When you ask around about “how do you apply for jobs,” the majority of people would answer a variation of: “I go to a [job-board website] and apply to as many jobs as possible.” The numbers game might work for some but at the end of the day it’s a lot of wasted energy for little results.
Getting an interview at your dream company is a hard task, but if you choose quality over quantity, the results will be rewarding. Also, from an employer’s point of view we can assure you that the whole experience will be more pleasant for both sides.
Try a One Page, Job-specific Resume
One of the first steps of getting your interview is creating a resume. When reviewing resumes we often see two main problems: they’re too long and not they’re not optimized for a job.
When it comes to length, there are a lot of discussions about it but there’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer. It depends on the industry or a job you’re applying for. But if you’ve never tried to fit your resume to a single page and you like the idea, you should try it. You’ve probably heard that recruiters spend around 6 seconds reviewing a resume. It’s highly unlikely they’ll skim through all of your 3 pages. If the first page can catch their eye that’s all they need. So if you use a one page resume and if you do it right, you’ll be closer to landing your interview.
The second part of this point is making your resume job-specific. There are a few elements to this. Firstly, find the company you like and answer this question for yourself: “Why do I want to work at this company?” And if the answer’s exciting, your whole application experience will be much better.
Secondly, look at the description of the job they’re offering. Write down all the keywords that describe any soft or hard skills, level of experience, tools, or industry. Then incorporate those keywords into your resume.
Lastly, mirror their language. To be able to do this though, you’ll need to read their blog, about page, and even social media accounts. This way you’ll be able to see patterns and you’ll be able to tell whether they use a friendly tone, or a more conservative one. Then, apply the same voice into your resume.
This will help you create a successful resume you’ll feel proud of.
Personalize the Email
From a recruiter or H.R. executive’s point of view, there’s nothing more exciting than an email from a job applicant that addresses you by your name, instead of the “madam/sir” option. Sending your resume to a potential employer and starting with the “Dear madam/sir,” or worse “To whom it may concern,” is a real buzzkill. It’s outdated, it’s impersonal, and most of all it shows you haven’t done any research. Remember, the devil is in the detail.
Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and imagine you get 50 emails a day from 50 different applicants. How would you choose the best one? The very first thing the hiring manager sees when scrolling through emails is your email address (so please, keep it professional), the subject line (so keep it interesting), and the very first sentence you use. So how will you catch their attention?
Here are some examples:
Subject lines (for a position of a Senior Growth Marketer) —
- Senior Growth Marketer is missing you
- Senior Growth Marketer? I’m your guy!
The email —
- Start with addressing the hiring manager or if you can’t find their name, start with a friendly “Hi”
- Explain you were excited to see the job opening in a sentence
- Tell them you used their product/service and what you liked about it
- Explain why you’d be a great fit for the position, why you are interested, and mention a few past experiences as a proof
- In a few bullets, describe what you’d be able to do for the business and in the position
- End with mentioning a few of your passions that would prove you’re a culture fit
Reach Out to the CEO or Hiring Manager Directly
It’s never been easier to find someone online and find their email address. People often share their email address on their social media accounts or alternatively, when it comes to reaching out to a potential employer you can reach out directly to them through a LinkedIn message. Not many people do it, which means it will definitely help you stand out.
If you decide to try this out, make the message shorter than the email. Make it more engaging and straight to the point. Here’s an example of an eye-catching LinkedIn message:
I’m reaching out because I’m very interested in the Growth Marketing position you’re hiring for at [Company]. I originally sent this to your colleague [Name} two weeks ago, but she’s probably missed it. So I thought I’d reach out to you instead considering its urgency.
I made a Google Doc for [Company], which includes a breakdown of your organic traffic, domain authority, backlinks, etc. I also shared a proposed strategy on how I could help boost your SEO and ranking efforts.
Here’s a link to the document.
Feel free to send any additional questions.
It may not sound like the best message, but it will get the job done.
Go to the Business HQ with Your Resume and a Small Gift
This may seem like an old-fashioned way of applying for a job but if you bring chocolate, people will listen to you. This step could be especially effective if you’re trying to get to a smaller company. They most likely don’t have a receptionist, which means you can get into their office and speak directly to the team. All you need is a printed version of your resume and a “small gift.” That could be chocolate, or even a box of doughnuts. It can help draw attention to your resume and it can even get you in the headlines like this guy!
Network Your Way Up
Referrals are one of the easiest ways to get an interview. What’s better than a friend who knows you well and pitches you to the employer? To begin this process, think of your own network of friends and see what companies they work in. Is there a company you’d also like to work in? If so, search for openings there.
Once you find the perfect match, go ahead and reach out to your contact. Send them a simple message like this:
Hey [Name], how have you been?
I saw a job opening for the [position] at [Company]. I wanted to ask, do you know who is the best person to talk to?
I attached my resume in case you’d like to have a look.
Thank you so much!
Once you start talking in more detail, ask them more about the company itself and what they like or dislike about it? Also, ask for permission to mention their name in the email when you’re reaching out to that employer. However, the best option would be for the to directly recommend you to the employer.
Getting an interview for a dream job is a difficult task but it’s even more difficult for the employer. They want to ensure they choose the best candidate, the best fit for their culture, and the best professional. But, with any of the techniques mentioned above, you’ll make the whole process easier for both parts.