The job market is more competitive than ever. If you want to get your dream job, you’re going to have to put in some extra effort to stand out from the crowd. A few simple actions can effectively give you an edge on the other candidates hoping to get the same job.
7 Ways Standout as a Job Seeker
If you’re preparing for an upcoming job interview, use these seven tips to gain an advantage on your competition:
- Personalize Your Application: No one wants to read a generic cover letter and resume that could be applicable to any company. Take the time to find the name of the hiring manager and personally address the cover letter. Customize the content for each opportunity to show your genuine interest in the position.
- Get a Personal Introduction: Review your contacts to see if you have any connections at the company where you’re applying to work. If so, ask for a personal introduction to the hiring manager ─ in person or on LinkedIn. People hire based on relationships, so if someone they trust recommends you, your chances of getting hired increase exponentially.
- Arrive Early to the Interview: You never know what obstacles will get in your way en route to a job interview. Always leave plenty of time to spare to avoid being late. Showing up a few minutes early makes you appear responsible and shows that you respect the hiring manager’s time.
- Dress Professionally: Make no mistake ─ the hiring manager will judge you based on the way you present yourself. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so always dress professionally for a job interview, even if you’re told the company has a casual dress code.
- Be Mindful of Your Body Language: What you don’t say during your job interview may send an even stronger message than responses to questions you spent hours rehearsing. Nervous habits like failing to make eye contact, crossing your arms and having a weak handshake may position you as untrustworthy or lacking confidence.
- Ask Questions: Not asking questions makes you appear uninterested in the job, which certainly won’t impress a hiring manager. It can be difficult to think of questions on the spot at the end of an interview, so prepare a list in advance.
- Follow up Immediately: Send everyone who participated in your job interview a thank you note immediately following the meeting. Reiterate your interest in the position and let them know how much you appreciate the opportunity to meet with them. A little added courtesy could make all the difference between getting the job and being passed up.