By: Leila Bennett, Contributing Author
Standing out from the crowd when applying for a job is challenging. And to help you out, here are five tips for bagging highly competitive in-demand jobs.
1. Polish your resume
As a job seeker, your resume is your first chance to catch a prospective employer’s eye and to impress them. With the Ladder’s research showing that employers typically look at a resume for an average of 6.25 seconds, it’s important to make sure that your resume is not only concise but also comprehensive, including all relevant information — education, work history, and accomplishments. Your resume should show any employer that you have taken the time and effort to know what you want to do and achieve professionally.
2. Clean up your online media presence
Now that we are in the age of connectivity, one of the first things employers look at when considering applicants is their online media presence. Before submitting an application, make sure to clean up your social media accounts to get rid of any embarrassing or inappropriate posts. Start being mindful of any information you post online and try to post more industry-related news or articles. As for your professional accounts, make sure to polish them and keep them public. In our article on ‘5 Simple Ways to Enhance Your LinkedIn Presence,’ we share how you can enhance your LinkedIn account to make it more polished and professional.
3. Expand your skill set through continued education
A great way to get an edge over other applicants is by expanding your skill set through continued education. Thankfully, today’s job seekers have a wealth of options at their fingertips when trying to deepen or diversify their knowledge. There are short courses and workshops, as well as online courses and degree programs at their disposal. And the best part is, as Maryville University points out, that the process can be hassle-free and extremely flexible, as admissions are designed to be a breeze and start dates and class schedules are easily customizable. This allows continued education to be possible for all job seekers with varying responsibilities and schedules. Pursuing further education in your field is also a great way to show prospective employers that you are serious about a career in the industry.
Applying for a highly in-demand job means that the competition doesn’t only overwhelm you, it’s most likely overwhelming the recruiter as well. With hundreds of applications sent their way, don’t expect to get feedback the day after your application. However, Accountemps district president, Bill Driscoll, told CNBC Make It that there’s a fine line between appearing too eager and not interested: Following up too soon could make you seem disrespectful of the process, and waiting too long to follow up could make it seem like the job isn’t your top priority.
Following up once you haven’t heard anything for at least a week or two is encouraged. It’s important that you write a follow-up message that is concise and succinct. Be polite and humble when asking for any update on your application but don’t forget to reiterate your excitement about the opportunity to join their company. Lastly, make sure to add all your contact information at the end to make it easier for them to get in touch with you.
5. Come prepared
Once invited for an interview, make sure to be as prepared as possible for it. Before the interview, do thorough research on the company and review the job description. Prepare to field all possible questions they might ask, and prepare some questions of your own that you would like to ask them. These will show that you’re serious about your application and will make it easier for you to see how you fit in the job and the company you’re applying for.
But above all else, be confident and positive that you’ve got this. After all, you’ve prepared all that you could and improved in areas that are relevant to the job you want. It’s now just a matter of putting yourself out there and snagging the perfect opportunity.