When you're looking for a job, you often face automated application processes and a pool of qualified applicants, which can make standing out as a viable candidate challenging. In this article, we offer 12 proven strategies to boost your competitive value and help you get the job.
12 tips to improve your candidacy and get hired
From performing the proper research to enhancing your resume, there are several ways you can improve your chances of getting hired. Here are some effective ways you can get noticed by hiring managers:
- Get to know the company.
- Compose a compelling cover letter.
- Redefine your resume.
- Make your social media profile look professional.
- Build a personal website.
- Turn to your network.
- Work with a career coach.
- Rehearse the interview.
- Prepare a persuasive narrative.
- Be aware of body language.
- Promote your soft skills.
- Volunteer or seek additional training.
1. Get to know the company
Before you apply for the job, research the company to understand who they are and what they do. Study the job description to align your skills with what the company is looking for, and highlight relevant skills on your resume. Find out who is in charge of hiring or heads a department so you can address them by name when inquiring about the position or in subsequent communications. Thorough knowledge of the company gives you the advantage so you can demonstrate how you can improve business or fill a need.
2. Compose a compelling cover letter
Your cover letter is your chance to provide evidence of why you are the right candidate for the position. Use keywords and phrases from the job description to demonstrate your awareness of the role's responsibilities and how you meet its expectations. Try to anticipate what questions the hiring manager may ask and answer them in your cover letter.
3. Redefine your resume
Resumes that list job duties lack the vital information that tells the hiring manager why you are the best one for the position. When evaluating your resume, be sure it is outlining not only your duties but how you performed them in ways others might not have. Use job-related keywords and action verbs such as "created" or "designated" throughout your resume to lend impact to your statements.
4. Make your social media profile look professional
Employers may inspect social media profiles to determine a candidate's qualifications or fit for the company. As with your cover letter, use relevant keywords or phrases that match the job and demonstrate why you are a capable employee. Make it easy for employers to contact you by prominently displaying your phone number or email address. Include a friendly photograph that shows your face so employers recognize you when you arrive for an interview. Depending on the social media platform, you may be able to ask for recommendations or reviews from colleagues to reinforce your qualifications.
5. Build a personal website
A personal website is a great way to present a portfolio of work and provide evidence of your abilities. Web building templates make it relatively simple to build a website within a few hours. Be sure to include a photograph of your face and provide contact links to make it easy to reach you. Build pages that highlight your passion for the industry or the skills you have acquired along the way. Consider adding a FAQ page that answers questions about you and your experience. Once your site is online, use your website address in all communications.
6. Turn to your network
Use your network of key individuals and enlist their help to gain insight into where or how you can improve your resume or cover letter. Send a mass email to friends, family, teachers and former employers or colleagues. Tell them about your goals and obstacles and ask for referrals. Ask former employers or supervisors to refer you for positions or write letters of recommendation.
7. Work with a career coach
Consider working with a career coach to help you strategize your approach to a job proposition. A coach can inspect your resumes and cover letters and help with applications. Your career coach can also challenge you to set professional goals and form plans to reach them, including suggestions for ideal jobs or complementary industries. Working with a coach can keep you motivated and optimistic while you improve your skills.
Read more: How Can a Career Coach Help You?
8. Rehearse the interview
Research the company you're interested in to determine what kind of interviews the company conducts. Some hiring managers may ask you to present a case study, provide a sample of a project or tell a story of how you accomplished a task. Perform searches to find out what other candidates have experienced in similar interviews, and rehearse your answers with a friend or colleague.
9. Prepare a persuasive narrative
During an interview, you might be asked to tell the interviewer about yourself. While it's fine to talk about hobbies and interests, keep the focus on the position and tailor your answers to fit the job description. Craft a compelling story that illustrates how you solved a problem, made improvements or overcame an obstacle at work.
10. Be aware of body language
Present yourself in a way that conveys openness and willingness to learn and grow. Make eye contact with the interviewer and remember to smile. Keep your body language relaxed by keeping your arms uncrossed, taking deep breaths and slowing your speech.
11. Promote your soft skills
While your resume might list your hard skills, be sure to highlight soft skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving and time-management in your cover letter and interview. Qualifying for a position means you have both the technical skills the job requires and the ability to be flexible, work independently or collaborate with colleagues.
Learn more: Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples
12. Volunteer or seek additional training
Consider volunteering in your spare time to gain additional experience or on-the-job training. Volunteering demonstrates compassion and a willingness to work selflessly. If volunteering isn't practical, use the time to pursue relevant education or training that will add to your experience and expertise. Remember to include volunteering and training on your resume and mention them in your cover letter, website or interview.