7 must-dos before applying to your next job
You’re on the job search and have stumbled across a handful of postings that seem like a great fit. Kudos to you; it’s an exciting time! Before you begin hitting those apply buttons, it’s important to adequately prepare so you’re ready when you get the call back from the recruiter, you can put your best foot forward.
We chatted with a handful of Citizens recruiters to ask them, “What are the top things you recommend candidates do before applying to a job?” Here are the 7 they shared.
- Visit the company career site – Perhaps a no-brainer, but a strong career site will offer a wealth of information that you need to make an informed decision about a company. Important sections to look for include the mission and vision, the “About Us” section, and stories about culture. These key details will give you a better understanding of the values, business and culture of the company you are applying to.
Some company websites even offer an overview of their hiring process, so you can get an idea of what to expect when you apply. You’ll be able to find out things like how long the application will take, who will reach out to you, and an estimated timeframe for how long the process will take.
- Update your LinkedIn profile – Good ole’ LinkedIn. Considered the most prevalent of professional networking social media platforms. But how important really is it?
The fact is 87% of recruiters find LinkedIn most effective when vetting candidates during their hiring search. So, having an up-to-date and compelling profile is a crucial part of the application process. Make sure yours is complete with your most recent work experience, education and accomplishments so when a recruiter comes across your profile, you’re representing your professional brand well.
- Find a connection at the company – It’s no secret that companies love hiring candidates with strong internal references. So, why not try to get referred? Reaching out to someone at the company might help get your resume in front of the right person or make an introduction with a recruiter.
If you don’t know anyone off the top of your head, use LinkedIn. When you visit a company LinkedIn page, you’ll see the connections in your network who work at the company:Send them a quick, transparent note — indicate that you’re applying and you’d appreciate any introductions or visibility for your application.
- Conduct salary research. Know your worth – Negotiating salary can be one of the most uncomfortable parts of the new job saga. But, it doesn’t have to be — especially if you’ve done your research and your expectations are fair.
There are a ton of sites now that give you an idea of what a role will pay based on your experience, such as Payscale and Glassdoor. When you’re confident about your worth and salary expectations, try to naturally weave it into the conversation.
Be direct and honest. It might sound something like, “Based on my research, I believe that this position should pay somewhere between $50,000 - $65,000. Based on my experience and my personal commitments, I'd be willing to accept a base salary in the $60,000 range, assuming there's some bonus potential."
- Visit Glassdoor or Indeed – Glassdoor and Indeed — the two leading job aggregation and employee review sites — offer a glimpse into the experience working at a given company.
Check out the company page and navigate to the “Reviews” tab. Read a couple of the anonymous reviews and take note of the themes that are common throughout posts, both positive and negative. Is there a strong work-life balance? Are there opportunities for growth?
Be careful to not make your decision to apply solely based on reviews. Your experience will likely be different, depending on the role and team to which you apply.
- Head to social media – The presence of companies on social media can be a revealing look into their culture. Consider checking out the company on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or even Pinterest. Or, search the company hashtag (Ours is “#CitizensColleague” — check it out for an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to work with us).
The kind of content the company posts will help you see what the work environment is like and the type of people that work there. Ask yourself: Can I see myself fitting in here?
- Prepare your one-minute pitch – Work on your response to the question, “Tell me about yourself.” If a recruiter calls to screen you for a job you’ve applied to, they’ll likely ask some version of this. This is your chance to explain your professional brand, emphasize your skills and summarize how your unique experience makes you the best candidate.
Now that you’re prepped for your applications, why not consider applying to a role at Citizens? If you’re ready to love what you do, you’re made ready for a career here. Join us today.
© 2020 Citizens Financial Group, Inc.