4 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired from a Job Board
Looking for a job is often a time-consuming and exhausting process. It can be frustrating and disheartening if you’re not making progress. There are so many ways to search today that it can get confusing as well.
While networking is considered one of the best ways to gain employment, what if you’re just starting out or don’t know many people? There are thousands of job boards that can potentially connect you with your next employer. They are helpful in that you can scan vacancy listings quickly and efficiently in one place, and countless people have landed excellent jobs through these sites.
Even though technology continues to evolve, you can still use job boards to secure employment. There are simple ways to improve your chances of getting recognized, which may result in an interview and a job. All the job boards do is help you find opportunities—it’s then up to you to seize them.
Following the steps below will ensure that you make the most of your job search. In addition, you want to be certain that you turn in an error-free, professional-looking resume and cover letter. Let our experts help you with that.
1. Perfect your resume
The quickest way to sabotage your job search is to turn in a poorly formatted resume that is full of errors. Your resume is the first impression the hiring manager gets, so you need to make sure it is a good one. Sometimes it doesn’t matter that you have skills and experience if the hiring manager can’t get past your shoddy resume. For most companies, finding enough candidates isn’t a problem—on the contrary, their recruiters typically have a mountain of job applications to pore over, so tossing one out because of typos is a no-brainer for them.
Take the time to make your resume visually appealing. Format it correctly and use an appropriate font and font size. Research the latest styles and see what formats get noticed. Resist the urge to use a creative design with a non-standard font—not only will such a resume likely be unreadable to the applicant tracking system (ATS, or the software used to filter out unsuitable applications), but the busy hiring manager won’t be impressed with a submission that doesn’t readily provide all the information they want in the normal places.
In addition, proofread your resume several times to make sure you eliminate any spelling or grammatical errors. For good measure, have a trusted friend look over it as well. Yes, you can use a spellchecker, but keep in mind that these programs don’t always pick up on errors such as the incorrect use of homonyms (there, they’re, their). You can run it through more sophisticated checkers such as Grammarly, but Grammarly can also be astoundingly wrong, both in what it suggests and what it misses. You can (and should) improve the quality and format of your resume by hiring a professional editor.
2. Optimize your resume with keywords
Today, many companies use an ATS to weed out unsuitable resumes. These programs typically work by identifying certain words that might mean you are qualified and a good match for the position. If you didn’t include the right keywords, you can kiss that job opportunity goodbye.
So, how do you make sure your resume doesn’t get overlooked or thrown away? Include as many keywords as you can. You want to show that you have the skills the recruiters are looking for, and the ATS helps flag the resumes that include those skills, credentials, and traits. Scan the job posting to identify pertinent keywords and include them in some way in your resume. That said, be careful in how you do this because you also want a professional-sounding resume that reads smoothly and naturally to the human hiring manager.
3. Attach a personalized cover letter
Even if a job application doesn’t require a cover letter, include one. The only time you shouldn’t is if the job posting specifically tells applicants not to send a cover letter. Take the time to find out the name of the hiring manager and address it to that specific person. Most recruiters will be impressed that you went the extra mile to identify them. Not everyone does this, so your effort will put you ahead of the competition in reaching the next step. If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name even after thorough research and contacting the company, “Dear Hiring Manager” will do the trick.
In addition, make sure your cover letter focuses on the company and what you can do for it. You don’t want it to revolve around your skills and what you want from the job. While you do want to highlight your skills, don’t brag and repeat everything that’s on your resume. Do a little online digging and find out more about the company (what it’s working on and where it’s headed) and the job itself. It impresses hiring managers when a candidate has done some research, and it shows that this person is serious about the position.
4. Mention your relevant connections
It is true that knowing the right people can help you get a job. If you have talked with any employees or know anyone connected to the company, mention them, especially if they are an integral part of the organization. Did someone employed by or connected to the company recommend you for the job? That’s another plus you can bring up as well.
LinkedIn is an excellent place to connect with other professionals and learn more about the company and the job. Don’t be afraid to reach out and introduce yourself. You might meet people who are more than willing to help, especially if you are respectful and kind. To make the most of a professional relationship, make sure that you’re also offering something to the other person.
Job boards can be a great place to explore employment opportunities. If you approach your search using the tips above, you stand better chances of success. Keep in mind that a well-crafted, flawless resume and cover letter can get your foot in the door, so reach out to our experts for help.