Do’s & Don’ts of Applying for a Job


By: Janette Artea

Applying for a job is never easy. The application process followed by the waiting game is enough to drive even Blair Waldorf into a meltdown of epic proportions. While there’s no solution to ease the anxiety that can sometimes accompany that “Am I getting an interview?” moment, there are a few tips you can follow to help you get to level 2 of the job search – the interview. 

Do write a personalized cover letter. 

You’re going to apply to more than one position at more than one company. It’s super important that you remember to change up your cover letter to reflect who you’re reaching out to. Yes, your work experience remains the same, but one position may require you to touch upon a certain skill set that the other might not. Recruiters have a keen eye for detecting the copy & paste move. Nothing is more embarrassing then sending a cover letter for a PR internship to the marketing director looking for a coordinator. 

DO optimize your resume. 

Every company has a different job application site. Everything is digital nowadays and with so many people competing for the same jobs, recruiters do what they can to eliminate the resumes that aren’t the right match before having to physically sift through them. They do this by relying on applicant tracking systems that scan resumes for keywords and phrases ideal for the position being applied to. Read the job description carefully and find ways to implement words and phrases from it into your resume. It’ll help move your resume past the machine and into the hands of human resources. 

DON’T be afraid to follow up. 

If you’ve submitted your application materials and haven’t heard back at all, you can and absolutely should follow up after a week. Following up will show that you’re interested in the position and will help you stand out from being just another resume. There is a difference between a follow up and pestering the recruiter. That’s never a good idea. If you follow up and don’t hear back, then as Queen Elsa once said, let it go

DON’T be quick to hit ‘send.’ 

You’ve finished filling in all your application materials, and are ready to celebrate finishing up the application process. Not. So. Fast. Without fail, every time you think you’re set to hit send, you need to step back and give it one final skim for typos. There is no worse feeling than putting your all into applying for that dream job and realizing after that you left a typo in your resume or cover letter.


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