview. Prep beforehand by reviewing common interview questions (and how to answer them). Have an interview outfit that you feel polished but comfortable in. If there are changes to your appearance you've been wanting to make (for your own self confidence), such as dental services, a new haircut, or even a session with a personal stylist, it can be just the "oomph" you need before landing a new job.
acquire new skills
Do you keep seeing job postings that interest you, but feel like you lack some of the skills needed to apply? First, know that there is no harm in applying. Many job postings are a company's wish list, and they may be willing to teach an eager candidate the skills you lack. But, if that's not the case, then second, there are many resources available to improve your skills, even from home. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there are more online resources available to study from home and learn new skills than ever before.
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