When you apply for a job, it’s not time to hope that fate steers you the right way. It’s time to take control. That means leaving nothing to chance and actively ensuring that you
create positive buzz around your application. After all, the job doesn’t always go to the most qualified person, it goes to the person who everyone is thinking and talking about.
So you need to make sure that you are that person—even before you set foot inside the
So how do you create buzz about your application?
By following these 4 guidelines:
1. You need a social media presence. Like it or not, people who get your resume are
going to cyber-stalk you. They’re going to look you up on Google and check out your
photos on Facebook (and if you think that’s inappropriate, too bad). If they can’t find you
in cyberspace, you’re sending a message that you are unimportant. So make sure you
are on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure your photos and profile info is appropriate.
And if you have a hobby or passion, showcase it through a personal website—send out a
message that you are active and engaged, and hiring managers will see you as someone
who gets things done.
2. Your cover letter needs to stand out. If your cover letter feels like a generic form
letter you use for every job you apply to, you won’t be taken seriously. You need a cover
letter that will grab your reader’s attention and keep it. So:
Be bold. Don’t waste anyone’s time with vague statements. Be confident, sell
your greatest strengths, and make it clear why you rock.
Be specific. Show that you have the exact skills, tools, and qualities that the ad
mentions. Mention the ad and the company to show that you wrote this cover
letter for them.
Tell them how you will make their lives easier. Give an example of an
accomplishment at your old workplace, and make it clear that you can do the
same for them.
3. Prepare your references. Don’t just hope that your references are still around and
willing to put in a good word for you. Call your references and tell them to be prepared
for a call. Not only will your references appreciate the warning, but it will give them a
chance to prepare their sales pitch for you—the very buzz you need.
4. If you get an interview, that means you’re 2/3 of the way there. They like you, so
you need to go in with confidence. But you also need to be who you really are. Don’t try
to be what you think they want to see. Be genuine, because you wouldn’t have made it this far
if they didn’t like the real you!