By Natalie Rodgers
For the last year or so, the job market has been especially difficult. The world is adapting back to a new normal in a post-pandemic workplace and the priorities of many companies are evolving and changing. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure your job search is in pristine condition to ensure the best chance of securing employment. Here are some easy things you can do to get noticed in the job market:
Proofread Your Materials
One of the simplest mistakes that can turn away potential employers is a lack of proofreading in your resume or cover letter. If either one of these documents is full of typos, incorrect information or grammatical errors, employers may be inclined to think that you don’t have an attention to detail or simply don’t care about the work you put forward. When you have finished writing your cover letter and updating your resume, don’t just send it off. Use spell check, read through your materials yourself and have another person go through your written work to check for errors. This process adds a few more minutes onto your job hunt, but can make all the difference when it comes to obtaining interviews.
Research Your Employer
It can be easy to just hit “submit” on an application with little regard for the details, but doing research on an employer can save you time and headaches in the future. Before sending off your application, make sure you understand what you could be getting yourself into. Read the job description carefully, do a quick Google search on the company itself and take a look at what past employees have to say about working for the company. This information will not only help you tailor your resume to look appealing to interviewers, but will save you the headache of getting a job that you don’t want or aren’t qualified to take on.
Fill in the Gaps
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an abundance of unemployment, which may mean you have gaps in your resume. While most are understanding of this, having gaps in your resume may send the wrong message to potential employers. Rather than using a chronological resume format, consider using a functional resume that highlights skills and accomplishments over job history. You can also make notes within your resume or cover letter as to why the gaps exist.
If you took medical leave, paternity or maternity leave, or have another legitimate reason for unemployment gaps, make sure you include that information in your materials. These situations are often understood by employers and will not affect your chances of securing a position.
Ask for Feedback
A common frustration in the interview process is either receiving no notification or just a brief, impersonal email stating another candidate was chosen. If this is a common occurrence for you, ask for feedback on how you can improve in future interviews or why you were not selected for the position. Not all employers will provide this information, but the feedback that can come from those who do can be immensely helpful. Remember, you should always make sure to dress appropriately for your job interviews, maintain eye contact and answer the questions thoughtfully and thoroughly.
Keep Your Connections
Your network can be your biggest asset to securing employment. Reach out to past bosses, co-workers, professors or individuals who understand your work ethic to serve as references during the job hunt. Employers will often reach out for a second opinion to speak on your employment history, and having a trusted individual who understands your capabilities can greatly increase your chances of employment. These connections may even have access to job opportunities within their own companies they could help you secure by advocating for your qualifications.
The actual interview process can also be useful in securing networking connections. For example, it’s always a good practice to leave the interview on good terms, including writing a thank you note or email after it’s finished. Occasionally, a candidate will drop out after receiving an offer, which could spark an opportunity, or you may be remembered for a future opening.