Job postings on Monster or Career Builder typically net hundreds and sometimes thousands of online application submissions. Of course, not each and every one will be qualified. However, with your application mixed in with the horde, how can you confirm to the screening software that HR utilizes, that you are worthy of a look?
First, be sure to use words specific to the position on your resume. Never send an automated resume response even though it may be faster and easier. It will shoot you in the foot if you find out later that your words are not consistent with the requirements in the posting. You have to emphasize what makes you superior for the position than all the other applicants. Your keywords have to be carefully chosen for each application you submit.
How are you on the follow-up? Following up is crucial to a successful job search. It projects your image as a professional who is interested and committed to the available position. Your follow up should be done by telephone, unless the posting specifically states that no calls will be accepted. Be sure to note the close date on the posting, since you should not follow up until they have actually stopped accepting applications. If there is no close date posted, then it is acceptable to follow up after a week, if you have not heard anything.
When you do make the call, gauge the response of the hiring manager on the other end of the line. If they are short or seem rushed, it is most likely not a convenient time. So then, you should ask when you might be able to get a moment of their time for a few questions that you have regarding the opening. If they suggest you email, then send an email with a few questions, for example:
• What is the anticipated-time frame for the hiring process?
• How much experience would your ideal candidate have?
• Has a decision been made yet?
• May I follow up in another week if I haven’t heard from you?
You could also send a link to your website or to examples of your work online if you have that information. Or even send a link to an relevant article about their industry or something that pertains to the position.
Many postings are anonymous which most people think are impossible to follow up on. However, if you look for a distinctive phrase in the job description, then Google that phrase in quotes, you will get a hit if the position has been posted on the company website and most times, it is. When following up on this type of posting, it is best to follow up via email and request a time to call.
Practice restraint and do not cross the line between diligent follow up to becoming annoying. Companies can be slow to hire at times, and with holidays and vacations the process can potentially take months.
Proper follow-up will make a great impression and get your resume to the top of the pile. It will distinguish you from the hundreds of competitors still waiting to be reviewed and prove you understand the importance of appropriate follow through and enables you to be the stand out candidate!