Hiring — often the most important decision a manager has to make — should be hard. He or She want to have to make an excruciating choice from an impossibly talented pool of applicants.
So what does this mean on your part as applicants?
Of course! Your application letter has to be outstanding. What this simply means is that the content in your application letter has to speak for you clearly and it should succeed in impressing your employer in your absence. To such an extent that they would look for you, even when you decide to go somewhere else and not to show up for the interview.
Some of you might be asking How do I make this happen…….well that’s the reason why Jobtracker our online job platform has decided to provide you with this article to take you through some of the steps you need to go through and the information you should never leave out when applying online.
Different employers have different preferences in terms of job applications. The way they select the qualified candidates is determined by what they will be expecting of you as applicants.
The expectations are not only restricted to the content that applicants put in their application letters, but are broad ranging from the outer appearance of your letter (appropriate subject, formal introduction, followed by attached pdf documents or links to some of your own creations online, as well as social media accounts, mainly LinkedIn).
Firstly, speaking of which, please have a personal site
If your cover letter and resume are solid, this is what almost every employer will be looking for next. Make it clean and easy to read, with links to your best work, and a nice, readable copy of your resume. A crisply written bio couldn’t hurt either. Unless you’re a stellar designer (or you’re applying for a design job), no need to develop anything crazily distinctive; an about.me page or a nice, simple WordPress.com site is perfectly fine.
My strong recommendation is that you make your best clips easy to find. If you use a blogging engine like WordPress, you can literally write a post titled, “My best clips on [topic you’d be covering]” and link to it somewhere prominent. (Heck, feel free to make a short URL out of it and stick that in your application materials.)
Remember these links make you and outstanding candidate among other applicants, and a requirement in this digital era we are in.
Secondly, your cover letter should tell your employer two stories, and both should be fascinating
As the first important information tell the story of how your experiences have shaped you for this position. Then, with similar economy, tell the story of what you’ll do with this position if you land it. This includes your reason for knowing you deserve the job and how do you see that company maybe in the next 20 to 30 years with your investment and you being a part of it.
Remember, these are stories and you are their protagonist. Hook the employer with them. While in the process don’t get carried away remember: the more of your background you include, the less your employer is likely to remember. A comprehensive C.V. is unnecessary. Foreground your five most impressive credentials, and tuck the rest into aftermatter, or excise it altogether.
Thirdly, even if your employer dosen’t follow you on social media, assume they are
You probably don’t work for my organization yet, so you’re not covered by their social media guidelines. But they will still be trying to assess from your feed whether you could accommodate them. So try not to go too far out of bounds.
Also, if you signed up for a Twitter account a few days before applying because the company’s job description asked for social media skills, the employer can probably tell. Newbie Twitter feeds are almost unmistakeable. Here’s a secret: As much as they would love to see your witty, informative stream of 140-character bursts of insight, they can also very much respect folks who listen more than they talk on Twitter.
If you don’t say much yourself but are following an interesting bunch of people (and do interact when appropriate), that’s perfectly fine. And if you’re new to a social media community, there is no shame in signing up and listening. It will be more thrilling for you to show interest and demonstrate to them that you understand the dynamics of the community, even if you haven’t shared much yet yourself when they call you for an interview.
Fourth, there’s more than one way to skin a resume
We know what a pain it would be to customize your resume for each job, so your resume format can be reasonably generic. But do make sure to emphasize the aspects of your experience most suited to the jobs you’re applying for. Hierarchy in a resume is all-important; the stuff you want the employer to notice most should go at the top.
If you’re fresh out of school and your academic accomplishments are your calling card, lead with them. And if you’ve steadily moved up in seniority from job to job and held some impressive positions, then foreground your titles and make that progression stand out.
By the way, the Web software we use for job applications and hiring tends to render resumes unrecognizable. So unless you know for certain that the system is going to deliver the resume with formatting intact, make sure that it looks wonderful in a plain text editor (like Notepad on Windows or TextWrangler on Mac). If you have the option of both uploading a PDF and submitting a separate plain text file, do both.
Fifth, a little follow-up at any point in this process doesn’t hurt. A lot might
If you haven’t heard from the company maybe a month after you’ve applied, there’s no harm in sending an email to check up on where we are in the process. If they close the position and you still haven’t heard from them, again, feel free to write.
Beyond those few occasions, be gentle. There’s probably an optimum level of persistence that can slightly help your prospects or speed the process along, but it’s unlikely to make a significant difference sometimes.
At the risk of negating everything we just wrote, I’ll be honest: Nothing in this post is universal. You’re probably going to encounter hiring managers who don’t Google anyone, couldn’t care less about your personal site or Twitter stream, disregard recommendations, hate to follow up and don’t truck with idle chit-chat in interviews. (We’d love to see perspectives from other hiring managers in the comments section of this post.)
But remember as JobTracker we care for you and are here to help you in any way achieve your dreams.
We sincerely wish you the best of luck,