Diving into the job market for the first time in search of college graduate jobs can be a daunting prospect. You know you are going to have some stiff competition, as employers are bombarded with applications from new college grads and seasoned workers. So how do you make your application stand out? Here are a few application tips to make your name buzz-worthy with employers.
Go with What Works
Recruiters in every field look for specific things in an application depending on what the field or position entails. The best resume examples from the particular field you are applying to can be used as guides for developing your own attention-getting application. Find strong resume samples and reference them when putting together your own. It’s important to keep in my substance over style though. While the layout is important, the most important part of a resume are the facts and figures contained within.
Also keep in mind that even if you haven’t held a full-time, permanent position in your chosen field yet it doesn’t mean you can’t have an impressive and captivating resume. Don’t overlook any of your accomplishments and make a list of everything you think stands out. Highlight your awards and honors, research and work experience, as well as any teaching experience or publication credits you may have that are relevant to your target career.
Do Your Research
Researching the company and the specific position you’re applying for is essential when submitting a resume for any open job. By learning more about the employer, you’re able to better target your application to catch the attention of the recruiter at that specific business or organization. Specifically, you’ll want to identify key terminology or phrases frequently used on the corporate website. A few strategically placed references to those same concepts in your resume may capture the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager.
Additionally, your understanding of the specific job duties and core requirements for the position will help you tailor your resume for the job, essentially allowing you to develop an application that makes it appear as though the job description or ad was written with you specifically in mind.
Target Your Resumes
You’ll want to develop a basic resume or template by committing all your qualifications to paper. This template will help in applying for jobs by giving you the foundation from which to develop targeted, position and employer-specific resumes when the need arises.
Ensure you research the specific job requirements and highlight your qualifications that demonstrate you meet those requirements. With a good template this is as simple as removing achievements that don’t pertain to the role, or changing the wording of those that do.
Cover Letters are Key
A cover letter is intended to be an introduction to your resume, but also to you as an applicant. While your targeted resume will highlight your skills, experience and qualifications relevant to the position you’re applying for, a well-written cover letter can communicate even more about your core qualities and character strengths as they relate to the position requirements.
It’s also advisable that you review good cover letter samples, available online or from a career center, and develop a template of your own, just like with your resume. You can then work from your template to customize your cover letter for each job for which you submit an application.