Landing a new job requires a significant amount of focus and determination. The process requires a major time investment, even for highly qualified candidates. However, it’s important to do some self-analysis every so often in order to ensure that small mistakes and a lack of focus aren’t preventing you from finding the perfect career opportunity. If you want to verify that you’re truly focused on getting a job, make sure that you’re doing the following:
Follow every single instruction on the job application
Regardless of how mundane or strange you think the instructions are, following them step by step is an important part of a successful job search. There is probably a reason why the hiring manager needs three copies of your cover letter or to have that document sent via snail mail. Additionally, sometimes hiring managers put these steps in place simply to test your ability to follow directions. They want to know that if they offer you a job, you’ll be able to handle directions successfully.
Apply for jobs that are actually a good fit
If you’re going to spend the time writing a cover letter and tailoring your resume for a job, you want to make sure that the position you’re hoping to get is actually an appropriate fit. If you’re spending hours applying for jobs that require far more experience than you have or ask for certain credentials that you haven’t yet obtained, you’re not focusing your energy effectively.
Make connections at the organizations where you hope to work
Always assume that dozens of other people are also submitting their materials for the open jobs you see. If you’re sending your application to an firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address and hoping for the best, don’t be surprised if it gets lost in the shuffle. Instead, make it a point to network and build real connections with the people doing the hiring at these companies. These relationships pay off significantly when a job opening becomes available. Now that the hiring manager can put a face to a name, they suddenly have a more three-dimensional look at you, making them less likely to toss your documents into the recycling bin.
Address any concerns the hiring manager may have in your cover letter
If you’re applying for a job and think that the hiring manager may have some questions about an aspect of your application, it’s much better to address the issue head on in your cover letter, instead of hoping that the detail gets overlooked. For example, if you have an employment gap, explain why. If you’re living in New York City and are applying to a job in Montana, explain why you want to move so far from home. Providing these answers upfront is often just what the hiring manager needs to feel comfortable enough to bring you in for an interview.
Attending to these points will help to speed up the job search process and ensure that you end up in a position you love. Because the job market is highly competitive, acknowledging these details puts you ahead of other applicants who may be vying for the same positions.