POSTED ON

8 Jan 2018

When you’re job hunting, very often your focus revolves solely around three things: your resume, cover letter, and the answers you’re going to give at the interview. However, landing that dream job requires you to pay attention to a lot of other details, even seemingly minute ones. From your in-person demeanour, to how you appear on your online accounts when you’re not the only good candidate for the job, one mistake can be costly, and so it pays to know a few tips to increase your chances of furthering your career. Here are ten to keep in mind.

1. Clean Up Your Social Media
Today, it isn’t difficult for HR personnel to look a person up online and find red flags for hiring. Before you start sending out your resume, clean up your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media profiles first. Modern companies have become more protective of their reputation, and they want to make sure they hire an employee who will reflect the values and ethics they uphold. A recent survey said that at least 70 percent of potential employers check the social media profiles of their applicants, with 54 percent finding something that made them decide to reject the application.

2. Build a Strong Resume
Your resume is your first impression, and you know what they say about first impressions. Thus you’ll want your resume to show off your capabilities and accomplishments in a straightforward but subtle way. According to a study, recruiters take only six seconds to review a resume and decide if they’re going to accept or reject it. Characteristics of a solid resume include chronological organisation, bulleted formatting, providing personal information relevant to the industry being applied for, and brevity.

3. Highlight Your Accomplishments
Regardless of the industry you want to work in, you’re going to face competition from other applicants, so it’s critical to have a resume that stands out from the rest. The recruiter who will be reading your resume already has a basic understanding of your job description, so if it only comes with a generic list of what you can do, the recruiter won’t likely find anything special with your application. The way to stand out is to list what you’ve done. To put it bluntly, you need to name your accomplishments. What were you able to do in college? What prestigious organisations were you a member of? Did you become one of their leaders? What programs did you launch? How successful were they? You need to highlight accomplishments such as these on your resume.

4. Harness Your Network
Many people get hired in jobs that they learn from people they know instead of the usual avenues such as ads and postings. HR staff are more likely to accept recommendations from within the workforce, and companies are using employee referral programs increasingly, as it helps shave off a significant chunk of time in finding good hires. Going on a night out? Perhaps a pal of a pal works at a company looking for an employee with your particular set of skills. Go beyond the traditional methods of job hunting. Use your network to get to know people, and treat every interaction as a job opportunity.

5. Use an App
Nowadays, there’s an app for everything. From those that help you optimise your resume for HR tracking systems to those that give you first-hand knowledge of the company from former employees, there are many job search apps for both iOS and Android devices serving different functions that can help you stay on top of your job hunt while on the go. A little bit of research on the best job search apps to use can get you started on the right foot.

6. Don’t Limit Yourself
The biggest mistake that many new graduates make is limit the resumes they send out to companies in their chosen field. In 2016, only 65 percent of recent graduates were able to land a job in their field of study. If you can’t seem to land that dream job, know that you’re not out of options. Send your resume out to job vacancies that allow you to learn transferable skills that will serve you regardless of the path you pursue in the future. When you finally find that first job, you can always shift careers at any time, and you can leverage the skills you learned from it for the next one you take on.

7. Invest in Your Personal Development
Invest time (and money) into improving your skills and talents. If nothing else, they can certainly make your life more enjoyable. In the eyes of a recruiter, however, these can be the extras that make you a unique candidate for a job. “What do you do with your spare time?” is a question that often pops up in job interviews, and it’s good to have an answer that gives the recruiter an idea of the many contributions you can offer the company. Take time to develop yourself, and one day, your newfound skillsets can come in handy for a job that you want to apply for in the future.

8. Do Your Research
Want to impress the HR? Before your job interview, find out as much as you can about the company. Many companies ask their applicants if they know what the company mission and vision is about. This is their way of finding out if you are a good fit not only for the job but their company culture as well. Likewise, researching the company beforehand will prepare you to answer interview questions, as well as to ask your own questions.

9. Get to Know the Industry
Aside from researching the company, it also helps to study the industry and competitors of the company you plan to work for. For instance, if you’re applying for a job at a real estate company, it makes sense to be informed about current mortgage and property trends. Identify the company’s strongest competitors and gain some insight on them. Having a firm grasp on their industry is a great way to impress your interviewer.

10. Keep Your Head Held High
Those who land their dream job on their first application are the lucky ones. The rest, not so much. Studies show that on average, 59 people apply for the same job, but only 12 percent are invited for an interview. Rejection is a natural part of the job hunting process, so don’t take it personally. You can follow up your application if you don’t get a response, just be sure to do so courteously and professionally. Even if they’ve already chosen their candidate, there’s still reason to hope. That applicant may turn down the job offer, or perhaps find out in time that the job is not for them.

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