If you’re job hunting, you’ll want to use an application process which ensures that you stand out from the crowd. Showing employers that you’re genuinely interested in this particular job — versus just any job — is the best way to secure an interview.
With so many pieces of conflicting advice coming from self-professed “experts” on blogs, LinkedIn posts, newspapers and other areas, the job hunt has become a bit of a puzzle these days. But there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one buys into a complicated story, so you have to Keep It Simple.
So how do you demonstrate your interest during the application process?
Tailoring your cover letter to each job and openly stating your interest are good ways to go of course, but the information on your application may be telling employers a lot more than you think.
TJSC has helped over 2000 Job Hunters in the last two years, and we found that four particular pieces of information can tell employers whether you’re genuinely interested in working for their company, and can even predict how likely you are to quit.
So before you send off your next application, know that employers will likely be paying close attention to these four factors, even if you aren’t.
4 Job Application Hacks That Prove You’re Genuine
# 1 Your Employment Status
Hiring professionals tend to view applicants who have done several short stints with different employers as riskier hires than those who have been with the same company for an acceptable amount of time. That acceptable timing obviously differs with every Generation. Most Hiring Managers understand that Millennials for example tend to change jobs faster than Gen X a.s.o
It is rather challenging for a hiring manager to gauge a person’s motivation based on their work history alone, but you need to consider that employers also look at an applicant’s current employment status, as someone who is already employed will be more selective about the jobs they apply to.
Tip: We know, there’s not much you can do about it if you are unemployed when you begin your job hunt, but it does stress the importance of not quitting your job prematurely. You might hate your current job, but sticking around will ultimately make it easier for you to find the right alternative — so if possible, hold on to your job and begin your job search while you’re still employed.
# 2. Insider Referrals
Research from jobsite FOSSLR show that applicants referred by current employees are significantly less likely to quit, and FOSSLR’s research also found that more than 50 percent of non-referrals quit after 240 days, compared to only about 30 percent of referred applicants.
Employers know this and are increasingly relying on internal referrals. Referred candidates are also twice as likely to land an interview as other applicants.
Tip: Even if you don’t know anyone at the company you want to work for, you may still be able to get an employee referral if you’re digging through your social network. Use sites like LinkedIn to find current employees and try to establish a connection, or ask if any of your own connections know people there who could make introductions.
You can also join LinkedIn or Meetup groups made up of employees, former employees or others who are affiliated with the company you’re interested in working for.
# 3. Re-apply
Recruiters and HR managers often test an applicant’s genuine interest for the job (and ultimately for their company) by using direct questions like, “Why do you want to work for us?”
The answers are generally not equally sincere, and so these professionals also look for other ways to measure a person’s level of interest. Re-applications can speak volumes about whether someone is really as motivated as they claim to be.
Tip: Even if you don’t succeed the first time you apply for a job, try to get some feedback if you believe you’re a good fit for the next position or company. Be sure you understand the requirements, and then re-apply.
# 4 The Extra Information: “Fill out every nook and cranny!”
Investing a reasonable amount of time into an application is another indicator of how much you want the job, which is why many employers value applications from candidates who submit optional information. This applies particularly if you submit your application directly to the company versus to a third party recruiter.
Taking the time to answer additional questions or submitting additional portfolio info signals a higher level of interest, and it definitely increases your chances. But beware – don’t go overboard.
Tip: As time consuming as it may be, you should invest in your application to fill out any extra forms, or selection criteria info requests, or whatever else you may be asked to do that is considered optional. It’s this extra effort that will encourage the hiring manager to read all about it, and that could put you well ahead of the competition.
If others before you can get a new job, then you can too. And if that does not inspire you, seek out some positive success stories of people that were on job hunter struggle street but managed to move on and move up. They exist – plenty of them.
So, go back to your job search with a fresh outlook, think about getting some assistance, and always remember to hunt wisely!
Ps. Share this post if you have friends who are searching for work, encourage them to never give up!