Once you have found jobs that you would like to apply for, the hard work comes in. There are ways to help boost your resume and make sure you at least get noticed. Here are some tips on applying for jobs:
1 - Match your resume with the job description. When you read the description, required experience, or the desired certifications - be sure to highlight that on your resume. If the job description says “organized”, then make sure one of your bullet points focuses on how you organized something.
2- Use quantities to boost your experience. When you have experience, that is helpful, but employers like to see numbers. Sure you may have worked at a register, but what was your average day of customers like? Was your store flooded or slow? A good way to write that on a resume would be “Checked out upwards of 200 people a day”. This helps your employer see what you are capable of.
3- Craft a cover letter. Your cover letter is where you give more detail. This is where you share your examples. If the job description says “enthusiastic about the company's mission”, then be sure to look up the mission of the company. What do they stand for? What do they like to see people doing? Be sure to use the wording of the mission in your cover letter. It shows that you have researched and you know what they are talking about. Give examples of how you have completed their mission before. If I were to apply for a job at a place whose mission is “people first” I would say something like this, “As a college student, I was able to serve on a student leadership team that showed me the importance of people first. I listened to other students and helped to build out a course that fulfilled the purpose that other students were looking for.” This gives them an idea of how you have advanced their mission.
4 - Choose solid references. Many jobs will ask for a reference when you are applying for a job. If you know someone who works for the company, ask them if they can be your reference. Knowing people within the company helps to boost your resume. Never put a person on there that you don’t know or that you don’t have their permission. Be sure to contact your potential reference and ask them if they would be willing to be a reference for you. That gives them a heads up that they might get a call about you. If they ask for reference letters, be sure to get those going before you apply for the job.
5- Fill out questionnaires wisely. Some jobs require you to fill out a questionnaire for them to see how you would fit with the company. Take these seriously and don’t rush them. Be sure to use their mission statement or their purpose statement when filling those out. It helps them to know that you do really want to work for them, and it gives you a reason for learning more about who you might work for.
6 - Send exactly what they ask for. Read over the job information and be sure you send what they ask for. If they are asking everything to be in a PDF, put it all in a PDF. If they ask you to email a person, email that person. Don’t try to skip steps or be over and beyond. Do as they ask.
7- Be respectful in your emails. Include “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Ma’am or Sir:”. This shows that you are respectful and goes a long way when the person opens the email. End the email with “Sincerely” and be sure to include your contact information below your signature. This helps them to find a way to contact you fast instead of looking through your resume.
8- Be honest. Don’t lie about what you have accomplished. That is a very wrong thing to do. If you don’t qualify for a job, then don’t apply for it. This could cost you a reputation.
9 - If you have a disability or something that hinders you from doing a job be upfront about it first thing. If you are dyslexic and you are applying for a writing job, let them know that you struggle with dyslexia. If you have a medical condition that hinders you from being outside long periods of time and you’re applying for a job that requires being outside, let them know. It helps your possible employer to know that upfront instead of further along in the job interview process.
10 - Send the email! Once you have gotten all of your papers together, filed it the way they ask for it to be filed - send it over! Applying for a job can be exciting!! Good luck!