If you’re trying to apply for jobs and simply not getting where you want to be, it can be helpful to break this process down into steps. By being able to pinpoint where you need to improve yourself, you’ll be able to modify your job application or interview process in the future. First, let’s break down how the hiring process actually works.
The application process
It all starts with you applying for jobs (technically, it starts with you perfecting your resume, but we’ll get into that soon). When applying for jobs, it can be beneficial to understand the scope of applicants you are competing against. For the average corporate job, there are typically 250 other applicants. From that number, only 4-6 will be called in for an interview. And you guessed it, only one will walk away with a job offer (Zety). Those numbers can be a little intimidating, but it’s the truth. Tons of job seekers are out there applying for jobs every single day.
Applicant tracking systems
To help you stand apart from the rest, you’re going to need a killer resume that is also optimized to beat the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Never heard of ATS before? Then you should check out this article. Once you make it through ATS, you’re facing up against those 250 other applicants.
Here’s where your resume comes in. If you are applying with a resume that is focused on your accomplishments and impacts, rather than responsibilities, you can begin to show hiring managers that you are an asset to their company. We’ve also written an article worth reading to help you identify exactly what hiring managers are looking for in your resume.
Additionally, many companies may also ask you to complete an assessment test and provide a cover letter. Even if the cover letter is optional, do not neglect to include one. Providing these additional documents shows hiring managers that you are dedicated and serious about the position. To learn more about writing cover letters, check out our article here.
Once you’ve submitted all of these documents, you simply wait to be called back for an interview. If you don’t get a call back, it isn’t the end of the world. After all, you were going up against a lot of different obstacles. In the case that you aren’t being called back for an interview, reflect and try to identify why that is. Is your resume ATS-optimized? Do your experiences align well with the job description? Did you include a cover letter?
Reflection is an important part of growth. If you can identify early on where you need to improve, you’ll see more success in the future. If you’re struggling to build your resume and have it beat ATS, try contacting our team at BrandResumes for more help.
The interview process
Congratulations, you’ve received a call and scheduled an interview! But the hard part isn’t over yet. You impressed hiring managers with your resume and cover letter, but now it’s time to bring what’s down on the page to life.
Before the interview
To nail your interview, you’re going to want to be sure to do a few things first:
- Research the company
- Practice mock interviews
- Consider interview coaching
- Prepare to be honest
During the interview
There are different forms of interviewing and some companies have more extensive interview processes than others. You may be conducting an interview over the phone before they decide to have your interview in-person or maybe your first round of interviews are group interviews.
Regardless of the specifics of the process, you should be prepared to answer questions about your past experiences or about behavioral questions so that the interviewer may gauge how you would react in a real-life situation. Oh, and before we forget: ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS.
After the interview
Once you’ve completed the interview, it isn’t time to sit back and relax quite yet. You’re going to want to contact whoever was involved in the interview and thank them for their time. In doing so, you can show your interviewer(s) how courteous you are and it’s simply the right thing to do. It also helps to establish a polite relationship between you and the employees of that company.
Even if you don’t land the job, you just made some networking connections that may come in handy in the future. Unsure of what to say? We have you covered.
If you’re being considered for the job, the company is probably going to run some checks before they hire you. These can include:
- Background checks
- Drug tests
- Credit checks
- Reference checks
This part of the process may feel a bit invasive and unnecessarily stressful, but it can seriously make or break your job offer prospects. If you have anything that may come up in a background check or credit check, be open and honest about it. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future. Honesty is always going to be the best policy.
And if you gave references, please be sure to give those people a heads up that you did so. It won’t look good on your part if your reference answers a phone call from a hiring manager and is caught off guard.
The job offer
Yes, you’ve made it! You landed the job and it’s time to accept your offer. Finally! But don’t accept right away. Be sure to carefully and closely examine the terms and conditions of your job offer. Make sure that you are satisfied with the pay and benefits. Most importantly: do not be afraid to negotiate your salary.
So many job seekers fail to do this step. If you don’t ask, you will never know if they would have been willing to pay you more. Again, this is another stressful part of the job search process. As if every other step leading up to this one wasn’t already stressful, right? However, we really urge you to consider negotiating your offer. In fact, we’ve even written a free ebook where we talk about it. You should check it out.
Finding a job is not easy. We get it. By understanding how the hiring process works, we hope your job hunt will be made a lot easier. If you ever need a helping hand, BrandResumes is always here to help. We also frequently post articles just like this one on our blog every Tuesday and Thursday. Leave us a comment below on how your job search went and good luck!