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September 2011

Increase the impact of your internet applications

Are you satisfied with the response to your internet job applications?

You do lots of them. You copy and paste, fill out endless questionnaires, set up job alerts and send them off.

But let's stop there. You are competing with tons of people when you're using the internet, so give yourself every break you can.

Before you hit “Submit,” take a step back. A careful job application is critical but it's like getting all dressed up for a party and forgetting you don't have a way to get there. Completing the application is only one of 3 steps.

Step 1: Put on your detective cap and find someone who can LEAD you to a contact inside or outside the organization. Someone who knows a bit about the job, the company, the hiring manager (not the HR manager). Resist the temptation to say “Nope, don't know anyone there…” Use your network, the UNCG online community. Get on the phone, get on LinkedIn. The critical word is lead you to someone. This upfront work will increase your chances of getting noticed.

Once you connect with someone and learn more — and don't forget retired employees — incorporate bits of information into your lead paragraph of your personalized, targeted cover letter — a name and something relevant to that organization. Get some help with your letter. This is a critical step.

Step 2: Complete your application with perfect spelling and grammar and hit “Submit.”

Step 3: Now get back to the phone and the internet, use your network again, the UNCG online community, and find 2-3 more people who will be known to that company. Then say something like: “I found a perfect-fit job at XYZ Co. I'd really appreciate your sharing my enthusiasm with Kathryn Jones, Director of Operations.”

Estimates show that you can increase your chances of getting a hit by 30 percent. Read up / learn more about how to keep your application from getting sucked into that black hole!

Kathleen Martinek, former UNCG alumni career counselor, has more than 15 years of experience in career development and corporate management. kathleen.martinek@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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