5 Things to Triple-Check Before Applying for a New Job

You could have a multitude of reasons to apply for a new job. Being currently unemployed is arguably the best reason to start looking for a job, but you may have found that your current job isn’t as good of a fit as you thought it would be, or you may just be ready to move on to better things. Perhaps you need to relocate, or you may have health-related reasons to look elsewhere. No matter your reason, you should always feel free to look for a new position. There are plenty of things you should avoid doing when trying to land a new job, but do you know what you should do? Here are a few things you should definitely do, and check, to give yourself the best chance at a successful job search.

Instructions for Each Application

While job hunting sites like Indeed will let you use your profile to quickly apply for certain jobs, you can’t assume it will always be that easy. Many jobs, even among those listed on these sites, have their own specific requirements for applicants. Make sure you thoroughly check what those requirements are and follow through with them. Typically, requirements will include a full application on the company site and may include additional assessments. Be sure to complete all of these, or else you’re just wasting your time.

Job Description

Applications get tedious, and it may be tempting to just quickly apply for anything you think you might be a fit for. You may even get some preliminary interviews doing this. You probably won’t get any farther, however, unless you’re studying the job description and thinking of how exactly you fit the role. For example, engineering staffing agencies are probably looking for candidates with engineering degrees, but if they’re looking for specialists in a certain area you don’t fit, you won’t be serving anyone by applying.

Resume

Your resume is the most important document you’ll submit with an application, and in some cases, it may be the only one that employers actually read. It should go without saying that it needs to be in top form. It needs to be updated with your most recent experience, and it’s a good idea to tailor a resume for different job descriptions. Having a few versions of your resume allows you to most succinctly highlight the experience and skills you have for each type of job you’re applying for.

It is crucial that not to stretch the truth or include inaccuracies on your resume just to try and have a better shot at a job. If you’re overreaching with your skills, this will likely become obvious in the interview process. Even if you land a job with a falsified resume, you can be fired at any moment once this is discovered.

Cover Letter

Even if the application form doesn’t explicitly ask for a cover letter, it’s still a good idea to include one. This gives you more space to share your skills with the company and express why you’re the perfect fit for the role. Including specific details about the company and what draws you to them is always a plus. For both this letter and your resume, you’ll want to proofread thoroughly. Using grammar and spell checkers are fine, but you may want to get another person to read over them as well. These steps will ensure your language is natural and will catch potentially costly errors.

Background

Employers will always conduct a background check before they officially hire you. This will likely occur after the interview process, but it may be done at any time. Before you start sending in applications, you may want to do a free background check on yourself, including a criminal record background check. While such simple searches won’t be good for employers to make hiring decisions, they can alert you to things you should worry about. For instance, you may find mistakes in your background that need to be corrected. If you find an authentic criminal history, this may help you explain things to a potential employer. It pays to be as prepared as possible.

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