Some people are naturally "Type A" while others are a little bit more laid back and "go with the flow". When it comes to looking for a job however, no matter how qualified you may be for a position, organization and a touch of that "Type A" neuroticism can help you land the position you’re going after.
Some people feel as if it’s okay to be scatterbrained or disorganized in certain fields. It’s not uncommon to hear artists, musicians, and even professors mention their tendencies to be disorganized from time to time. If you’re more of the “creative type” you may struggle to focus on seemingly minute details of the application process.
But, no matter what field you’re in, it is crucial to stay diligent and structured throughout the job search process. Here’s how careful planning and preparedness can help you score the job of your dreams.
Create a clear, tidy resume.
The first step for most candidates is to freshen up their resume. While it’s not hard to sit down and add your most recent position and any pertinent details, it can be more difficult to tailor your resume for each position you apply for. If your job search takes you across industries, it’s a good idea to have a resume that is more customized for one field, and a second version that incorporates work relevant to the other. You should re-work your resume to include as many industry-specific keywords as possible.
Make sure your cover letter is sent to the correct company.
It’s all too common for an applicant to send in a flawless resume, only to send in a cover letter with the name of the wrong company copied and pasted in. Now, it’s understandable that a candidate might slip up when applying to dozens of different positions, but a mistake like that is sloppy and will cost you the job in most cases. Staying organized and reviewing each cover letter multiple times before hitting “send” is a good way to prevent this mishap.
Notify references of possible phone calls.
If you are a great fit for the position and the hiring manager follows up with your references, it’s important for them to be aware of their role. Contact your references ahead of time to make them aware of the fact that you are applying to new jobs and what field you are looking in. Make sure your references feel comfortable discussing you and your past work.
Look the part.
If you’re applying for a job in the corporate world or in a customer-facing position, you need to look clean and presentable. No company wants to put a sloppy, poorly dressed person out front to represent the brand. It’s as simple as looking neat and pulled-together. You don’t need formal attire to land a job, but you do need to look presentable.
Follow up promptly with the interviewer.
After you land the interview, it’s important to politely follow up. In your follow up email you should thank the interviewer for his or her time and also remind them briefly about why you are the perfect fit. It’s important to keep the contact list on your phone or computer organized so you can easily find the interviewers contact information for this final step of the process. It’s a terrible feeling when you realize that you are missing their contact information or forget their first name. Don’t let that happen to you.
Even if "organized" isn’t an adjective you usually associate with yourself, it’s critical to stay on top of things when you’re on the job hunt. If your application is sloppy, poorly formatted, or riddled with mistakes, it’s insulting to the hiring manager and will likely mean you’re no longer eligible for the position.