When applying for a job, it’s everyone’s goal to stand out from other applicants and be noticed by employers. However, there are both good and bad ways to stand out. Be aware that there are certain rules you should never break when applying for a job to ensure you make a positive lasting impression.
- The résumé rule. A résumé is a must-have when applying for a job. There are creative ways you can design your résumé to help attract attention, but the key is to submit one. This is the top way, besides an interview, that an employer gets to know you. Just make sure that it’s not 10 pages long. The more work experience you have, the more understandable it is for you to have multiple pages, but aim for two pages or less. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, try to keep it to one page. And, when it comes to a résumé, make sure everything you include on it is true.
- The typo rule. If a potential employer finds several typos on your résumé, that is enough reason for them to throw your information out, no matter how great your qualifications are. ALWAYS take the time to proofread and run spell check before submitting. You might even have a friend or family member glance over it just to make sure everything looks good.
- The cover letter rule. It might seem old fashioned, but submitting a cover letter shows you’re interested in the available position and that you’ve put some thought into preparing your application. Going above and beyond what is expected will help you get noticed. Also, a tip to remember is to keep your cover letter formal. Don’t include jokes in your cover letter. Humor is better interpreted in person, so a joke-gone-bad on paper could cost you a chance at the job.
- The thank-you note rule. Following your interview, send a thank-you card within a few days to let the interviewer know you were grateful for their time and consideration, and that you’re eager to hear back about the job opportunity.
- The interview rule. Under no circumstances should you show up to an interview looking sloppy! Landing an interview is a big step and a good sign the company is interested in you. Be sure to look professional for every interview. Don’t show up in dirty, wrinkled clothes with your hair in a mess. This gives the employer the impression you don’t care, and they may move along to find someone who puts forth more effort. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.
- The follow-up rule. If you feel you have to call the interviewer, you should have a valid reason to call. Don’t just call for the sake of calling. If you interviewed for a job, the employer knows you’re interested. It won’t score you any extra points to check in with them daily on the status of the position. If you haven’t heard anything back about the position within a week or so of interviewing, that is a valid reason to call and discuss the process. Calling multiple times each week or day could end up costing you brownie points.
Follow these simple rules to ensure your résumé makes it to the top of the pile, rather than the bottom. Be a standout job applicant!