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7 Ways To Be One Of The Best Job Applicants

7 Ways To Be One Of The Best Job Applicants

Applying for jobs can be nerve-wracking. You want to present yourself in the best possible way without sounding like a braggart and you want to do what you can to get the job. How do you show yourself to be the best candidate without saying things like, “I’m amazing”?

The single best way to show a potential employer that you are the best applicant is to genuinely want the job and act accordingly. Sound excited for the position and be ready to show why you want it. Here are some ways to prepare yourself before the interview and look great both in person and on paper.

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1. Focus on the employers’ needs, not yours.

When you sit down and talk with a potential employer about the available job, it’s important to show interest in the company and the job — not the benefits and salary you will get. Even if that’s what you’re most concerned about, it’s important to show you are interested in helping the company or organization succeed. Ask questions about the company and its goals. Look up the company online beforehand and understand the focus as well as the attributes you could bring to the role to help them succeed.

2. Be brief but informative.

Answer questions succinctly and thoroughly. Don’t expound for an hour on why you are the best person to operate the cash register. Answer questions, explain your answer if necessary and then move on. No one wants to hear how you met your boyfriend at your previous job but got in trouble for talking at the register and then had to quit because the manager was jealous and so on and so on. If the question is: “Are you comfortable operating a cash register?” Say, “Yes,” and move on.

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3. Be flexible.

The last thing a potential employer wants to see is a job applicant with a long list of demands. This is not the time to say that you need to have every Tuesday afternoon off to take your mother to an appointment or how you need to be ready for your vacation in two weeks. If you want the job, show how much by being willing to show up early, work late and be flexible. If you demonstrate right from the beginning just how important you believe the job is and are willing to put yourself out there constantly, it is much more likely that your boss will approve if you do need a Tuesday afternoon off to take your mother to an appointment.

4. Be creative.

When you put your application together, treat it as part of the job for which you are applying. According to Colin Day, the founder and chief executive officer of iCIMS, Inc., a provider of talent acquisition software for growing businesses, you should look for keywords in the job description and use them in your application. Customize your application to each job for which you are applying.

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5. Be sincere.

How much do you want this job? Really? Are you sure? Then say so. Go over the reasons you want this particular job in your head (or use note cards) ahead of time. Convince yourself. Convince a friend. Then go into the interview and convince the employer. Be active in your interview. Sound excited about the possibilities. Lean forward and ask questions about the potential for the position. If you want this job, go and get it.

6. Be honest — but not too honest.

Assess yourself before applying for a job. What are your strengths and weaknesses? According to Ryan Kohler, the CEO of ApplicantPRO, “I’d a hundred times rather hire someone who is honest about their shortcomings and how they plan to improve vs. some automaton who tries to tell me they’re ‘too much of a perfectionist’ or ‘care too much.'” Be honest about your weaknesses. Are you impatient? Say so. Are you sometimes too emotional? Be honest. However, if you were fired from your last job for talking to much, you might want to leave that out.

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7. Clean up your profiles.

Social media is prevalent in society now and it’s in your best interest to clean up your accounts before applying for a job. Your employers will look you up. Have a photo of you and bong online? Or topless at spring break? Perhaps you want to delete that before you apply for that job as a bank manager.

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Michelle Kennedy Hogan

Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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Published on March 26, 2019

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Career Change (Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Career Change (Step-By-Step Guide)

Embarking on a career change, tiny or big, can be paralyzing. Regardless of the reason for your desired career change, you need to be very clear on ‘why’ you are making a change. This is essential because you need to have clarity and be confident in your career direction in order to convince employers why you are best suited for the new role or industry.

A well crafted career change cover letter can set the tone and highlight your professional aspirations by showcasing your personal story.

1. Know Your ‘Why’

Career changes can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You can take control and change careers successfully by doing research and making informed decisions.

Getting to know people, jobs, and industries through informational interviews is one of the best ways to do this.[1] Investing time to gather information from multiple sources will alleviate some fears for you to actually take action and make a change.

Here are some questions to help you refine your ‘why’, seek clarity, and better explain your career change:

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  • What makes me content?
  • How do I want work to impact my life?
  • What’s most important to me right now?
  • How committed am I to make a career change?
  • What do I need more of to feel satisfied at work?
  • What do I like to do so much that I lose track of time?
  • How can I start to explore my career change options?
  • What do I dislike about my current role or work environment?

2. Introduction: Why Are You Writing This Cover Letter?

Make this section concise. Cite the role that you are applying for and include other relevant information such as the posting number, where you saw the posting, the company name, and who referred you to the role, if applicable.

Sample:

I am applying for the role of Client Engagement Manager posted on . Please find attached relevant career experiences on my resume.

3. Convince the Employer: Why Are You the Best Candidate for the Role?

Persuade the employer that you are the best person for the role. Use this section to show that you: have read the job posting, understand how your skills contribute to the needs of the company, and can address the challenges of the company.

Tell your personal story and make it easy for hiring managers to understand the logic behind your career change. Clearly explaining the reason for your career change will show how thoughtful and informed your decision-making process is of your own transition.

Be Honest

Explain why you are making a career change. This is where you will spend the bulk of your time crafting a clear message.

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Speak to the mismatch that may be perceived by hiring managers, between the experience shown on your resume and the job posting, to show why your unique strengths make you more qualified than other candidates.

Address any career gaps on our resume. What did you do or learn during those periods that would be an asset to the role and company?

Sample:

I have been a high school English and Drama educator for over 7 years. In efforts to develop my career in a new direction, I have invested more time outside the classroom to increase community engagement by building a strong network of relationships to support school programs. This includes managing multiple stakeholder interests including local businesses, vendors, students, parents, colleagues, the Board, and the school administration.

Highlight Relevant Accomplishment

Instead of repeating what’s on your resume, let your personality shine. What makes you unique? What are your strengths and personal characteristics that make you suited for the job?

Sample:

As a joyful theater production manager, I am known to be an incredible collaborator. My work with theater companies have taught me the ability to work with diverse groups of people. The theater environment calls for everyone involved to cooperate and ensure a successful production. This means I often need to creatively and quickly think on my feet, and use a bit of humour to move things forward to meet tight timelines.

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Feature Your Transferable Skills

Tap into your self-awareness to capture your current skills.[2]

Be specific and show how your existing skills are relevant to the new role. Review the job posting and use industry specific language so that the hiring manager can easily make the connection between your skills and the skills that they need.

Sample:

As the first point of contact for students, parents, and many community stakeholders, I am able to quickly resolve problems in a timely and diplomatic manner. My problem solving aptitude and strong negotiation skills will be effective to address customer issues effectively. This combined with my planning, organization, communication, and multitasking skills makes me uniquely qualified for the role of Client Engagement Manager to ensure that customers maintain a positive view of .

4. Final Pitch and Call-To-Action: Why Do You Want to Work for This Company?

Here’s your last chance to show what you have to offer! Why does this opportunity and company excite you? Show what value you’ll add to the company.

Remember to include a call-to-action since the whole point of this letter is to get you an interview!

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Sample:

_________ is a global leader in providing management solutions to diverse clients. I look forward to an opportunity to discuss how my skills and successful experience managing multiple stakeholders can help build and retain strong customer relationships as the Client Engagement Manager.

Summing It Up

Remember these core cover letter tips to help you effectively showcase your personal brand:

  • Keep your writing clear and concise. You have one page to express yourself so make every word count.
  • Do your research to determine ‘who’ will be reading your letter. Understanding your audience will help you better persuade them that you are best suited for the role.
  • Tailor your cover for each job posting by including the hiring manager’s name, and the company name and address. Make it easy on yourself and create your own cover letter template. Highlight or alter the font color of all the spots that need to be changed so that you can easily tailor it for the next job application.
  • Get someone else to review your cover letter. At a minimum, have someone proofread it for grammar and spelling errors. Ideally, have someone who is well informed about the industry or with hiring experience to provide you with insights so that you can fine-tune your career change cover letter.

Check out these Killer Cover Letter Samples that got folks interviews!

It is very important that you clarify why you are changing careers. Your career exploration can take many forms so setting the foundation by knowing ‘why’ not only helps you develop a well thought out career change cover letter, [3] but can also help you create an elevator pitch, build relationships, tweak your LinkedIn profile and during interviews.

Remember to focus on your transferable skills and use your collective work experience to show how your accomplishments are relevant to the new role. Use the cover letter to align your abilities with the needs of the employer as your resume will likely not provide the essential context of your career change.

Ensure that your final pitch is concise and that your call-to action is strong. Don’t be afraid to ask for an interview or to meet the hiring manager in-person!

More Resources About Career Change

Featured photo credit: Christin Hume via unsplash.com

Reference

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