How can anyone make themselves “seen” among hundreds, even thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of job applications? Well, the answer is that it is really (really) hard to do. But, having said that, it can be done with just a little bit of know-how, as well as a good bit of effort.
Your cover letter and resume
Customize your resume and cover letter and any other material to the specific role you are interested in. And don’t be too modest. Don’t be afraid to show relevant skills and experiences that you may have gained through a prior job, a personal passion or a hobby.
Do your homework. Spend time understanding the corporate culture, values and mission of the organization where you are applying. Make sure that you take a look at the website and any apps that they have. Learn as much as possible about the company and its principles before applying, and certainly when you are invited to interview.
Come with questions
As you read up on the company, write down your questions. Come ready to ask questions about how the company works and why, what makes it unlike others and what are the areas that they focus on. Be curious and show them that you have taken the time to think about what they do and how you fit in with their future plans and ambitions.
Show how you stand out
Are you curious and driven to experiment and learn new things? Do you stand out in collaboration with others? How do you deal with failure? In short: In the interview show how you stand out.
How do your values align with the company?
It is incredibly important for companies to find a candidate with values that fit within their organization. Show the company that you have thought long and hard about what the company stands for, and furthermore, that you are on the same page.
Enjoy the interview, and be honest
Try to enjoy the experience. A gap in your resume or a previous miss in your career is not a disaster. Don’t be afraid to share your mistakes and what you learned from them. It shows that you are humble, can learn from failure and have the ability to grow and adapt.
Don’t try to “sell” yourself
When it’s your turn to talk, don’t think that you should sell yourself. Again: relax, ask questions and don’t be afraid to show who you really are. The simple reason? Joining a company is a bit like going into a long-term relationship. That is to say, you want to be genuine and not showy about who you are. And, just like any relationship, things will go better if you are all honest with each other.
In such a highly competitive job-hunting environment, it is important to stand out. By following these tips, there is a good chance that those put in charge of the hiring process will think twice before crumpling up your resume and throwing it in the “not hired” bin.
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