Chelsea P. Gladden is the Director of Marketing & PR for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that also offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules.visit FlexJobs.com ortweeter@FlexJobsChelsea.
If you’re like millions of Americans looking for a job right now, it might be time to take a step back and evaluate your job-search tactics. There are some common mistakes that can make you your own worst enemy when trying to get your foot in the door of a new employer. To give your employment search some performance enhancement, make sure to follow these tips.
1. Early Bird Gets the Worm
The sooner you get your job application in, the better luck you will have at getting your resume seen. If you are slow to reply to a job listing, you likely will lose your shot at be considered, so make sure to stay up-to-date on new listings as they arise.
2. Get a Jump-Start
Even better than being one of the first to apply for an open position is seeking one out before it is posted. Research the companies you are interested in working for and reach out to see if any openings are on the horizon. Interact with the company on LinkedIn, join the same local trade organizations the company attends and find out where their staff members might be speaking publicly. Consider volunteering at events the company may be involved with to start to get to know the staff and familiarize yourself with the company culture.
3. Tailor Your Information
Applying for jobs can often be a numbers game, so once you have narrowed down the best fits for you, make sure you customize your resume and cover letter for each position you apply for. Though you will want to be one of the first to apply, don’t be in such a rush that you automatically eliminate yourself by not indicating how your skills are a match for a specific position and how you meet that particular’s company’s requirements. Not showing you are a fit for that specific job will surely end your chances of being considered.
4. Follow Up
Though it may feel like you are sending your information into a large black abyss at times, there are people on the other end. It’s perfectly acceptable — even preferred — to send a follow-up email if you don’t get a response within a couple of days. This is when you confirm that the interviewer received your information, giving you a chance to reiterate your interest in the job. But, if a listing specifically states “no phone calls or emails,” abide by that request or you may end your chances. Once you have landed the interview, absolutely follow up with your interviewers through a thank-you note, again expressing your interest in the company and the job.
If you feel like your job search is at a standstill, be sure to reevaluate how you are going about it. After all, we all could use a little performance enhancement from time to time.