here are many things to consider when trying to land your first full-time job. You need to think about what kind of companies you’d like to work for and how you can best stand out, as a candidate, to win them over. Strategizing before you start applying for your first full-time position, can make it easier to know which steps to take when looking to obtain a full-time job. Following these tips on application and interview strategy will make sure you catch the eye of the recruiter and land the full-time position you deserve.
#1 Craft the Perfect Resume and Cover Letter
Think of your resume and cover letter as the first impression a company will have of you. How can you convey who you are and what skills you have on just two pieces of paper? Start by thinking about what your top skills are and how they align with the position you are applying for. Highlight those when writing your resume by using similar wording as the job posting.
Next, think about what qualities you have that will make you a good employee. Again, highlight these in your cover letter by using the same ‘buzz’ words from the job posting. If the recruiter uses a resume scanning software, this will ensure keywords from your application will match up with the job posting, giving you a better chance of having your resume and cover letter seen by a real person.
To make your resume stand out, always include additional skills not included in your job history that will tell the recruiter more about you as a professional. Make sure to highlight the skills you have that are transferable to the position you are applying for. This lets the recruiter know how you match up to the position in terms of hard skills required to perform job duties and how your soft skills will fit in with the company culture and values.
#2 Interview Confidently
Going into the interview with confidence requires a bit of preparation on your part. First, research as much as you can about the company. Learn their values, what they do, who their clients are, and even any charities they like giving to. This will immediately set you apart as a candidate by showing you go above and beyond when applying for a job and really care about the companies you apply for. For example, e-Commerce brands like Vitality Extracts and Breazy frequently run seasonal promotions or giveaways. This not only tells the interview team you know you did your research on their current efforts, but it’s a nice way to pay them a compliment for noticing their promotions prior to the interview. Many times, interviewers will ask you a vague question like “why do you want to work for us?” in hopes that you have done your research on them. This is the perfect opportunity for you to describe why you want to work for them and reference where you found the information about them.
Another way you can make sure you go into the interview confidently is by dressing appropriately and coming prepared. Always bring around 10 copies of your resume in case you get interviewed by the entire department you are applying for. Come with a notebook and a pen to jot down any notes or questions you have while in the interview, and always prepare a few questions to ask at the end. Look for pictures of employees on the company website or on their social media accounts to gauge how they dress in the office. Dressing in line with how formal current employees dress for work helps signal to the interviewer that you will fit right in.
#3 Follow Up Persistently
The day after the interview send a personal thank you note. If you interviewed for an international position over the phone or Skype, send a well-crafted email thanking the interviewer for their time. If you interviewed nationally via phone or in-person, always send a card through the mail the day after your interview. Sending a thank you card will show the interviewer how thoughtful you are and how much you appreciated their time.
Lots of times, interviewers are very busy and have several interviews to complete. Following up helps the interviewer remember you with a physical reminder. This gives you a better chance of being kept in mind when making the final decision on who to hire.
If you haven’t heard back from the interviewer in the amount of time given, don’t hesitate to follow up. Being persistent is a sign of someone who really wants a job. Again, as most recruiters are busy, sometimes sending them an email reminding them to let you know about a position will jog their memory and put you at the top of the list of people to get back to.
Following these tips is a great start in learning how you can have the best chance of landing your desired first full-time position. Creating a resume and cover letter that fits the job description, going into the interview well-prepared, and following up with your interviewer will give you a leg up on the competition in applying for full-time positions.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is a contributing editor for 365BusinessTips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on business industry trends, and traveling. Feel free to connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.