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Three Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting the Job

Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken you on a tour of what happens inside companies behind closed doors — we’ve shown you how jobs get approved, how employers find potential candidates, and frequent knots in the process that lead to re-posting of jobs and hiring delays.Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaliyaj/4679866384/sizes/m/

As always, applying for jobs is a two-way street: Just as employers pick who they want to hire, you get to pick where and who you want to work with. Throughout the search process, remember you also have the right to choose your employer. If you don’t like the way you are treated as a candidate, you still have the option to withdraw your application — or turn down a job if you don’t feel that the culture is a fit. Regardless of what happens in the process, don’t forget that you have the power in this part of the hiring process.

If you experience roadblocks as you apply for a job — but still remain interested in the job — here are three easy action steps you can take to increase your chances.

1. Take a personal approach. Whenever possible, apply for positions as early as possible and address your application to a real person. (If the job description doesn’t include a name, use LinkedIn or Google to find the name of the person that has the same title mentioned in the job description as the Supervisor. Then address your cover letter and email to this person.)

2. Know where you stand in the applicant pool. Many companies provide applicants with status updates on their application, but — traditionally — you can only see this data if you log back into the website where you applied for the job.

StartWire provides you with a free way to get these updates on the status of your applications at 7,000+ companies. Just sign up for an account, tell us where you’ve applied and track your application — and we’ll tell you if we can send you updates.

If you should be able to get updates on your application, and there’s no record of your application — check back with the company and confirm that your application was received.

3. Enlist help of friends and colleagues for an “in.” As we’ve discussed, getting a referral and word-of-mouth shout-out that you’d be great for a job is one of the best ways to get hired. Here’s how to get a referral even if you don’t know someone.

Next week, we’ll provide you with strategies you can use to follow-up throughout your job search – from how and when to contact potential employers to touch base on what to say if the employer suddenly goes “dark” after an interview.  If you have specific questions on this that you’d like us to answer, please ask away in the comments section.


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