Job searching can be very difficult and time-consuming. You can literally apply to hundreds of jobs and never get a response, which can be demotivating. Whether you are passively applying for jobs or job searching full-time, there are a few things that you can do differently to improve your chances of getting an interview and ultimately, being hired.
Spray and Pray Method
When scrolling through all the different job openings, you are likely finding many different positions that you could see yourself in and that pay well. It can be tempting to just apply to all of them, hoping that this would increase your chances of getting an interview — but often it is not the case.
It is better to narrow down what kind of job you want instead of applying for a wide range of jobs. (ex: applying to be a warehouse worker, salesperson, and analyst all at the same time vs. applying for positions that you have experience in.) Having this focus will save a lot of time filling out applications and would also increase the chances of landing an interview.
Also, it is not a good idea to apply to multiple positions at the same company. For example, if you submit applications for an electrician position and an administrative position at “XYZ Company”, the hiring manager may think that you are not sure of what you want to do or are desperate for any job. If you have experience and are qualified for both positions, it would be best to choose whichever job you would rather work.
Sending copy and paste cover letters and resumes
Applying for jobs can take up a lot of time and some people think that in order to be efficient, it is best to submit the same resume and cover letter to each job that covers all of their experience — back to their first job in high school. This will result in more applications submitted, but not necessarily more interviews.
The best strategy for cover letters and resumes is to customize them for each job and company you apply to. The reason for this is because there is often a software that is used to filter out candidates that by looking for keyword matching. If you are not adjusting your “skills” section and your work experience to be relevant to the position, your application may never be seen by a Hiring Manager.
Even if your application does get viewed, a Hiring Manager can tell if you copied and pasted your cover letter and resume. So be sure to show how you are a good fit for the specific position in your documents.
Bad mouthing a previous employer
There is never a situation where it would be a good idea to mention a previous employer in a negative way. No matter your reason for leaving the previous job, keep the tone of the conversation positive. For example, if you left because of an issue with your boss, you can say that the company’s management style wasn’t a fit.
If you are asked to further explain why you left, always find a way to spin the conversation in a positive direction. If you do end up speaking negatively about a former boss or company, the person interviewing you may wonder if you were the problem and may also think that you would do the same to them.
In short, just remember that your resumes and cover letters should specifically address why you would be a good fit for the position. Keep in mind that sending the same resume and cover letter to different employers will likely not result in a lot of interviews. Lastly, always keep the narrative regarding your previous position in a positive light.
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