One of the harsh realities of job hunting is that no matter how many resumes applicants send out, there is no guarantee that they will get called in for an interview. For that to happen, their applications will have to stand out from among the others; with a widely publicized job-offer, they may be competing with hundreds of other applicants. If they do get called in, the interview is not a guarantee that they will get the job. In that instance, they will be competing with the other interviewees so they will have to stand out there as well. The whole job application process revolves around the applicants providing their prospective employers with reasons to hire them, thereby helping them to stand out from the competition. Fortunately, the two main elements of the application process are designed to help them stand out.
Some applicants send out essentially the same resume to every potential employer. In many cases all this does is guarantee a rejection. The goal of the resume is to help the employer shorten their list of applicants to the ones likely to have the skills that the employer needs. An applicant should therefore tailor their résumé to emphasize any experience and education relevant to the requirements of that specific employer. It is all about salesmanship and the only way to make a successful sale is to sell what the customer needs.
For example, an employer who is seeking a worker with accounting skills may want to see evidence that the applicant has experience with QuickBooks and similar programs. An accounting degree shows that they have spent time in a classroom acquiring the requisite knowledge and skills. A resume should be formatted to show off all qualities and qualifications that make the applicant the best person for the job being offered. It should be made easy to scan with the most important selling points made easily noticeable; bullet points are an effective tool for making resumes more readable and should be used extensively throughout the document.
The key to a good interview performance is preparation. The interviewee should attempt to learn as much as they can about the employer, including their industry and the history of the company. The fact that the applicant has been called in means that their odds of getting the job have significantly improved; they have impressed their employer on paper (or in email) and they now have the opportunity to impress them in person. They should use the interview to further emphasize the selling points included in their résumé. Body language and speech both matter. The applicant should act with confidence and speak clearly. When facing open-ended questions like “tell me something about you,” they should understand that the key is to give an answer relevant to the job at hand and avoid the mistake of providing one about their personal life as so many inexperienced candidates do.
In a competitive job marketplace, an applicant must demonstrate above-average competence in order to get attention. The right education can help an applicant to stand out in both major phases of the application process. A degree shows that they are able to learn and apply themselves to work; which is a quality that most employers find extremely desirable in their employees. Other qualities such as a masters in leadership may help to further enhance their worth.
Undergrad Success thanks gradberry, the Middle East’s online careers portal connecting students, graduates, and employers.