5 Tactics to Stand Out as a Job Applicant
We at Murray Resources, leading Houston recruiting firm, know it’s a tough job market out there in this economy. We’re committed to helping people become their best candidate possible when it comes to applying for a position, and we’ve acquired some tricks over the years that can help a candidate get that extra edge necessary to land an interview. Intrigued? Then check out our list of 5 techniques that will help you to stand out as a job applicant below:
In addition to electronically submitting your application, cover letter and resume for a job opening, surprise someone in HR by mailing a hard copy directly to the reviewer. While some bloggers have written this tactic off as superfluous or outdated, we know firsthand that when wading through a sea of electronic submissions, it’s refreshing to receive the personal touch of a hand addressed letter containing a thoughtful cover letter and resume. Just be sure to follow all instructions in the application when doing so, and indicate in your cover letter that you’ve also submitted an electronic copy for their review.
Leverage Your Connections:
As we’ve stressed every week on this blog, networking is a huge part of landing your dream job. If you’re fortunate enough to know someone who already works at the company you’re interested in, or who is in the same industry as your ideal employer, see if they can help you get your foot in the door. Meet up with your connection for lunch or coffee and politely ask if they’d be willing to write you a recommendation or make an introduction for you. A good word from someone in the business can go a long way in a reviewer’s eyes.
Utilize Social Media:
More and more companies are turning to social media platforms to engage with customers as well as job seekers. Take advantage of these direct lines of connection with a target employer by interacting with them on their social media profiles. Liking their Facebook page, commenting on their LinkedIn posts, and following them on Twitter are all great ways to learn more about the company, its culture, and upcoming events and opportunities. As an award-winning Houston recruiting firm, Murray Resources is constantly using social media to share new job openings, career advice, and recent successes with clients and candidates who follow us.
Strategic Resume Naming:
We’ve touched on the topic of common resume blunders in some of our previous posts, but we think one of them in particular is worth revisiting. As the job application process becomes increasingly digital, reviewers are swamped with more and more generically named resumes, i.e. “John Smith Resume,” “Smith Resume 2012,” or worst of all, simply “Resume.” Your resume file name provides one of the first opportunities to convey your creativity and enthusiasm for the position you’re seeking to a potential employer. Don’t waste the opportunity to stand out by using a generic title to save your resume that you’re uploading to an electronic application. Name your resume document something specific to the job you’re applying for that will catch a reviewer’s eye, i.e. “John Smith- Coca Cola, Inc. Financial Analyst Resume.”
Show Your Appreciation:
If our first four tips helped get you through the first round of the application process and landed you an interview, congratulations! But you’re not finished just yet. If you really want to stand out as a job applicant, after your interview, always always ALWAYS (did we mention always?) send a personalized thank you note to your interviewer. Email is obviously the quickest and easiest way to do this, but handwritten letters are pretty rare these days and add a personalized touch to an already nice gesture. Aside from thanking your interviewer for their time, there are a number of other topics you can mention in your note: reemphasize something you and your interviewer discussed during your time together, congratulate the company on a recent success, or even include an article that may be pertinent to the industry if you think your contact would find it interesting.
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