Job Search Tips: Ace the Application Process
Applying for jobs is exciting and stressful. Most people see it as a daunting task, but it is a process like most job-related activities. There is a defined path to follow when working through a job search and applying for jobs. Here’s a breakdown of how to ace the application process.
Follow the Application Process
The best way for you to overcome your job search anxiety is to have a process in place. Employers receive too many applications for them to not have a process. So, follow the process that employers develop. Fill out the application that they provide, attach your resume and cover letter, and submit them as a package. This keeps your information together for easy access during the review process.
Most employers moved to online systems to manage their hiring process. You should move online too (if you’re not already) to make the process easy for everyone. Most application management programs have you fill out the application and submit your resume through an automated system. Make sure your resume is properly formatted for these systems so they render properly after being imported. If the online system doesn’t have a method of attaching a resume, try to find contact information for the person to send it to. This may involve calling the company and asking, which shows a lot of initiative. If you can’t get the contact information for a specific person, try sending it to the general human resources email which is usually available on company websites. Be sure to explain the situation so that it is clear that you’re applying for a specific job.
Be Selective About Applications
If you are going to ace the application process, you need to be selective about which applications you submit. While it is tempting to buck the odds of getting a job by applying in volume, it could hurt your chances. Applying in massive numbers means that you are not spending the time needed to customize your resume and cover letter to get the best results. This also adds to your stress if you keep track of your callback and interview percentages. Sending 100 non-specific applications and resumes is worth far less than sending 10 well-structured, specifically addressed applications. You only need one job, so you should focus on applying to jobs with methods that produce the best results.
Search for Good Jobs for You
If you are going to apply for jobs, you need to find them first. There are a lot of jobs out there, but you have to figure out which ones are right for you. Most people develop a list of what they are looking for which is a great idea. You can use this list as the parameters for your job search which will help you narrow the field to a more manageable number. The problem is that people are too strict with their parameters and end up excluding a lot of jobs that they would benefit from.
When searching for jobs, you should search jobs that are good for you. This means that each job that you apply for doesn’t have to fit every exact parameter you set. There will be jobs that are perfect, jobs that are great, jobs that are good, and the “just, no” pile. Separate the jobs that you find into these groups based on your search parameters, but don’t throw any of them away yet. You want to have a solid list of jobs that you can apply to, and even the good jobs are worth looking through. Review them and see if there are redeeming qualities that make them worth applying for. Also, you will likely run out of perfect and great jobs quickly, so you’ll have the good jobs to fall back on.
Focus on the Best Jobs for You
Once you’ve sorted you job leads into the different groups, focus on the best jobs for you first. You want to spend your time and energy applying for the jobs that you feel would be the best for you and the employer. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have all of the skills for this particular job, but it does mean that it is a job that you won’t quit or lose in the next year. Apply to the jobs that you will be successful at and enjoy. By focusing on these, you’ll feel better about your job search and be motivated to keep going until you ace the application process.
Applying for jobs is a process, and following that process helps you get the job that you want. It can be tempting to try to do things your way even if they don’t match the processes that employers have in place. This is a problem, as many employers only want people who can follow processes. Use the process that is in place, but ace the application process. Use your skills to stand out within the parameters that the employer determines. Be so good at the process that the employer has to notice you. That’s how you can ace the application process. Learn more about job search strategies here.