Getting past today's computer-driven job boards is harder than ever. Some resumes never even get seen by human eyes! To land your dream job—or any position—you have to invest in the right things. Here are the details that really set top tier candidates apart
Did you know that the application you submit is deconstructed and fed into computers that tag your qualifications with keywords in a database? That's why it's essential to "optimize" your resume and cover letter to include the exact, precise phrases you find in the job description. Be the candidate that shows up as "the perfect match."
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
PREP AS IF THIS IS THE ONLY JOB YOU'VE EVER WANTED
Not going to sugar-coat this bit: The odds are against you to land that job. That coveted position is being aggressively pursued by many other qualified applicants with similar experiences and skills as you—maybe more. But you can make a memorable impression by doing your homework online and learning as much about the company and employees as possible (especially the ones who will be interviewing you). Find some commonalities to break the ice in a powerfully connective way. Be the candidate who "went the extra mile."
LEVERAGE YOUR CONNECTIONS
GATHER REFERRALS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The stats don't lie. Every year thousands of applications get passed over in favor of a candidate who slipped to the front of the line through a word-of-mouth recommendation. Think of it this way: If you had to trust a prized object to a stranger or to someone who was recommended by a friend or colleague, who would you trust first? For that reason, make use of social networks, letters of recommendation and personal connections. Be the candidate that came in with "a solid referral."
PRACTICE YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH
CRAFT A CONCISE SENTENCE THAT INSTANTLY INTRIGUES AND OPENS DISCUSSION
In a world of canned, jargon-filled laundry-list of "right answers," the candidates that stand out are those who are "originals." When you describe your accomplishments, inject personality, verve, and a few choice and uncommonly descriptive words to perk ears and make interviewers sit up and take notice. Frame your experience and character in a story that connects the dots for the interviewer. Be the candidate that they can "envision already doing the job."
CRAFT YOUR BACKSTORY
KNOW YOUR STATS, FRAME YOUR FACTS
Every other applicant will claim experience in the areas required—but only you have specific stats and facts that speak to your personal experience. So don't just list your skills, paint a picture and illustrate the impact, quantify achievements with numbers, and vividly describe the tangible results in a before/after or problem/solution storytelling format. Leave your listeners begging for an encore... as one of their own employees.