Do Your Research
We get it, you need a job and right now you might not know as much about what you like and what you don’t in a particular industry. After all, you need experience to be able to have preferences. However, employers ultimately want people to apply that want to work with their company. This means you should never just spam out your resume with a generic cover letter to dozens of employers at a time. At a minimum, you should try to gain some information about what a company does and why it interests you.
Test the Company Product
Taking the initiative to get experience with a company’s product is a sure fire way to stand out from the crowd. Not only does this show your interest, it shows that you are willing to make the extra effort - which is a big plus for employers. If a company you are interested in has an app that is free, download it, play with it, and include what you liked about it in your cover letter. You might also consider signing up for a demo or webinar, to really show you’ve learned the in’s and out’s of what a company has developed.
Network, Network, Network
A common strategy in a growing company is to make sure they have a presence within the local community. This can range from a company participating or sponsoring various tech and hiring events, holding open houses at their offices, or even engaging their online community through social media. In smaller communities, you might even be able to find employers who will agree to meet for a coffee and an informal chat. This type of local presence helps potential employees make connections and know when positions are available and and how to apply. So, whenever possible be available to make personal connections through networking both in-person and online. And you should especially be on the lookout to connect in person with someone at a company you are really interested in.
Be Mindful of the Application Process
You’ve done you’re research and have been making connections, nice job! However, even if you are applying for a role directly through a contact you made, you should still take the time to check if there is a way to apply via their website or a specific job posting. Often these methods result in your resume going into a database, making it easier for HR to move you through the candidate process and arrange next steps in the hiring process. And, if you don’t land this role you are now “in the system” and have the potential to be considered when a future role becomes available.
No matter what stage you are in your career, while you’re on the job hunt you want to show a potential employer that you fully understand the role, while also highlighting what you bring to the table. This can increase your chances of being brought in for an interview or, at the very least, keep you top of mind for future roles within the industry.