By Mona Abdel-Halim
Competition in the job market today is very stiff. With the unemployment level sitting at 9 percent, there are many people looking and applying for many of the same jobs you are.
So, how can you be sure that you stand out? What can you do differently to help you land the interview? Here are some tips for every aspect of your job search, from resumes to networking:
Make sure that you have the most up-to-date resume available at all times. And make sure it's a clean and easy-to-follow resume that focuses on what makes you relevant for every job. Focusing your resume will help you stand out from others, making it easy for recruiters to know that you're a good fit.
2. Cover Letter
Writing a great cover letter can be the key to landing an interview with a great company. A cover letter filled with mistakes and poor grammar will not impress the recruiter or hiring manager. Make sure that your cover letter is concise, but also shares your story and conveys passion for the position at hand. Your cover letter is a great way to entice a recruiter to give you a call, so don't give away everything about yourself -- leave some mystery so they'll want to find out more about you.
3. Social Media
Clean up your social media presence. In a world where everyone is connected to technology all the time, you can often forget that employers are now using social media to screen employees before hiring them, or interviewing them. Make sure you clean up your profiles and take advantage of privacy settings to be sure that you are not your own biggest enemy on the job hunt.
Whenever you get the chance to meet people in the industry you want to work in, jump at it! Meeting new people in your industry and making meaningful connections can help you get your foot in the door at dream companies. Thirty-four percent of jobs filled in today's market are by employee referrals. So remember to network, network, network.
5. Follow Up
The importance of following up after an interview cannot be emphasized enough. Showing your interest and expressing thanks for that person taking time out of their day is the professional thing to do. By neglecting this step, it's quite possible someone else will land the opportunity because they did follow up. And, in an age were everything is done digitally, you might be surprised at how far a handwritten thank-you note can go. Don't be afraid to still use snail mail when following-up on interviews to thank an employer for their time.
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