If you want to land your dream job, start with the bare basics of making a great first impression. Here’s how to get your foot in the door:
1. Read instructions: Applications often come with instructions, and those that want the job, read them carefully. Many times job posts require you to hand in a cover letter, others request a short about you blurb in the body of your email. If you’ve ever sent an email with only the PDF version of your resume, or worse, a Word Doc/Pages. Just forget about it. I delete files like these; even if you’re great at what you do, it shows carelessness and lack of preparation. Take five minutes to read the fine print but also to introduce yourself.
2. Know email etiquette: Those who understand what it takes to get the job know the most essential thing; they empathize. Remember that your application is received by a person sitting behind a screen. Show them respect and eagerness to apply, introduce yourself, and be detailed in what your message contains.
3. Submit clearly formatted resumes and c/v: Are you volunteering? Ensure your resume shows that you are not just an employee but an exceptional one at that. Hiring managers want to see a spotless formatted resume. Keep the resume to one page if you’re just starting out. If you’ve scaled up in the business, it can be two. There are free templates online for formatting and design, such as Google Suites and Canva, to name a few. Just search “Free resume templates download.” Do what you can with what you have. Youtube has great tips as well!
4. Keep your email address concise: Please, please don’t send your resume through your high-school email “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Keep it professional and simple. Your first and last name is enough, and instead of numbers, try to put a period[.] and then your state initials. Ex: email@example.com. Also, shorten your name if the email address is really long. Another tip is to use a specific email address only for resume/job submissions. It keeps the inbox free of clutter and up to date.
5. Research your prospective employer: One time, I interviewed someone who said all the right things and had the perfect resume. When I asked him, “What do you know about our brand?” he cracked. He followed up by saying, “I.. well. I’m wondering if you can help me with this.” -not hired. The interviews are an opportunity. But before then, you must prepare, and step one is making sure you know what you’re signing up for. It’s not actually time ill-spent. In fact, get to know who they are by looking at their website, IG, FB, and more. By understanding what their mission is, and finding out if you qualify, will help you get recruiters on your side.
Since Covid, it’s not been the easiest to find a job, but don’t give up. Keep applying and be consistent. I hope this was helpful. Feel free to share tips of your own. I’d love to read your thoughts.