Job Searching Tips: From Application to Post-Interview

Person job searching with Addison Group

Job searching can be an overwhelming process from beginning to end. There are several things to consider when you’re applying and interviewing for jobs, and we’re here to break it down for you. From gathering the materials to prepare for your search to acing your interviews, each touchpoint along the way can make or break your experience.

Knowing what to expect and how to make yourself a strong candidate from the very beginning can give you a leg up while job searching and applying for positions. In a competitive market, every little thing you do is really a big thing. Read on to understand what you can do each step of the way to help you progress in your job search.

When preparing for your job search, it’s important to have a few things ready  to save you time later on. Imagine you come across a job you want to apply for, but you haven’t updated your resume, created a professional email account, or had any references available – which some jobs require when applying. These are things you want to think about before beginning your search, so you’re ready to apply when you find something worthwhile.

First, you’ll want to make sure you have a professional email address and voicemail set up and connected to whichever account your job searching from. For example, if you’re using LinkedIn to search for jobs, make sure the name of your email linked to your account isn’t your personal email created several years before with your nickname, and instead a more professional account that won’t throw employers or recruiters off.

Additionally, instead of emailing you to schedule an interview time, some hiring managers will call you first. If you miss their call, you don’t want them to hear a voicemail recording from a decade or two ago when you got your first flip phone. Make sure it’s updated and sounds mature.

The last thing to have handy prior to job searching are references. We’ll discuss these a bit more later but be sure to think of a few and have their contact information handy. Many companies will ask for references in the initial application, and you don’t want to delay your application because you’re scrambling to attain this information. Get them now.

Cover letters

Another important thing to understand are cover letters. While job searching, you’ll notice many applications require you to submit a cover letter in addition to your resume. Cover letters are a way to weed out potentially unserious candidates, so it’s important you submit one if it’s an option to continue in the hiring process.

Cover letters should be tailored to each job you’re applying for and should cover the following: your reasons for applying, why you’re a good fit for the position, and your knowledge about the position. These things will show a hiring manager that you’re a serious applicant and should be considered for the position.

Resume writing

Even more frequently, you will need to submit a resume for nearly each position you apply for. Having a well-written, organized, and informative resume is vital in ensuring your consideration for any position. Your resume should highlight your education, work history,  skillset, and more. It’s a lot of information to fit on one page, so we’ve broken it down for you.

A good order for your resume reads as follows: professional experience first, then education, then skills and certifications. Depending on your age and experience, the first two may be flipped. This way, the most important information hiring managers look for is the first thing they read. They see right away that you’re a qualified, experienced candidate. Additionally, you’ll want to put your name and contact information at the very top. Making yourself easy to remember, and easy to reach.

After implementing job titles, degrees, certifications, and skills, you’ll want to add details. You want to outline the daily responsibilities of each job you have listed, include any personal statistics or important metrics, and make sure keywords are included that a hiring manager may be searching for. The best way to do this is in a bullet-pointed list. This keeps things clear, concise, and easy to read.

Interview to-do’s

After all the applying, it’s interview time! Interviewing can be nerve-wrecking and intimidating. However, there’s many things you can do that will set you apart, and hopefully make you feel more confident while interviewing.

First, dress professionally. Especially if it’s in-person, but even if it’s a virtual interview. Looking professional will give you confidence and impress your interviewer. In both environments, make sure you use good posture, turnoff your cellphone, and avoid doing things like chewing gum or drinking coffee while interviewing. Together, doing these limits distractions and shows professionalism, attentiveness, and more.

Lastly, if your interview is virtual, make sure you’re in a clean, quiet environment. Again, doing so will limit distraction on both ends and will help show your professionalism.

Interview reminders

In all your interview preparation, you may forget to think about the actual interview. What to do, what to say, what to bring, etc. In all the hecticness that is interviewing, remember the following:

  • The moment you log on or arrive is when the interview begins. Professionalism should be in full force.
  • Bring your resume to the interview. If it’s virtual, email it to the hiring manager before so they have it handy.
  • Answer questions with short, concise examples.
  • Prepare questions to ask the interviewer ahead of time! You want to ask questions to show your interest and gain important insight into the position you’re applying for. This job should suit you, too.
  • When ending the interview, thank the interviewer.
  • Send an email within 24 hours of the interview following up, thanking them, and reiterating your interest. Make it personalized!

Job searching: Have references prepared

Needing references may come up at different points of the interview process. You may need to submit them right away with your resume and cover letter, or they may ask for it after an official interview or beyond.

References can be a deciding factor for an employer. How people feel about you, whether it be past professors or employers, means a lot to a manager. Were you well-respected, or were they happy to see you go? References give employers the opportunity to gain insight into what it will be like working with you and the kinds of expectations they should hold of you.

Additionally, references are used to validate information on your resume. This can be anything from skillsets to past job responsibilities. Make sure you put someone who knows you and knows what you’re capable of to validate all the impressive things on your resume.

Lastly, make sure they’re easy to reach and typically available, or can   call back quickly. If an employer is waiting for several days or weeks to get a call back from a reference, they may go another direction. Promptness is important. If the reference request comes after your interview, be sure to reach out to your references and let them know to expect a call.

The job searching process

Maybe you land the job or maybe you start the process over again. Either way, job searching is no easy feat. Keep these tips and tricks handy as you continue your job search, and the right one will land.

Need help finding a job? Addison Group has more than 20 years of hiring experience. Contact us today and we can help you find your next position!


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