Just because you have to apply online, doesn't mean your resume has to fall into the dreaded “black hole.” And, it may seem easy to submit applications for several openings at once, but hitting “Quick Apply” on LinkedIn or other job sites isn’t the best way to stand out from the crowd.
While there is nothing wrong with applying online (certain companies and roles even require it) there are ways help you stand out from the crowd and win more interviews.
Here are three easy ways to make the most of the effort you’re already putting into your job search:
1. Reach out personally
After you’ve completed the online application, be sure to look on LinkedIn or the company’s website to find the person the job would report to or for an internal recruiter. Larger companies often have an internal team focused on hiring. To find people at a specific company on LinkedIn, check out this video: https://youtu.be/0yGZCMfgSLY
Sending a brief message to the hiring manager or recruiter stating that you’ve applied for a role, how excited you are about the opportunity or company, and including a copy of your resume for their reference is a great way to start a human conversation before they’ve even reviewed the applications online.
Note, it’s important to have an updated, professional LinkedIn profile to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. If your profile picture doesn’t look like you would want to look when you walk in for an interview, it’s time to take a new one. For information on how to take a professional photo at home, click here.
2. Show Initiative and Enthusiasm
In your cover letter or when you reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager, make sure to show your excitement for the role or the company, not just what qualifications you have that make you a good fit.
Enthusiasm for the company and the initiative to reach out personally or to learn more about them can go a long way in making sure that you stand out from the sea of “Dear Sir or Madam” generic form letters.
4. Win at the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) game
Your resume may be interesting, sleek, and modern, but the software doesn’t often read these resumes clearly. If you don’t get through the ATS keyword scanners, then your resume doesn’t make it on to a live person very often.
Make sure that you are using an ATS-friendly format (not a graphically-designed layout) and ALWAYS include keywords from the job descriptions in your document. Every application you send should have a customized resume with relevant keywords to get past the scanners.
If you are in a creative field, it’s certainly ok to have a graphic-style resume as well, just save it for when you sent to hiring managers and recruiters directly.
Need help with your job search strategy or have questions about the application process? Contact our team today!