Job hunting can be stressful, and it can be difficult to know what you need to do to be successful.
It can also be difficult to know things employers want in applicants. At my current internship, I have had the opportunity to interact with interns applying to the company and participate in the interviews. Based on this experience, along with my own experience in applying for positions, here are seven tips on how to ace the job hunt.
1. Keep track of every position you apply for
Keeping organized in the application process is key. Write down every job you apply for, either electronically or with pen and paper. Note application due dates as well so you can keep track of when you might expect to hear from employers. Once you start corresponding with employers interested in interviewing you, note dates of contact and interview dates and times so you have a timeline of the process.
2. Be timely in your communication
No one expects you to instantly reply to an email or answer a phone call on the first ring, but it is reasonable to expect replies within 24 hours. Check the email you listed on your application or resume at least once a day. This will help employers have a favorable image of your ability to keep track of communications and will also help the process flow better.
3. Do your research before you interview
This cannot be stressed enough. More often than not, interviewers will ask what you know about the company or why you are interested in them. Not being able to cite any information on the company or only being able to cite information that suggests you just conducted a quick Google search does not look good. Before your interview, take time to really look at the company's website to get a sense of what they do. Look at things related to the position you're interested in as well, so you have knowledge on the types of things employees in that department do.
4. Leave earlier than you need to for your interview
This is especially true if you are going to an unfamiliar area. Allow for extra time in case you get lost and for traffic backups. It's better to arrive early than late; if you end up arriving too early, you can always sit in your car before you go inside the building.
5. Ask questions in your interview
Asking some questions in your interviews shows you are genuinely interested in the company, and it's a great way to learn more about the position and the company's culture. Make sure to think of a couple key questions before going to the interview, and ask anything that comes up during the interview as well.
6. Send a thank you note after your interview concludes
Before the day ends, send a thank you email to your interviewers to show your appreciation for the interview opportunity. Don't just send a standard thank you, though; cite specifics about the interview or company to show you put thought into your message.
7. Write down your impressions and thoughts after the interview
Remember the place where you kept track of where you applied? Well, now it's time to go back and add your thoughts and impressions of the position you interviewed. This will come in handy if you get multiple offers and have to compare positions. Also, write down your impressions as soon as you can after your interview so you don't forget anything.