If find that you’re positioning yourself in a competitive marketplace, where job openings have multitudes of applicants, don’t just toss your resume into the ring; there’s little room for carelessness. Instead, keep the following tips in mind:
- Understand the mission of the organization. Learn about their history, programs, and priorities through their Website, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Recruiters tell us that a significant number of candidates know surprisingly little about the organizations to which they’re applying. If you don’t do your homework, you won’t get hired.
- Be clear about your credentials, competencies, and experience. Make yourself the dream candidate the recruiter is looking for by emphasizing how you can help the organization create impact.
- Know how you look online. The employment process is becoming increasingly virtual. People will look you up, and you don’t want to be the candidate whose behaviors appear outrageous and immature. Even your Facebook page can have a professional touch.
- Speak their language. Each field is unique and has its own terminology. People will gravitate to what’s familiar and easy for them to comprehend.
- Write a good cover letter. It’s your chance to offer a concise and compelling overview of why you’re a competent and confident candidate—a candidate who gets the job done. Many job openings create a flood of letters and resumes. Think about how you can stand out.
- Proofread. Ask a couple of people to review and edit your resume and cover letter. If you can’t spell, recruiters will make the assumption that you won’t do the job well. Typos immediately go in the circular file (old-fashioned term for wastebasket). Pay attention to detail. Get the name of the organization right. No kidding.
- Build interview savvy. Practice potential interview questions with your friends or a coach as seriously as you might learn dance steps or practice basketball free throws.
- Map out what’s needed, and how your skills and experiences line up with that—and make the case that you are not just a gushing candidate, but one who successfully combines compassion with know-how.