8 steps to better apply for jobs and maximize your number of interviews

November 19, 2019 0 By Kody Olson

Hi, my name is Edouard Thoumyre and I’ve been
a headhunter for 12 years now. In headhunting, our job is mostly to do a
direct approach of passive candidates, who are currently employed. That being
said at ACCUR Recruiting Services, we have decided a long time ago to post our jobs
confidentially on our website so that our followers, active candidates usually,
can send us their application. Therefore, we have received a very large amount of
applications over the years and we have really seen what works and what doesn’t. Especially we’ve really seen what weak candidates on the resume can do in order to stand out and make us call them for an interview. And this is going to be the topic of today: 8 tips on how to apply for jobs online and maximize your chances of getting called for a job interview! So number one have a very clear job
hunting strategy, which basically means you have to be selective. It’s almost too
classic to be reminded, but to apply for a job you have to be prepared and you
cannot prepare for all the jobs available around you. So pick one or two
types of jobs and industries, and really focus on them. Try to do your homework on
them and make sure that you can have a very catchy approach, and a very
customized approach for those jobs. Number 2: don’t change everything at
onc. If you are in the process of changing career, you cannot be changing
every single aspect of your career (at once). You have to build on transferable skills
from one type of job combination and (to) another. Meaning you cannot change at the
same time the company, the type of Industry, the type of job, maybe the
location or the market you are in charge of. For example, if you’re doing marketing
for the beverage industry in Miami taking care of the Caribbean markets, you
cannot jump to becoming a banker in New York, or you’ll have also a very very
hard time becoming a salesperson for the fashion industry in the u.s. domestic
market. So you have to change only one step at a time and
switch maybe from one industry to another, keeping the marketing function,
or maybe move from marketing to sales within the same industry, so that you
already know all the environment. But just… you have to make choices and you
have to have a step-by-step approach on how to change your career. So number 3: as mentioned in tip number 1, you have to be prepared, you need to do your
homework. This is absolutely essential so that you definitely convince the
decision makers that you know what you’re talking about.
But essentially you need to show that this idea of applying to that company is
not an idea that you got yesterday or this morning coming out of bed. This is
an idea that you are committed to, that you have invested time in to get
information, get informed and really build a career plan on. So to do your
homework, obviously you need to know the company, you need to understand the job
description, but also the objectives that might not be as clearly outlined in the
job description. You need to understand what kind of background they’re looking
for, or requiring for the role. And finally you need to make sure that the
skills you provide are really a match with what they expect. Too many times, I
see people who are applying for jobs where they have absolutely no chance of
getting the job and of course it’s a waste of time for everybody. So one thing
that is very efficient to understand what type of profile they want for the
job is to go on LinkedIn and to try to locate people who currently have the job
you’re applying for, or people who have had the job before, and look at their
career before. What have they done in order to reach that level. What kind of
jobs, job titles I mean, and what type of industries are they coming from, if the
education is matching what you have etc… And this way you you will really
understand how conservative the employer is, and what they really like in the end
for the job. Also to understand more about the company, I really suggest that
you follow them on the different social media. Of course their LinkedIn page,
maybe their Facebook page, their Twitter account. Try to get an understanding of
their values and what they stand for. Therefore you’ll have more discussion
material whenever you approach them by email or directly face-to-face. Number 4: act fast and create alerts. Most of the job sites, whether there are indeed,
SimplyHired, Linkedin, Monster, CareerBuilder or many company websites, on the
career sections, for example on ours, you can create an email job alert and
receive every morning the new jobs directly into your inbox. Therefore you
can be among the first ones to send your application and it’s obviously more
efficient, because when you apply a month after the job has been posted, you’re
very often too late. Number 5: have a very catchy cover
letter! So, the subject of cover letter could really be the subject of an
entirely new video, but I’m just going to focus on a few tips here. The good news
is that a formal full-page word document cover letter is not really expected
anymore. It barely exists anymore. What’s expected is a quick introductory email
of your resume on 5 to 10 lines, but the bad news is that this email
absolutely needs to be customized to every single job and every single
employer. There’s no way around it. You need to get the reader’s attention right
away and therefore you must include a few important things very quickly in
that email. You need to show you’re motivated. You need to prove that you
have understood the job description, but also that you have understood the type
of requirements and background that they’re looking for.
Finally you have to explain how you have the skills and experience matching those
requirements, either because you have done a very similar job before, or you
know that your skills are transferable to that new job. Number 6: complete the
entire application process the way we’re supposed to. Now you’re in front of the
job posting on whatever job board and you’re ready to apply, you have done
homework, you should go ahead and apply even though you may feel that the job
posting is on indeed or on career builder, or whatever, and you feel that
maybe your resume, your application will get lost in the huge amount of
applications the employer will receive, you should still do it. And if the
application process sends you to a series of forms on the employer website,
you should still do it. Since you have taken the time, you have invested the
time to get prepared, you committed to that job, fill up the entire application
process, because if you don’t do that you might get filtered out by the system
managing the applications for that employer. The point that I want to make
is that, even though, you do that, because it’s rather quick, even though it might
be longer than you thought, you should not stop there, and I’m going to explain
now what you should do after you have applied to that job online. Number 7: find the decision makers behind the job posting. If you think just applying on the
job board is going to be enough, then this is probably the second biggest
mistake you can make in your job hunting strategy, because you will indeed get
lost in the shuffle and the competition of all the incoming applications. So you
have to go the extra mile, and going the extra mile is very very much right now,
after you have sent your resume for the first time. Try to locate the decision
makers behind them and they’re usually two types of decision-makers, the HR
people and the hiring managers. So go on LinkedIn. Try to locate those people. Get
introduced by a common connection if you have. If you don’t have a common
connection, then just go ahead and email them directly. And in that email, you
should refer to the job you have seen online, and the fact that you have
applied to it, but then tell them that you simply wanted to make sure that your
resume won’t get lost, or your application won’t get lost, because
you’re really committed to that job and then you should add another catchy line
showing that you really understand what they expect and the fact that what you
have to offer matches what they expect. And we’re going on to number 8: which
is follow up, follow up, follow up! As I said before, looking for
job online is a sales and marketing approach, and no salesperson just sends a
service proposal and wait for an answer doing nothing. It never happens. So it’s
the same thing for you. Once you’ve sent your application, and once you’ve sent
like a quick first email to the decision makers, what I suggest very strongly is
that in that email to those decision makers, you tell them that you’re going
to follow up in 4 to 5 days for example. And what do you do 3, 4 or
5 days after, you do follow up, because you will show them that you say what you
do, and you do what you say. And that comes across as extremely professional
and organized. So when the day comes, instead of sending another email, what
you should do is, just call the company where the person is. You have the name
already, so go through the receptionist. Ask for the person in that department,
whatever… You’ll get the person on the phone. I
mean, if you do get the person on the phone, then this is your chance of
standing out again, reminding them of the fact that you have sent your application.
In our case, when we receive a call like this, we very often just open up the
application live, during the call, to see how relevant the resume is. If the resume
is not 100% what we need, but the person has been so good at approaching us and
at following up with us, that person has gained a maximum amount of points. If the
resume is really really too, far then okay, there’s nothing we can do.
Preparation was not right and the person had unrealistic expectations to be
considered for the job. But that being said, if we don’t get that person on the
line, then what I suggest is you leave a quick voicemail, of course giving your
name, referring to the job that you have applied for, and referring to the email
you have sent promising that you would follow up. Then you go back to your
initial email to them and you tell them that, as discussed or as promised, you
have followed up with them and you have left a quick voicemail, because you were
unable to reach them and you remain at their disposal for an interview anytime
they want. When you do all of that, you leave traces of your very professional
approach and your attitude. And this makes you gain a lot of points!
Finding the right candidates for an employer is not only making sure that we
have the right skills and the right experience, but it’s also making sure we
have the right attitude, people who are professional, people who are organized,
people who are prepared, committed. And all of that is part of the selection
process, and when we consider somebody for an interview, we not only look at the
resume and email introducing the resume, but we look at all the history of
exchanges that we’ve had with the candidates. Just checking that the
candidate has been always professional, always organized and always committed to
that particular job opportunity. All right so I’m done with my 8 tips for
today and I hope this was helpful. If you feel that I missed anything, or if there
is any other topic that you would like us to do a video on, please leave some
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