Since even senior-level executives have to follow the online application process today, here are some tips to increase your likelihood of winning interviews.
1. Read the job posting carefully and follow application directions.
2. Make sure that you have at least 75% of the job requirements/qualifications. Avoid applying for positions that you are clearly unqualified for. Smart employers hire candidates that have a reasonable expectation of being effective on day one. There is a disconnect between “I’ve never done that but I think I can do it” and “I have the desired experience and a record of achievements to prove it.”
3. Avoid placing your contact information in a header or footer as these areas are typically blind to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
4. Be sure to include a title at the top of your resume that matches the posted opportunity. That way, you’ll have at least one keyword match to attract the recruiter’s eye.
5. Submit a Microsoft Word document, not a pdf document, which can’t be read for keywords in the ATS most employers use today to manage the talent acquisition and new hire onboarding processes.
6. Write a letter that tells your story and draws the reader in. Letters are a great place to explain any issues that are inappropriate to mention or are difficult to explain on a resume. Focus on your strengths, achievements and qualifications to show that you understand a potential employer’s business needs. Avoid using word-for-word exact information from your resume or information that is easy to find there, like the college/university you attended and the year you graduated.
7. Add significant weight to your application by identifying a willing ally/network influence within the targeted employer’s organization. If there are four qualified applicants and two have networking help, guess who is most likely to get interviews and job offers!