Patrick Coppedge

Tips To Getting A Job Interview

What are the best ways to get a job interview these days? We hear that the economy is getting better and may be lulled into a false sense of security that job searching may be easier than it had been for the past few years. Sure the economy is better, but the fact is that there are a lot of people applying for the jobs that are available.

That is why you must make sure that your resume is polished. It must grab the attention of the hiring manager and bring your resume to the top of the pile. Your resume needs to make the hiring manager want to bring you in for the interview. If they are excited by your resume, you've just increased your chances to land that all important job interview.

Step one is the resume, however, that is merely a step. It’s not the whole job search. Knowing that you are likely one of many applicants, how do you get “noticed”? There are a few steps that you can follow to greatly increase your odds of landing that interview.

1. Personalize Your Cover Letter

Avoid using "To Whom it May Concern" if possible for a more personalized cover letter with the name of a hiring manager, human resources director or recruiter of the employer you're applying to. This will show that you took the time to research the organization and will also impress the individual in charge of hiring. It can be a key way to fast-track your application. Browsing LinkedIn is a useful way of identifying employees in a company. You can also call the employer and ask who will be conducting the interview for the position that you are interested in applying for.

2. You Must Follow Up

All the other steps such as networking are irrelevant, if you are not following up. Be polite, charming and persistent without being pushy or obnoxious. Ask your contact how she/he prefers to be communicated with and possibly how often. Respect that they are busy and have their own priorities, but don't give up if you don't get an immediate response.

3. Develop A Striking Resume

Make sure that your resume stands out from the rest. There are great resumes and terrible resumes. A great resume clearly define what problems you will solve for the employer should they hire you. Also, make sure that you adjust the resume based on the position and the company that youre applying with.

4. Contact The Hiring Manager

Be assertive. If you know who the hiring manager is, call her/him and briefly state that you have applied for the position. Take the opportunity to alert them to this and let them know that if they took ten minutes to meet with you, they would find you a viable candidate. The worst thing that can happen is that you get turned down.

5. Be Specific

Develop a list of specific target companies that you can identify to those with whom you are networking. For example, if you say, “I want to work in engineering,” which really doesn't get the impact that, "I want to work for XYZ company in an engineering capacity, namely leading a team of hardware engineers,” would with the hiring manager. The later helps the hiring manager to a) understand what you are looking for and b) start thinking about who she/he may know at XYZ company.

6. Networking Is A Must

This cannot be strongly stated enough. The best way to place your resume at the top of the pile is to network. Your goal is to have someone hand the resume to the appropriate person and say, “I think we need to look at this person.”

7. Know Your Strengths

Knowing what you bring to the table and clearly articulating it sets you apart from the masses right away. Often, people are not clear on what they can do to specifically help a company. Hiring companies want to know what you can do for them… it helps if your cover letter and resume answer that question well.

8. Research Your Target Employers

Know those companies that appeal to you and appear to be a great fit. If you don’t know about the company or if you don’t really want to work there, it typically shows in a conversation. If you are excited about the potential of working for the company and you have clearly done your research that will make you extremely appealing and different from the rest.

9. Don’t Rely On Job Boards

Not that you cannot find a job utilizing a job board but statistics show that 90% of jobs are never posted (which is why #6 is what it is) and those that are posted are swamped with job seekers taking the traditional, ineffective route.

10. Develop Marketing Material

What can you leave with a new contact that sets you apart from the other people they have talked with? Professional business cards are a must but what about a biographic? This doesn’t replace a resume but is rather a marketing piece that visually tells the story of your job history.

11. Quality Always Trumps Quantity

The solution is straightforward: quality trumps quantity. After all, your time is money, so be discriminating about where you apply. Instead of applying for everything you find, focus your energy on writing personalized cover letters, targeted resumes, and sending them out to companies hiring for positions that you are qualified for. The closer a match, the better your chances of getting hired.

12. Utilize Social Media To Create Your Brand

Develop your brand as an industry expert using Jobcase, LinkedIn and, if you’re brave, Twitter. Post professional, relevant articles that are pertinent to the type of jobs in which you are interested.

While nothing can guarantee an interview, taking a proactive, professional approach will certainly increase your odds. Go the extra mile, it will payoff in your job search.

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over 3 years ago
Ashley Wilson

Another slam dunk by Patrick Coppedge ! These are all excellent tips and my personal favorite is customizing your cover letter. NEVER, ever send out one generic letter because trust us employers will certainly know. Make sure to spend the time seeking out names and making it personal and about the company, they will appreciate the fact that you took the extra time and effort to do so! Thanks Patrick : )