How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Get the Job You Want

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Hiring managers receive resumes from lots of applicants. Making yourself stand out helps increase your odds of getting to the next step—an interview.  But how do you do that?  First, read the job posting and fully understand the experience and skill requirements. Then tailor your resume to highlight those specific points. With companies using automated software as the first step in their process, if your resume does not match the job description closely enough, it may never see the hiring manager’s desk.  Include a cover letter as well which outlines why you are the perfect choice for the spot. Reference similar roles you played in your career which demonstrate you have the skills and experience required.  That should get you an interview.

In preparation for the interview, research the company. Be sure you understand what they do, and think about how the role you are interviewing for will help them operate better.  Research a list of standard interview questions and be sure to prepare well thought out answers to each of them. Also prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview; that shows you have been thoughtful about the position.

On the day of the interview, arrive a few minutes early to show enthusiasm, dressed to fit the company culture.  When in doubt, always go conservative. You could lose a job for being underdressed, but will rarely lose one for being overdressed. If your nerves are an issue, take some deep breaths and relax yourself before stepping into the building. If you notice your hands getting sweaty, ask to use a restroom and give them a quick rinse before shaking hands. While interviewing, make eye contact and be yourself. Answer honestly, because good interviewers can sense when applicants are not being truthful.  And at the end of the interview, consider closing with a question such as “Did you hear anything today that concerned you about my fit for the position?”  That gives you a chance to try to change their mind.

After the interview, make sure to send a thank you note (email is ok, a letter mailed that day is even better, since few people do it anymore) and then follow-up by email within a week, if you have not heard back, asking if they need any further information.

Then sit back and wait for the offer!

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