Searching and applying for jobs is nothing like it used to be. Gone are the days of physically handing or mailing in your resume and waiting for a call about the position. Now, nearly all job search communications happen electronically. Since the employer isn’t likely to see your face and interact with you until you’re invited in for an interview, the paperwork, and the way you follow up, must be on point.
From applying to jobs to following up after an interview, here’s everything you need to know about successfully landing a job in the digital age:
1. Applying To Jobs
There are seemingly endless options for searching for a job online. Websites and job-searching portals like: LinkedIn, Indeed, UPal etc. It is a good place to find a job listing’s difficult to determine if one job board is better than another. Candidates may have better luck finding more positions that suit their needs and qualifications when they turn to job boards that specialize in their industry or field. If the company does not use ATS software to manage its recruitment process, you may have the luxury of forgoing the robotic application pre-screen when you apply directly to their listings,” Augustine said. “Since these systems often eliminate great candidates whose resumes aren’t formatted or written with this technological gatekeeper in mind, your candidacy may be more likely to be considered for the position. If you know someone who works at the company, look for the application option that allows you to include an employee referral. Once you’ve applied online to the job, ask your connection at the company to pass a copy of your resume along to the hiring manager or internal recruiter in charge of filling the position.
2. Tracking Your Progress
Setting up a folder on your computer, or in the cloud so you have access while on the go, where you can save a copy of the resumes and cover letters you create and tailor for a particular job opportunity. Since job postings often get removed before the interviews take place, it’s important to copy the job description and paste it into a file so you can reference it later. Set up an Excel or Google Sheet to track the jobs to which you apply — the links, the dates you applied, and any other important information or notes, such as the name and contact information of a networking connection you have at the company, the recruiter, or the hiring manager. Then, you can set reminders on your calendar to follow up on each application appropriately.
Some employers make it difficult to follow up on applications. Following up roughly one week after the job application deadline, if this information is listed, so the employer has enough time to review your application. If the job posting didn’t list an application deadline, follow up one week after your initial application. Like your cover letter, if you can figure out who is the hiring manager or the recruiter handling the job opportunity, then use their contact information to tailor your follow-up and send it directly to the person who matters. If the position is listed for an anonymous employer, you may not have the ability to follow up. Plus, if they intentionally posted the job without employer details, chances are they won’t be thrilled if you figure out who they are and reach out directly.
4. Mistake(s) To Avoid
Mistakes in the Job Search, even minor ones, could cost you the opportunity. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when searching & applying for Job(s):
Using One Standard Resume without customization:
Since you’re likely going up against an ATS, in your best interest to tailor your resume and cover letter for the specific position, said Augustine.
When it comes to tailoring your resume, the first step is to thoroughly understand the job description. Figure out what the most important skills are for the job and reorganize your resume to highlight those accomplishments in your experience first. You want to use the keywords used in the job description, but not verbatim.
Mass-emailing recruiters / employers without a specific role in mind:
If you can’t take the time to look at the list of job openings and apply for a specific role, why should the hiring manger bother taking the time to review your application? Often, these applicants are not qualified for any open positions, and they’re merely wasting the employer’s time — as well as their own.
Having a less-than-perfect online presence:
In addition to your resume and cover letter, your online presence needs to be pruned before you apply anywhere, said Paul. This is especially true on LinkedIn, but also on any other platforms where you have profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc) If your resume does get noticed, the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager will do is Google you and look you up on social media.
Not Referencing the job title:
If you are emailing your application for a specific job position (and job ID, if applicable) in the subject line, as well as the body of the email, so employers know with which role to associate your application. If the employer is being forced to guess, they usually skip over that candidate. There are plenty of others in the inbox to review; they don’t need to spend time digging for information that should have been provided.
5. Stay Current
Keep your online persona up-to-date, particularly if you add new skills. Why? This is because some employers maintain a pool of candidates who have applied (but were rejected) for specific jobs, so that they can reach out if a more suitable position arises.
Recruiters’ software also trolls profiles on LinkedIn and other social media sites, analysts said, providing employers with updates.
6. Be Camera Ready
Before asking candidates to come into the office, some employers try to get to know them better. They might conduct an interview over, say, Skype, or send a company-branded link to a set of questions whose answers the candidates can record on their computer’s webcam.
Sometimes employers record applicants performing a task, like computer coding. The way the camera is set up, the recruiter can see the candidate doing the work. Get camera comfortable, so that your shyness doesn’t stand in the way the job you want.
‘Best of luck in your Interview’