If you are vying for an interview spot for an advertised position you will likely be up against hundreds, maybe thousands, of competitors all loudly ‘spruiking’ their value in the hope of jagging one of the slots.
Your resume may be powerfully written and strategically tailored to the position but in a sea of applications sometimes being good is sadly not enough. Here are my 3 tips to help you shorten your odds of winning the interview.
1. Transform yourself from an easy-to-reject piece of paper to a living, breathing applicant full of enthusiasm and potential.
Unless the advertisement asks you not to make contact, try to find a way to speak with the employer or recruiter and ask a little about the role. Not only can this uncover valuable intel you can use to improve your application but it also makes an impression with the employer that can help you stand out among the interview pack. Psychologically it’s a lot harder to dismiss a candidate you’ve chatted with than a cold application in your inbox.
2. Respond early and get the jump on your competitors.
The sheer volume of applications they receive overwhelms many employers. Don’t wait until the closing date. As soon as you see the position get active. Responding early can help you get the jump on other applicants and also enable you to bypass the ‘application-fatigue’ zone employers can slump into later in time.
3. Write a powerhouse application letter.
So many applicants hurt their chances by either not sending an application letter, or simply jotting a standard run-of-the-mill response that will probably only bore them and have them move on to more interesting reads. This is your chance to show your personality, overcome potential objections, and highlight your star-selling points. Make your letter a defining reason to interview you.
Write with energy about why you are excited about the role, why your skills are an ideal fit for the role and how you can bring them value in the future. If someone they know suggested you apply you may mention that in the letter; or alternatively highlight something about the company and why it interests you or makes it appealing. Try to be memorable for the right reasons. Finally, triple check the letter to make sure you responded to all the selection criteria requirements and to check your application is typo-free. It’s amazing how many applicants have the company name spelled wrongly or the position title incorrect.
It’s always preferable to not have to swim in the competitor-crowded job boards altogether if you can help it but if and when the time comes remember good is not often enough – you need to be memorable. Use these strategies to give employers a reason to want to meet you.