When applying for a job, it’s important to stand out from other applicants and make an impression on your potential employer. We have compiled a list of tips that will help you search for the job you want and apply with confidence.
Searching for the Right Job Fit
Job searching can often feel like a very daunting task. But with the right strategy – and some job searching tips – you can arm yourself with tools to get you where you want to go in your career.
When looking for a new job opportunity, start by:
Networking. Tap into your personal and professional networks to ask about unadvertised or upcoming job opportunities. Check in with old colleagues, friends and family and your social media networks; ask people if they know of any opportunities in your field and to keep you in mind when they do. Consider preparing a very short, single-page CV to pass along to them – for them to refer to – should they hear of any roles that fit your job search. Start following companies you’re interested in on social media to keep up-to-date of any new leads.
Coordinating informational interviews. Reach out to those in your network and to companies in your desired field of interest to coordinate informational interviews. These types of interviews can help you gain valuable insights into the industry and create connections for potential future positions or referrals.
Setting job alerts. As part of your job search process, set keyword alerts on sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn so that you’ll receive emails when new roles that fit your criteria are available. Bookmark sites such as local job boards, Glassdoor and specific company sites of interest. Create a daily routine of checking these key sites, so that you stay on top of new postings.
Engaging a recruiting agency. Consider connecting with recruiting agencies that specialize in your area of expertise and connect with them (try LinkedIn and Google Searches, or check in with your network), to help you in your search for the right fit. Provide the agency with some information about you and your resume. Be available for a potential interview with them so that they can learn more about you and understand if you’re a fit for their clientele.
Applying for a Job
When it comes time to apply for a role you’re interested in, keep these job application tips in mind:
Tailor your application. When writing a cover letter, remember to tailor it to the company and person you’ll be applying to. Spend time researching the business and the needs of the role, and speak to how you’ll add value to the organization. Often, recruiters are sifting through a large number of resumes using tools that look for keywords. Be sure to address the job posting specifically in your cover letter to help your application get noticed.
Go the extra mile. Take your application to the next level by including a video resume. Sending a video that speaks to your experience and shows your personality allows recruiters to get to know you a bit better before meeting you. This can also help you stand out from the crowd, and be memorable. Another option is to include a portfolio of your work (where applicable). This can include your achievements, projects you have worked on (with corresponding results) or any general work samples. Many job forms online will ask for portfolios, so having one ready can help prepare you for multiple situations that you can come across in your quest.
Follow up. Where possible, follow up with the organization or person you have applied to and ask for the status of your application. This is especially important post-interview (should you be at this stage) as it shows interest in the company. Not every job posting or company has the ability to connect for follow-ups, but where possible, a light query into the status of the role is acceptable and encouraged.
Preparing for an Interview.
Dress professionally. Show you take the role seriously by dressing in a business or business casual style of attire. As a rule, it’s always better to be slightly overdressed, than underdressed.
Practice interview questions. Engage a friend to practice standard interview questions with, so you’re comfortable speaking confidently about the position and about yourself. Questions can include, “Tell me about yourself!” or, “Why are you interested in this position?”
Prepare some notes. Take some time to research the company. Make sure you understand some of the history and purpose that the business has defined (typically found on their website in their About Us page). Also, jot down some questions that you want to ask the interviewer about the role and the company, to show that you’re excited about your potential future place of employment. For example, ask about their company culture and corporate values, or any opportunities for future development.
Be confident. Don’t forget to act to the part. Be mindful of your body language; be aware of your posture and maintain eye contact. Walk in with confidence and a strong handshake – and don’t forget to be yourself!
If your search seems to be stalling, think about what you can do in the meantime to bolster your resume. Consider online upskilling courses on free or low-cost sites such as Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Hubspot or check out your local post-secondary institutions and their Continuing Education programs. There may be a gap on your resume that you can fill with some added learning. Additionally, consider applying for part-time volunteer or internship opportunities within your field. This will provide you with some valuable experience and connections as you continue your search for the next chapter of your career. Follow-up with your network at set intervals, to keep your name top-of-mind. Job changes can be stressful, but life doesn’t have to be while you search for your next opportunity; consider the benefits of maintaining insurance during times of transition to alleviate some of the weight you may be feeling.
For more information on tips to help you in your life and career, including what to do when you leave a job to minimize impact, check out our LivingWell blog regularly.