Updated: Apr 29, 2019
Once you’ve identified a position you’d like to go after, consider your approach thoughtfully.
What are the things you should focus on highlighting?
How are they asking you to submit your information?
Is your resume updated and well-formatted?
How should you behave in an interview?
These details can make or break your ability to get through to the next round in the hiring process. Here are a few tips that will make applying for your dream job that much more successful.
The All-Important Resume
It goes without saying that when applying for a new job, your resume should be up to
snuff. Even if you have a long work history, include the most relevant and recent experiences — no one needs to know you that worked at Dairy Queen for a summer during high school. Add a brief summary at the top that lays out your objectives and mentions the skills you possess that make you the best candidate for the job.
Resumes are often requested in different formats for different opportunities so make sure you’ve got options such as a printable PDF, an updated LinkedIn profile, and, if you have the capability, a section on your own website that you can link to — this is also a great way to include a portfolio of past work in one, easy to access spot.
Tags & Keywords
Employers have many ways of whittling down the best candidates for the job. In a competitive market you definitely want to stand out from the crowd, or, at the very least, be noted for your specific qualifications. A little known fact: many employers, recruiters and placement agencies use database software to help them sort through the overwhelming number of resumes they receive. Think strategically when tweaking your resume for what you are applying for, and be sure to employ specific keywords that will ensure you pop up in database searches. Check out our past post with more tips and details on tagging.
Honesty is the Best Policy
It’s pretty simple — don’t lie. It’s embarrassing for everyone when you get caught!
Even if you’re sure you could learn HTML in 5 minutes, don’t list it on your resume until AFTER you’ve learned it AND coded at least one project with it (even a personal project). Everyone wants their resume and job history to look the best it can, and it’s typically okay to use fancy words to describe relatively mundane feats, as long you are not lying. A good rule of thumb to follow when jazzing up your resume is to ask yourself this: If a potential employer questions me on a specific item, will I be able to explain it clearly and honestly without contradicting myself or feeling uncomfortable? Bottom line: Be proud of your skills and accomplishments, but be truthful — lies always catch up to you.
The Video Interview
Thanks to the awesomeness that is technology, communication has never been easier. Many companies are opting to use Skype and video conferencing to meet, greet and interview potential employees. Another trend is requesting introductory videos from applicants to get a sense of who they are before advancing them to the next round. Welcome to the 21st century, people, time to get comfortable on video!
The “About Me” Introduction Video:
A quick “Get to Know Me” teaser to get employers curious
Short and sweet: no more than 60-90 seconds in length
Look professional and presentable, and make sure your video’s background looks the same
Offers a range of info: What are your key skills, what do you love doing, why would you be a fit for the position — include a few fun details about yourself to show personality.
The Video Interview
You may be interacting with 1 person or a number of people on the hiring team
Look directly into the camera when you speak — it’s the equivalent of looking into the viewer's eyes (See image below)
Only look at the computer screen when they are talking, to pick up on visual cues
Don’t fidget — it will be perceived as nervousness
Dress well and look professional, even if it’s not what you will wear when you start the job
Make sure your video’s background is clean, well-lit and not distracting
This is what it looks like when you look at the computer screen, not the little camera dot.
Fortune Cookie: Flazingo on Flicker
Integrity: Nick Youngson
Video Interviews: istockphoto