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How to Gain an Edge Over Other Applicants

When you put yourself in the swivel chair of the person in charge of screening applications, you’ll realize that his job is to turn down applications. HR, through its ATS if it uses one, will turn down at least 75% of applications on initial evaluation. A few vital questions will probably be asked and the rest is about classifying applications into two: failed or passed. Although the ATS may not be able to evaluate your attire, your use of the English language, tone of voice, and basic manners, it wouldn’t hurt to listen to a few tips that successful interviewees have found useful.
1. Basically, you need to know about the company, its business, and the people who work for it. In other words, you need to gather as much information about it as you can. You can research online, or interview an employee, or at least read about similar companies.

2. Read the job descriptions thoroughly and research items that you don’t understand. If you honestly feel that you can do the job, then go for it. Otherwise, stay away. If you feel that your abilities do not match up to the rates being offered, then don’t apply.

3. Write an original application letter and attach to it certificates proving skills and experiences that may come in handy for that particular job. The covering application letter will make or break your application so make sure you use it to showcase your skills and other qualifications clearly. It should also include references whom your prospective employer can contact.

4. Forms are provided by employers to give applicants equal opportunity and for purposes of computer screening or ATS. Make sure therefore that your entries are clearly indicated. When applying online, look for keywords in the job description and, to increase your online visibility, don’t forget to include those keywords. Do not submit generic application forms. Make sure that your application is unique per the company applied for.

5. Triple check your application before submitting making sure every field has been carefully filled out. A fully accomplished form is significant of your interest and desire to work with the company. Errors will remain on file and can repeatedly hurt your chances of being considered for future openings. Avoid abbreviation as they are indicative of laziness. But include social media links to “clean” social media pages. Avoid submitting more than one resume per company applied to.

6. Make a good impression on your actual interview by being there on time because punctuality is a given and you can’t mess that up by coming late for your dream job interview. Appear in appropriate attire because that may have a bearing on their overall impression of you. But do not overdress or out-dress the person doing the interview because you don’t want them to think that you are blowing your own horn or bragging. For actual interviews, it is best to carry only those things that you need. No gum, please, unless you want the interview to end quickly. Be likable not just to the person interviewing but also to the secretary. It is possible that they can’t decide on whether to hire you or not and then the secretary or front desk clerk says “he looks like a really nice guy!” Do not allow your phone to ring, turn it off or turn the volume off. It is rather discourteous to be talking with your interviewer and saying “one minute please, I got to get this.” Be ready with all necessary documents to back up your resume or application. You should know exactly where you’ve put them in your briefcase. Be the first to extend your hand in a handshake – this will be interpreted as being interested in the job which is good. And finally, a personal hint “I noticed you graduated from this school, I did, too”, “I can’t help but notice that you’ve been to Thailand, I have dreamt of going there someday.” But don’t oblige him to respond to that. Remember, small talks close big deals.

It pays to take these tips into account in your next interview. They will at least give you an edge over other applicants.