Often the job application process focusses on nailing your CV and covering letter, but here are five small but vital job seeker tips that will help to put you ahead of the competition.
1. Keep your voicemail professional
If you are looking to be employed, chances are a future employer will go through to your voicemail at some point. If you have a voicemail that isn’t professional (e.g. you sound like you’re in a pub or a tunnel), or you don’t have one at all, update it as a matter of priority.
Tip: Write out what you are going to say beforehand to ensure that it flows well, record it somewhere quiet and remember to sound happy.
2. Keep your email address simple
It’s never great to receive an email applying for a senior professional position from an address that is too complicated or sounds like it was set up when you were a teenager. These email addresses might do the job but they won’t paint you as an industry professional.
Tip: You can get free email addresses from many hosts and you can also divert all your emails from your existing addresses so you won’t lose any mail or contacts.
3. Keep your response time quick
If you want a job, you need to show it as soon as possible. Getting back to an email or voicemail five days later is not a reflection of someone who wants a job and in today’s competitive market the position may well be filled by then. It also suggests you may respond to things slowly as an employee too.
Tip: Your response rate should be no longer than 24 hours. If you are caught up then a quick courtesy email or text stating that you’ve received a message and when you will respond at least shows you can keep people across things.
4. Vet, hide or edit your social media
Believe it or not, people do their homework on candidates, just like you do on them.
Anyone with your name or email address can easily view your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Instagram, so you need to remember that what you do on these sites can potentially be viewed by a future or current employer.
Tip: Make sure your profile is private or decide not to post anything that you wouldn’t want on the front of a newspaper.
5. Do your homework and get organised
You’ve heard it before “prepare, prepare, prepare”. Don’t wait for an interview, start preparing before you even send off your resume.
Before applying, make sure you know exactly what the role is, what the company does, who the hiring manager or recruiter is, where the company is located, the market it operates in, and any key projects they are working on or products / services offered.
Tip: Where you have applied for multiple roles, get organised for when that call comes in. Jot down the company name, the recruiter or hiring manager and the role details. This will help you to quickly recall which role the call relates to without any awkward pauses.