You’ve researched the best companies to work for, you’ve tailored your CV to your dream role and you’ve written the perfectly customised cover letter. Then you hit ‘Send’ and sit back. Or do you?
The well-worn phrase “Good things come to those who wait” doesn’t necessarily apply to the job application process.
There are steps you can take to make sure that your application doesn’t fall into a black hole of potentially hundreds of other applications and improve the odds that yours will result in an interview and job offer.
Be contactable: Keep your phone on and charged. Make sure that your voicemail message is clear and professional. If you do miss the call, call back promptly.
Check your email regularly: Recruiters may contact you via email so make sure that you check your inbox and your spam folder, just in case.
Keep a copy of the cover letter and CV that you used to apply for the job: Keep them in a file that you can easily access. This is especially important if you have applied for a number of jobs and will help you to keep track of your applications. If the recruiter calls you, don’t be caught off guard. You should be able to immediately recognise the company and the role that you applied for and be able to reference the cover letter and CV that you submitted.
Polish up your social media profiles: Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and as professional as possible. Ask previous employers and colleagues for endorsements and recommendations. Check your Facebook and Twitter pages for anything that could scupper your chances; that photo of you with a traffic cone on your head outside a nightclub at 3am may make your friends laugh but recruiters might not see the funny side.
Research the company: If the recruiter calls, you should be prepared to talk knowledgeably about the company, the position you’re interested in, and the industry as a whole.
Follow up: Send a polite enquiring email or connect with the recruiter in the company via LinkedIn. Phone calls are probably best avoided as most busy people don’t appreciate unsolicited phone contact. Wait until a few days after the advertised closing date to follow up with the company. Any earlier and you could get the brush-off.
Educate yourself: Recruitment requirements can change thanks to forces beyond your control and can alter the availability of advertised roles. Follow the company on LinkedIn and Twitter and keep an eye on the markets, especially for bigger companies.
Keep applying: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Keep searching for jobs that are suitable for your skills and experience, whether at different companies or at the same company to which you’ve already applied.