Want to stand out when applying for jobs online?!
Remote work is increasing, and this trend doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. With more dependence on using technology for the recruitment process, the less our chances of interviewing in person become.
This also means that in order to just get your foot in the door, you need to have a strong online presence that reflects you, and is impressive enough to garner a response.
Applying for jobs online may feel intimidating and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. The following tips will take the fear out of of the online job search and help you get ahead of the competition:
Tips For Applying For Jobs Online
Use A Resume Template
Applying online takes away the normal face to face interaction many of us rely on to make our best impression. Your resume is your first chance in getting you noticed and it should be a direct reflection of who you are.
There are various pre-designed resume templates to take your resume game to the next level with little effort. Canva has hundreds of different templates, all free, for you to choose from. All you need to do is plug in your text, photo, and play around with the fonts and colors.
Spending that extra half hour on re-doing your resume will set you apart from the typical word docs hiring managers scan through all day. With a little creativity, you can make your resume standout to get you that first interview.
Be Specific About Your Achievements
Hiring managers sift through hundreds if not thousands of resumes day in and out. There are a million people who have held a job with the same title as yours. What sets you apart is the specifics of your duties and accomplishments.
Your resume, LinkedIn and portfolio need to highlight these specifics. Use actual numbers, metrics and data to show how effective you were in your role. Mention the tasks you did that may not be obvious. Use punchy language.
Don’t let your resume or profile fall flat with general statements. Spend the time to research key resume lingo to make you standout.
Bonus: Don’t get lazy on the additional skills section. This is your time to shine by adding anything interesting or relevant about you that your experience doesn’t reflect. Think of things that would be great conversation starters, or give you bragging rights.
Build A Relationship
You may not be able to meet the person in charge before applying, but with a little bit of digging you can change that.
Most companies have their team members posted on their website so you can find out exactly who may be interviewing you or reviewing your application.
Reach out to the person on LinkedIn or by email if that’s not an option, and send a quick introduction. Start building the relationship so that you give them a face to a name and most importantly, to impress them.
Showing that extra interest will give you a leg up in the hiring process.
You should absolutely follow up after applying as well, and since you’ve already connected, you know who to reach out to when the time comes.
Invest in Your LinkedIn
Linkedin is truly your virtual best foot forward. The power it holds should not be underestimated and it should reflect that.
Make sure that your LinkedIn is always up to date. Choose a professional and engaging profile picture. Spend time to fill out all the areas in your profile, especially the skills section, and let it reflect who you are and your diverse background.
If you’re actively job searching, upgrading to the premium membership is worthwhile. It allows you to see who views your profile, connects you to the hiring managers directly, lets you see what types of applicants you’re competing against, as well as giving you salary information and interview tips.
LinkedIn itself is an incredible job search resource. It has the most up to date listings, and many companies exclusively post on LinkedIn when a position opens.
Since LinkedIn uses your profile and saved information to directly apply for jobs, you need your profile to be current and accurate.
Leverage Your Network
Networking is everything and the internet makes this easier than ever. Leverage the people you’ve worked with in the past and use your online presence to showcase those relationships.
When applying online, these companies don’t know you and aren’t meeting you, so your network can prove your character and your skills.
An easy way to do this is to connect with your former employers and colleagues via LinkedIn and ask them to leave you endorsements. Any time someone comes to your page, they’ll easily see the positive comments and verified skills. This will give you valuable credibility.
If you’re lacking experience or the job is highly competitive, it may be worth attaching a letter of reference with your application. This should be from an impressive, credible and hopefully relevant source.
Whether they read it or not, having that extra reference will show your future employer of the previous positive working relationships you’ve had, and your desire for this position.
Prove Yourself Invaluable
When applying online you essentially have two ways to immediately impress the hiring manager- your cover letter and your resume.
We know that you now have a killer resume, so don’t get sloppy on the cover letter section. Same goes for any additional questions they may initially ask you to provide.
These are your only opportunities to show them what a great investment you would be. You may or may not have relevant experience, so your cover letter is essential in proving why they should give you a chance.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. If you’re applying for a news or magazine job, go the extra mile and make your cover letter into an engaging article or feature. If this is for a marketing position, showcase your skills and personality in a mock campaign, etc.
Don’t overwhelm them with information, but do something different, catchy and relevant to their company and style.
You should offer your two cents on what you love about their work and more importantly, how you would improve it. Sell them your skills by pitching ideas.
The more initiative and the more relevance you can exhibit, the better chances you have.
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? – Seth Goden
Once you get the job, there is no employee as valuable as a linchpin. As Seth describes it, a linchpin is an ‘artist’ and goes above and beyond what is expected, making him irreplaceable and highly sought after. This is a book that will motivate you to give 110% in your job and create your own path in your career.
Getting Things Done: The Art Of Stress-Free Productivity – David Allen
Considered a productivity guru, David Allen’s best-selling book is a must-have for anyone who wants to work smarter, not harder. Packed with actionable steps and tips on how to maximize the flow of work, your career will thank you.
First, Break All The Rule: What The Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently – Marcus Buckingham
If you’re applying for a managerial position, are currently a manager, or aspiring to get promoted; this book is a must-read. The truth is, very few of us are natural born leaders and we normally aren’t taught these life skills in school. A lot of the lessons in this book you will probably learn the hard way, but why not avoid the headaches and fast-forward your career?
Need More Book Recommendations? These are my top recommendations for girlbosses
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