Going the Extra Mile to Capture a Prospective Employer's Attention
You have focused your job search, zeroing in on specific companies you’d liked to join, or maybe a position with a “dream” employer. You know who you would like to work for, but you realize that there are numerous other job candidates out there with the same desires and they are all competing for the same one or two positions your target employers may be offering at this time.
You need to not only separate yourself from the pack (see our article on “Emphasizing Your Personal Brand to Stand Out in the Job Market”) — you need to go the extra mile to capture that target employer’s attention.
Below are some surefire tips for capturing the attention of your prospective employers. They may require adding steps to your job search efforts, but going this extra mile can pay off. You’ll increase your chances of getting noticed and getting your foot in the door so you can wow the employer with your skills and talents.
- Do your homework. Prospective employers notice when you show you have done the due diligence of researching who they are, what products or services they offer, what their corporate culture is like, etc. Yes, you can get a great deal of this information from their job posting, but by going to their website, you can get the full picture — the company’s mission, vision, history, leadership and more. By Googling the company, you can find out about recent company news and go to the interview aware of what the company is currently doing (e.g., any acquisitions, executive team changes, or new products or initiatives being introduced).
You can convey your knowledge of the company — and that you’ve done your research — in your cover letter and when you have an interview by stating something such as “I look forward to helping promote your new ABC product,” or “I welcome the opportunity to support your new green initiative.” By showing you have ample knowledge of the company, the hiring manager will believe that you are genuinely interested in joining the company.
You can also use that company knowledge you’ve uncovered to create a resume specifically focused on that employer (see below).
- Position yourself specifically for each target employer. Many job seekers create or update their resume for a new job search without thinking about tailoring their resume (plus the cover letter they send with it) for each employer (and position) they are targeting. Focus on emphasizing the experience and capabilities the company is looking for (according to its job listing), using the same key words. Also, call out those skills you bring to the table that are highly relevant to the position you seek.
When preparing for a job interview with a target employer, you want to again think about positioning yourself for that particular company and the job offered. When practicing your responses to potential interview questions, focus on highlighting the qualifications that are most relevant to them and the responsibilities the job entails.
- Think of creative ways to sell yourself. If you have the time and resources, you may want to also think about out-of-the-box ways to capture your target employers’ attention. One idea was brought to us by a hiring manager who recently interviewed a new college graduate. While still a student, the graduate built a personal website containing a portfolio of his work in relevant school projects and internships, along with a video presentation of his unique skills and talents. This was also his way of expressing his “personal brand.”
We know that job hunting can be time-consuming, as you typically need to send and follow-up on multiple resumes to get results. However, we assure you that by taking these steps and going the extra mile to get the attention of your target employers, hiring managers will recognize the effort and value your interest, potentially rewarding you with an interview or job offer. You could ultimately shorten the job search period!
Emphasizing Your Personal Brand to Stand Out in the Job Market
4 Simple Rules to Make Your Resume Standout
Turn Your Resume Fluff into Facts
4 Tips to Find Accomplishments to Put on Your Resume
3 Ways to Stand Tall in a Job Interview