Once upon a time, applying for a job was a reasonably straight-forward process.
Submit your cover letter and resume in response to an advertised position and wait by the phone in hopes of an interview.
These days, however, constantly increasing competition has forced job seekers to adopt additional tactics to stand out and be seen, some of which have subsequently become standard expectation.
As such, the so-called right way to apply for a job should now, more often than not, also include the following practice.
Find a lead. With job networking site LinkedIn now at our disposal, establishing and getting in touch with company contacts has never been easier. Some quick research and perusing through the site can reveal which of your own contacts are loosely or perhaps even closely connected to other helpful contacts.
From there, you can ideally ask to be introduced, or otherwise introduce yourself, to appropriate sources in relation to your target position. You can ask questions, seek advice, request feedback on your resume and most importantly, find out more about the role and the company itself. You might even find some contacts are happy to meet in person to chat.
This practice also affords you the opportunity to confirm with company contacts that your resume has been received, which may prompt them to take particular note of it. If you’ve really struck a bond via LinkedIn, you might be lucky enough for them to pass your resume on personally.
Having done plenty of homework and gained an inside perspective prior to being interviewed, you’re already ahead of the game, able to drop names and discuss whatever relevant inside knowledge you have throughout the course of your interview.
It is essential to follow your interview with a message of thanks a day or so later, which reiterates your interest and enthusiasm for the position.
It is also important to send a personal message of thanks to anyone on LinkedIn or other networking hubs who assisted or advised you.
The entire process is more or less an exercise in public relations. Be sure to always express your gratitude and remain professional and courteous at every turn, and don’t take anyone or anything for granted. You will soon find that, even if you don’t always get the job, your own networks will steadily grow in very positive and helpful ways.