How to Apply like a Pro – Step 1

Applying for a job can be a stressful and unpleasant affair, but mind, there’s a solution to that! The first step is reading job ads carefully and extracting as much information as possible. Because – Knowledge is key.

Before you apply, you should find out what the company is seeking in a candidate. This knowledge allows you to meet the employer’s expectations and get that interview invitation.

But how do you do that?

 

Analyse the job posting carefully

Knowing how to read a job posting is crucial when you want to apply like a pro. Most job ads are divided into 3 sections:

  • company profile
  • job description
  • requirements

 

Read the job description and requirements section and consider what the company is looking for, including skills, experience, personal qualities and knowledge of certain soft- and hardware. Put all these traits on a list.

 

Once you’ve done that, take a look at the company profile and try to squeeze out more information. Most likely you’ll find hints pointing towards the personality traits the company is seeking. Again, put them on your list. Do not skip this step by any means! Employers look for candidates that match the company’s philosophy, so be careful that you share their vision.

 

After you’ve compiled your list you should have a pretty good idea what kind of candidate they want to hire. This knowledge builds the foundation for your application letter and is also crucial for preparing for a job interview. I’d also recommend dividing your list into sections, including skills, personality, social skills and hardware/software.

 

Would you like to have a sample list? Let me know in the comments or write me a message!

 

Optional:

You can either take this step at this point or before you write your covering letter.

Write down abilities and traits which show that you meet the requirements of the job, e.g. experience, skills, knowledge, certificates, sample situations, projects/prototypes etc. and compare them with the list you’ve already made. This comes in very handy when you write your letter of application or prepare for a job interview, allowing you to explain why you are a great fit for the company.

 

 

Next article: “How to Apply like a Pro – Step 2”

How to create an epic LinkedIn profile (part I)

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you to improve your career, find a job and connect with other professionals. Your LinkedIn profile is a combination of your on-line portfolio, job history and education. It’s basically a display of your “professional persona” at a glance, which is why it’s very likely that your future employer will check out your profile after you’ve applied for a job.

LinkedIn doesn’t just come in handy when you’re actively looking for new opportunities. A good LinkedIn presence can also attract the employer of your dreams. So instead of chasing jobs, clean up your profile page and let the opportunities come to you. If you’re not on LinkedIn already, you better set up an account quickly!

 

General rules:

  • Only add relevant information

The content of your profile has to be cohesive and in line with your current occupation or goals. Your LinkedIn presence gives others an insight into your mindset and level of focus, so make sure that there’s a clear concept behind your page. You’re not doing yourself a favour if you add every part-time job you ever had just to puff up your page. That also applies to students and others who don’t have a lot of experience. Try adding projects, languages you learn or activities you’re engaged in – personality and attitude are as important as practical skills!

 

  • Write for your target audience

This is one of the key principles of advertising and it also applies to your LinkedIn page. If you’re looking for a job you should let others know! Use your Header to indicate that you’re looking for new opportunities and add your flagship skills to the Summary. Also keep in mind that your page is there to promote yourself, not your product or company.

 

  • Be concise (short & precise)

People don’t have much time and they are lazy – nobody wants to read huge chunks of text when they are on LinkedIn. All important information should be visible at a glance and be easy to read. Forget complex sentence structures and use bullet points instead!

 

  • Quality > Quantity

If it’s not good, don’t add it! Keep your profile clean, brief and of high-quality.

 

  • English only!

LinkedIn is a global platform so please use English as your language of choice. You can translate your profile into other languages, but it only makes sense if the quality of the translation is good.

 

  • Proofread your page

Typos are embarassing and give readers the impression that you don’t care. Use the text editor of your choice for writing the texts, a spell-checking add-on or ask your friends!

 

Next article: How to create an epic LinkedIn profile (part II)