4 Must Do’s before you start applying for a job

Ange Connor

You’ve decided it’s time to start applying for a new job. Most of us simply update or resume, write a covering letter and away we go, submitting applications for jobs that take our fancy. Whether you’re desperate to get out of where you currently are or are being very selective with the jobs you are applying for there are a few key things you need to do to get your ducks in a line before you start hitting the apply now button.

As with most things in life, planning and preparation are key to success. A little extra time and effort before you start sending out resumes will hold you in better stead for landing that dream job.

Where to start:

Get clarity on what it is you really want – what is really important to you

Understanding what it is you really want in your next job is crucial to help you make the right decisions as you go through the job search and recruitment process. Getting it down on paper will mean that you can refer back to it as you go through the various stages. When you’re then offered a positon you can use it as a checklist to make sure it meets with what you want. All too often people can be awestruck with the first job offer they receive and end up accepting the offer for all the wrong reasons. Having a checklist of what it is you really will want will be your roadmap for making the right decision for the right reasons. Putting it on paper will give you clarity; from tasks and responsibilities, career progression to salary and benefits. If it’s important to you, get it on the list.

Know your worth

While the dollars you earn might not be the number one priority, it’s still worth doing your research and knowing your worth. Having an understanding of the appropriate salary range, other benefits and perks that typically fit with the jobs you are interested in will help you navigate your way through the interview and job offer negotiation stage. You naturally want to make sure you don’t undersell yourself and your expertise but you also need to make sure you don’t pitch yourself out of the job either. When the interviewer starts to talk dollars you want to make sure you know where you want to get to with the negotiations. Check out Regional Salaries to compare salaries, it’s a free and confidential salary comparison tool to help you understand your worth.

Get an independent perspective 

One of the first things we do when we start to think about applying for a job is to get our resume up to date. You’ll absolutely need a current resume to start applying for jobs. Your resume is going to be what determines if you get a thanks but no thanks email or an invitation for an interview. The trouble with updating your resume and then applying for jobs is that we get so wrapped up in our work history and the positions we have held from our own perspective. We take for granted what it is we do every day in our job because we are so used to doing it day in and day out that we take our skills and expertise for granted. We also forget that while we know our job and industry and specific work environment inside out the reader might have no idea of the context of our background. Getting some independent feedback on your resume is your secret to resume success. Have someone who doesn’t know your job, or workplace or industry and get them to critically review your resume. Do they understand the information you have included and are you painting a clear enough picture for the reader.

Protect your individual brand

Social media goes hand in hand with recruitment these days and it’s worth checking what impression your social media footprint could make on a recruiter or hiring manager. If you have a Linked In profile you want to make sure that it aligns with your resume, is complete and provides professional insights about who you are. If you utilise any other social media channels it’s worth checking what information and images someone can see and what impression that might leave in the eyes of a potential employer. You don’t have to pretend that you are someone you are not, simply tighten your security settings and make a conscious decision about what information you want to share.

When applying for a job you only get once chance; one chance to make sure your resume makes a winning impression. One chance to nail the interview. One chance to make a positive impression when the recruiter social media checks you. Once chance to negotiate the salary and benefits you’ll be rewarded with. Investing the time before you hit apply will reap the greatest rewards.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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