Applying for a job or getting involved in an entirely new career path is not always easy, especially if the industry you want to work in is currently saturated or extremely competitive. Knowing how to use leverage to make you the strongest job applicant for any job is a way to jumpstart your career while drastically improving your chances of receiving a job offer that is desirable to you.
Use Your Own Network
One of the best ways to improve your chances as a job applicant in any market is to tap into your current personal and professional network of connections. Reach out to individuals you know who currently work in your desired industry to inquire about referrals and recommendations. Working together with your own personal network is a great way to get your foot in at companies that are most fitting for your skills and that currently offer the highest-paying positions with benefits that are optimal for you and your household.
Create a Professional Online Presence
Creating a professional online presence is extremely important when you want to stand out among other job applicants who are vying for the same position as you. Having a professional online presence is a way to showcase your dedication, portfolio, and your ability to provide employers or hiring managers the content and information they need to make their decision.
Use online communities such as LinkedIn to connect with individuals you know personally and to learn more about the professionals you currently have in your network. LinkedIn is not only ideal for connecting with individuals you already know, but it is a useful tool to reach out to others in the networks of individuals you know. Learn more about your current connections to determine the best person to reach out to once you know what type of position and industry you want to work in.
Build a Strong Portfolio
Build a strong portfolio to make a memorable and lasting first impression once you begin meeting with employers, recruiters, or even hiring managers. Without a strong portfolio, your interview is much more likely to be forgotten, especially if you are applying for a highly competitive position.
Portfolios can be printed and showcased in traditional portfolio cases in addition to providing a virtual presentation or a link to your official online portfolio or website. Online portfolios and official websites are ideal when you submit your job application to companies from home rather than in person. When you have an official website, appear professional and knowledgeable once you begin the interview process for the companies you are interested in working for yourself.
Gain Additional Experience
While it seems complicated, gaining additional experience in the industry you are most interested in is not impossible even if you do not have prior work experience in the field. Gaining experience is possible by working with professionals as an intern or even as a volunteer.
Complete free online courses in the field you are interested in working in, especially if you are provided with a training certificate once the course is complete. Learn more about the skills necessary in order to qualify for the position you are interested in and improve them on your own. Tweak your resume with each job you apply for to highlight which skills you have that are most suitable and appealing for the position you desire.
Use a Professional Resume
Your resume is extremely important when you want to leave a lasting and positive impression on potential employers or hiring managers. Without a professional resume, your chances of receiving a callback or a request for an interview drastically decrease.
Research keywords and skills that are most relevant to the position you are interested in obtaining to change and update your resume each time to submit a new application. Resumes with more relevant keywords and phrases have a much greater chance of standing out and leaving a lasting impression on those who review your resume.
Employers often utilise automated software when scanning for resumes that are most suitable and ideal for the positions they are offering. Ensure your resume is legible and saved in a traditional format such as a Microsoft Office .DOC file, PDF, or even a plain .TXT document for a better chance of having it scanned properly. In some cases, resumes are overlooked when they are not properly formatted or designed in a way that the software is able to read and interpret them. Always ensure your resume is properly formatted before you begin completing job applications and seeking new work, especially when a company that is hiring uses advanced scanning software.
Update Your Resume Each Time You Apply for a New Position
Using just one resume is not advisable when you have multiple positions or industries you are interested in working in. Update your resume each time you apply for a new position to improve your chances of having your resume manually read and reviewed. Ensure your resume includes relevant information pertaining to professional experience you have had that is similar to the position you want. Research top and trending keywords that focus on the job you are interested in and implement them into your resume’s current setup and wording. Alter your resume to fit each individual position you are applying for to showcase your abilities while also appearing qualified for the job.
Meet With Other Professionals to Develop Connections
Another way to build your current network of professional connections is to do so by joining local and online groups or communities dedicated to meeting one another. Communities such as Meetup.com are great tools to get to know others in your local area who are also focused on building professional networks and making long-lasting connections. Meeting up with other individuals provides you with new opportunities when making connections and creating new relationships that have the ability to lead to new job offers and future career opportunities.
Additionally, put your official LinkedIn page to use by applying for jobs using the community or getting to know your current and prospective connections better by planning meetups, calls, or conferences. LinkedIn is a great resource to get your foot in the door in any market or industry.
When you feel confident with your resume, experience, and professional portfolio, move forward with submitting applications and meeting with prospective employers. The surer you are of yourself, the easier it becomes to convey your confidence, improving your chances of receiving a callback or even a job offer directly on the spot.
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Leverage Will Make You the Strongest Job Applicant