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Steps to Take Before Applying for a Job


Most people agree that job seeking isn’t a fun process to go through. It can be arduous, time-consuming, and stressful. But it is something everyone has to do at least once or twice in their lifetime.

Searching for a job isn’t an exact science, but there are a few important things to keep in mind. Seeking a new occupation is a big step, and no one can be fully prepared.

Here are some things to remember:

  1. Narrow Down and Focus

Before even looking at a resumé, a person should start by thinking about their strengths and needs first. Job seeking can quickly feel like an overwhelming task that spirals out in different ways. So begin by narrowing things down and focus on what’s important.

These days, job candidates tend to over-generalize their resumés, applications, and pitches. They think it’s better to list every skill and trait they have that could help them land a job. But that’s not how recruiters look at an application. They want specialized skills that complement each other and the specific position they’re recruiting for.

So, instead of listing everything that could have value, narrow it down to a few select skills and experiences. Focus on things that build toward a clear-cut area of expertise.

  1. Create Targeted Resumés

This builds a little on the previous point in the sense that things should be narrowed down to specific targets. Having just one resumé and cover letter isn’t enough anymore when searching for a job. Mainly because recruiters and HR personnel are looking at targeted keywords rather than a person. There are usually so many applicants to go through, after all, that this approach makes sense.

It also provides the opportunity for those applying to use it to their advantage. It’s important to have different resumés for different job positions. Make sure to study the job opening and touch on the key points it mentions.

  1. Do Some Social Media Spring Cleaning

Thanks to the internet, recruiters can see more about an applicant now than ever before. Even things that they might not necessarily want them to know. This is a byproduct of people’s tendency to overshare on social media. A ranting status or goofy video with friends may seem fun and innocent at the time of sharing. However, a potential employer might not look at it that way.

It feels like an invasion of privacy, but once shared these personal details are out there for everyone to see. So instead take up some online housekeeping and make sure there isn’t anything a potential employer shouldn’t see.

It might also be a good idea to delete certain social media accounts entirely. This sounds like an extreme move, but some social media platforms make it too easy for people to share personal details. Snapchat, for instance, is one of the first that should go (you can find how to do it here).

Researchers have found that the ability to share pictures and videos temporarily has made people much less inhibitive. The problem is, when a potential employer follows them, they will not look kindly on those arguably poor judgments. Things like sexy photos, drunk videos, and other embarrassing content are too easily shared and can be seen.

  1. Put Out Networking Feelers

Try to get out there and network. Yes, this may feel like a humongous task to some, but networking is more important now than ever. Talk to some recruiters as well as other people in the industry – they might have solid advice or even know of an open position. It’s also a good idea to set up Google alerts to keep on top of new opportunities.

Don’t let the job searching process become too overwhelming. Remember to focus on small things and build up toward a greater picture. Also, make sure that your social media profiles are displaying a flattering image, too!


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