In a densely populated job market, you have to do everything you can to maintain a competitive edge. Your resume needs to be on point and include all of the necessary elements that personally brand you while distinguishing you from other candidates. Once your resume is polished and you apply to jobs, you sit back and wait for the phone calls or emails to come pouring in. You figure it’s only a matter of time, right? Wrong! You need to rethink this strategy when it comes to your resume and applying for jobs if you want to land interviews quicker.
The job market is not what it used to be. The strategy that everyone used to follow was the same: apply to jobs and wait for calls to interview. This was okay when the candidate pool was relatively small and easy to manage. It was understood that the ball was in the company’s court. Now, it is better to take a proactive approach to let the companies know who you are and why you want the job. Due to the high volume of applicants for each job, your resume could potentially get lost in a sea of other applicants. If you are willing to go the extra mile and distinguish yourself, be sure to follow up with companies to keep your name current.
One way to follow up with companies is to send them a follow up letter that reintroduces you, highlights your resume again, and showcases what you bring to the table. In a sea of hundreds of resumes, it is a good idea to make your resume stand out by reaching out to the companies and re-establishing a dialogue. By sending a follow up letter, it enables you to detail your achievements, experience, and personal brand again while drawing attention to who you are and why you are a good fit for the job. If you craft the letter correctly, it will serve as a call to action for the companies so they can learn more about you in person during interviews.
Another way to follow up with companies is to reach out via a phone call. This strategy is a bit bolder, but it will work if you are willing to give it a shot. When you call companies to follow up, it shows perseverance and determination to follow through on your goals. In this case, your goal is to market yourself for a job and receive a job offer. The companies will see this in a positive light because it gives you the opportunity to stand out from other candidates applying for the same jobs. For you, this is a strategic approach that helps to reinforce your skills presented on the resume while showcasing some of your soft skills that wouldn’t have otherwise been referenced on your resume.
If you are in the unique position of having personal contacts on the inside of companies you are applying to, leverage these connections to your advantage! These people could be people that you know very well, people that are casual acquaintances, or even people that you only know of through mutual contacts. In all of these cases, reach out to these contacts on the inside of the companies and establish a dialogue. Consider inviting someone to lunch (your treat) so you can discuss why you would be a good fit with this company’s corporate culture and gather some more inside information on what this company values in its employees. Having a recommendation from an employee that already works at a company is your golden ticket to making yourself stand out above the other candidates.
No matter how polished or up-to-date your resume is, the most important thing to remember is to always follow up with a company after you send your resume. When you follow up with companies, it gives you the advantage over other candidates that applied for the jobs because it enables you to keep your name current while strategically leveraging any connections you have. This could mean the difference between getting an interview and getting passed over for a job.