So you've found the perfect job to apply to….now what? You can have a stellar resume and be very well prepared for an interview, but unless that company can find you as a candidate an interview request is not likely happen! And quite naturally, the best way to get a chance of that interview is applying to the job. Today we’ll take a look at some of the common steps and concerns in the application process.
The first thing you’ll want to do when applying is to review the application and make sure that you have all the necessary information. Some online applications are fairly simply: Name, contact info, upload resume, done. Others will require you to create a profile, including past work history, references, etc. in order to apply for any of the jobs listed on the company site. Rather than scramble last minute to find all that information, it is far easier to compile a list of the necessary (or most likely) information you will need. A lot of the information can be found on your resume, but check out the online application ahead of time just in case.
One of the most important pieces of the puzzle is having an updated resume. Not only will you find important information on there for the application process, but any recruiter or company is going to want to see a professional, updated resume. Having a resume that is either sloppy or out of date will leave a poor impression of you as a candidate. Before you start your application, have a knowledgeable person/friend look over your resume for you. Someone who is familiar with your chosen field is best (as they will easily be able to see whether the information makes sense) but even someone not in the science field can check over for misspelled words, misplaced commas, etc. You should also have tailored your resume for the specific job you are applying to, in order to highlight the specific skills/jobs that can best showcase why you are a fit for that position.
One of the most common misunderstandings when applying to a job is the curriculum vitae (CV) versus on a resume. A CV is sort of a resume with a slant more towards an academic setting. It is meant to showcase research, presentation, and publications; a CV is more commonly used when applying to a job at a university, or when applying to graduate school. It often will describe positions in paragraph forms. A resume, on the other hand, showcases work history and skills sets; it is used when applying to a job in a non-academic or “industry” setting. Rather than being written in paragraphs, bullet points or lists are used to highlight the responsibilities held in various job positions.
Another question often asked by job seekers is whether to include a cover letter and references with your resume. Whether you include them or not usually depends upon the individual application/company site. If they are required, you will need to include them. If they are optional to include, it is up to you. A cover letter is your chance to highlight why your skills and experiences make you a great fit for the job opportunity, provided you don’t simply rehash what’s already on your resume to begin with! If references aren’t required, it usually means you won’t need to include them; companies will assume that if they need references from you, they will be available later.
As some finals thoughts on applying, take the following tidbits of advice. First, be sure that your first and last name are included in the title of your resume. It makes it much easier for the recruiter or company to find a resume for “John Doe Resume” than “Resume.” Next, be sure to double check that all required fields have been filled out on the application forms, and that all necessary documents have been included. Happy job hunting!
Stay tuned for our next article on 08/14/14 where we’ll discuss when to apply for positions. Until then, feel free to catch up on our previous articles, and be sure to check out our pages on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for the latest news and opportunities available through Verum Staffing! If you are interested in speaking with us further regarding positions we have available, future opportunities, or interview/resume help, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an informational interview.