Applying for a New Job

If you’re applying for a new job after a lay off or employment break, there are things you can do to make your applications stand out. With the nation’s unemployment rate around 7%, you cannot afford any mistakes. Employers and human resource departments are flooded with resumes and applications on a daily basis, and if you don’t prepare yourself, it can take months to find suitable employment.

Here are a few tips to help get your foot in the door.

1. Polish your resume. If it’s been years since you last applied for employment, don’t pull out your old resume and send to employers. The information on this resume is probably outdated and generic. It’s best to tailor each resume to the position and only include relevant information. Make a list of your recent job accomplishments, awards, courses or workshops. Review sample resumes online for ideas on how to improve the document. Maintain your professionalism throughout the resume. Avoid slang, and carefully proofread. It only takes one mistake to turn off an employer. Do not send a cookie-cutter generic document. And if possible, keep the resume to under one page.

2. Know the background of the company. For each company that you apply with, do background research on the company. During the interview, you can expect the employer to test your knowledge about the company. You don’t have to recite the complete company history, but make sure you know key facts. For example, when was the company established? Who is the owner? What does the company do? Study the company’s “about us” page on the website. You can also research old newspaper articles or press releases online. The more you know about the company, the more you’ll impress the employer.

3. Practice interview questions. The employer will also ask a series of questions to determine whether you’re a right fit for the position. It often takes more than skill or education to snag a job. The employer needs to assess your personality. Interview questions also help the employer judge your communication and listening skills. Research common interview questions, such as: Tell me about your strengths? What makes you unique from other candidates? How can you help our company? Why should I hire you? Give answers that are clear and concise

4. Maintain a good reputation. Even before scheduling an interview with you, the employer may type your name in a Google search. A professional, clean online background can determine whether you receive a call from the employer, thus it’s best to maintain a good image. This includes having a professional Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profile. Fortunately, there are ways to check and monitor your reputation online.

Applying for numerous jobs and never receiving a call is frustration. Don’t panic. Take these steps to improve your resume, interview skills and personal image, and the perfect opportunity will knock at your door.


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