Finding a new job can be a daunting task. There’s the endless scrolling of job posting sites, filling out applications that all have different requirements, and anxiously waiting around for the phone to ring. The process is a full-time job on its own, and can feel unfruitful if you aren’t getting any attention from hirers.

Luckily, there are many things you can do to really set yourself apart from other applicants out there. And while the unemployment rate was almost 10 percent in 2009, the statistic has been on a steady decline and now stands at 4.1 percent. That means more and more jobs are out there for those on the hunt, and you’re likely to find something to meet your needs. Here are some ideas on applying for and getting the right job, as well as standing out among other applicants.

 

How to apply for a job

First things first. To apply for a job, you first need to find a business that is hiring. The most effective way to find places that are hiring is to ask around. Word of mouth is a powerful tool in networking. If you know someone who works at a business and can put in a good word, you’ve already got a leg up on the competition. Ask everyone you know if they have heard about job openings. You can do this in person, in emails, and through social media.

If you can’t find many options through the existing connections you have, take to the internet. Use reputable sites like Indeed or Monster to find job listings. You can also find recruiters who will help place you with a business that fits your work experience. Try to avoid spending time on Craigslist, since many job postings can be misleading and untrustworthy. But if you have extra time, you may find something worthwhile there as well.

 

How to make your application stand out

Next, it’s time to apply for the job openings you’ve found out there. You’ll want to read the application requirements carefully and make sure you have everything needed before you send in your application. Take time to get thoughtful and positive letters of recommendation and build a solid portfolio if applicable. Here are some other ideas on making your application stand out.

  1. Apply for jobs in-person. In a world where anything can be done with a click of a button, those who make a physical appearance really stand out in the minds of employers. The sea of applications they sift through can make everyone seem like nothing but a name on a screen, but when you turn in an application in-person and take the time to introduce yourself, the effort will be well worth it.
  2. Personalize your message. There’s nothing worse to an employer than receiving a job application that is obviously mass produced for several job listings. Though it’s more time-consuming, you absolutely must personalize each application email, cover letter, and even resume if necessary.
  3. Proofread. Spell check will not be enough to get you through your application process. Instead, print all your application materials and read through them several times, and have a few friends and family members do the same. Be sure to never address the wrong person or company in your email, it will probably be a deal-breaker in your application.
  4. Get creative. The majority of resumes look the same. They’re a cluttered mess of type that bores hiring teams to tears. Make sure your resume is aesthetically pleasing and appropriate for the industry you’re applying in. Look for creative resumes on Etsy or hire a graphic designer to make your resume extra special.

By following these tips, you’re sure to stand out among other applicants and find the job that’s right for you. While you’re going through this process, Lift Credit can help you financially until you find the right job. Learn more about how the process works here.