Getting an interview can be the hardest part of searching for a new career. With the job market being extremely competitive and so much now being done online, it’s hard to know where you need to make improvements.
There are a few simple improvements you can make that can help guarantee you get that call back though. Below are some tips and tricks to help get that interview and land the job.
Proofread your application
Your resume and cover letter are the first impressions you are giving to a recruiter when seeking a job interview. Grammar mistakes or misspellings can be a huge red flag. We recommend having someone else read over your documents before sending them.
It’s easy to miss errors on a specific resume line you have been reading over and over again. A fresh set of eyes can catch a small mistake that can make or break your chances. Alternatively, you could use an app like Grammarly to help you proofread. This will help to showcase your experience to the employer.
It's important to ensure that contact information is clearly included at the top of the resume, such as your email address.
Check the job requirements
Make sure you read the entire job description and prerequisites prior to applying. If you have a majority of the requirements, double-check that your resume shows that. For example, if the job description asks for social media experience, you will want to include this skill through previous experience in a past job position.
Hiring managers will quickly glance for these before taking a deeper dive into the candidates. If the job requires certain degrees or skills, you will want those to be clearly visible in your application. Employers often use an applicant tracking system (ATS), so include key search terms so that your resume will show up in a recruiter's search.
Before you apply, spend some time on the company’s website and get to know the job position that is specific to your past experience. Familiarize yourself with the organization’s mission statement and values. If possible, speak to these values throughout your cover letter and/or resume. A simple statement that shows you did your homework can help bring your resume to the top of the pile.
Personalize your cover letter
We all have a generic cover letter that is easy to attach and send out. However, taking the time to write a unique cover letter can help guarantee an interview. Try to find the name of the hiring manager and address the letter to that individual. Include a comment or two you found on their website that shows you have spent some time with their site.
Hiring managers often review dozens of candidates, so including relevant information from the job description on your cover letter or email to the hiring manager or recruiter will help you stand out to the company.
Talk yourself up
Your cover letter and resume are the first impressions a recruiter is going to see. If you have won professional awards, make sure they are included. You can include links to published work or other articles showcasing your skills. If a prior project is relevant to the job you are applying to feel free to send along examples to the employer.
You can include this information in your cover letter if it doesn’t fit into your resume. Doing this can not only set your resume apart, but it shows you are proud of your work and confident in what you do.
Find a mutual connection
Take some time to see if you have a mutual connection with someone at the company you are hoping to land a job interview at. Having a current employee pass your resume to the hiring manager will almost always guarantee an interview.
Even if the connection is in a different department or a more junior role it can still help get an interview. Don’t feel bad about asking for a favor. Chances are, that person has done the same in the past or will do it in the future for a different job or company. You may find that this person can even provide tips on how to get a job at the company