In today’s article I am going to explain you exactly how to apply for a job successfully. Knowing exactly how to successfully apply for a job is of great importance when you want to grow in your career and business lives. You want to build a business and/or career, you want to become successful, and you want to build a strong resume. A couple of years ago I had a lot of job interviews, and unfortunately I was never successful in closing these interviews, neither in getting hired for the positions I applied to. Even though I met all the requirements for the job as written in the job description, somehow I always got the message: “Thank you for your application. Unfortunately we have decided to offer someone else the position for … We wish you good luck bla bla bla“. If you have been in this situation you know that this is one of the most frustrating correspondence letters/emails you can receive. You were wondering to yourself: “What did I do wrong?”. A lot of times I talked with friends and family who were applying for job positions but actually never got the job. They went through the same miserable feeling they got when receiving the decline letter/email, and also asked themselves: “What did I do wrong?“.
Today I will break down the whole process of successfully applying for a job, by telling you what you shouldn’t do, and by explaining you what should be doing instead.
Closing a job a interview successfully all starts with your mindset, as it does so with actually everything else as well. Having the right mindset towards your job application is the most important part of the whole interview. Therefore, before you apply for a job you should always have first adapted the right mindset because applying for a job without the right mindset isn’t going to bring you anywhere. If you already expect that you will be rejected and declined before you even make the first phone call, you are doomed to fail. You should always maintain a positive attitude and seriously believe you are the most suitable person in the world for this position, and that you are The Man for the job. Believe and visualize in your mind that you will be invited for a personal interview, and you most likely will be. Most important of all of this is, and believe me, this is really worth gold if you apply this! You should always believe and act as if: ‘The company needs you more then you need them‘. Even though you might have money issues, or you need to quickly pay some bills , do not let those issues overrule you. You are the man for the job. Period. The company may cross their fingers and hope that you will join their team. You don’t need them, they need you! Keep this in mind at all times and results will most likely follow in your favor. It worked for so many people who asked me how to apply for a job, so it will probably work for you as well.
The Phone call
When you found an interesting job position and there is a phone number available, call them! Don’t write an email, but call them. This is far more direct since you immediately come across as confident and you’ll demonstrate that you have a sense of urgency, which is very good. Even though they will ask you for your resume via email, you still called them first and you introduced yourself briefly. It is really important that you stay confident on the phone. Know what you are going to say. Expect the expected questions and try not to have any nervousness or hesitation in your voice. Recruiters from big cooperation’s are highly trained to already get an image of the person they talk to on the other side of the phone line, and can feel whether someone is confident about him/her self. This already paints a picture of you in their eyes, and will give them a good or bad first impression about you. Do not already give away to much information over the phone. Tell them the basics for you application. Introduce yourself, be polite, and tell them the position you are interested in. Ask them for a more detailed job description to be sent to you by email so you can orientate yourself more on the position. They will ask for sure whether you have any experience. If you do not have any experience with the job, gently tell them that you do not have experience in exactly all the requirements, but that in your previous jobs you had similar responsibilities, that you are a fast learner, and that you are eager to develop yourself. If you do have the experience required then make sure to let them know with full confidence, and refer briefly to some of your earlier job positions and experiences.
Like I said, do not give away to much information over the phone. If they keep on asking questions then politely tell them that you would like to continue the conversation in a personal 1 to 1 conversation at their office. Tell them you will send them your resume by email, and that you will be waiting for a call back from them to continue the conversation in a personal meeting. Note that I’m using the word conversation and not application. This forms a better relationship between you and the recruiter and makes you demonstrate more value from the start as you are starting off by stating that you are not yet fully applying, but that you want to know a bit more about the company and position. If your resume already corresponds the slightest bit to the job requirements, and the company is looking for someone to enforce their team on short notice, trust me, they will invite you for a personal conversation.
Most people think that their resume is one of the most important parts in a job application process. This is definitely not the case at all. Employers and companies are far more interested in who you are, your skills, and how motivated and confident you are instead of what this piece of paper says you did in the past etc.
I can tell you this from my experience, and from what I have seen over the last couple of years with job applications from friends and others. Of course it is important to have a well structured resume, but more important is how you present yourself. Also, ninety nine percent of the times I always see the same resume’s. They are written in Word and are extremely long, talking about what school they started in kindergarten – to their first job experience of when they were twelve years old, delivering newspapers. It is good to talk about yourself, but then again, like the same in the phone call conversation; do not give away too much, or unnecessary information about yourself in your resume. Your resume is a piece of paper which everyone can make, and when employers or recruiters are reading it, it’s simply difficult to explain or comment on it. If you have a resume of 3-4 pages then you are already giving away every bit of information about yourself while you actually want to do this in a personal conversation. Try to create a short, brief and professional resume that will impress recruiters and employers when seeing and reading it. Like I said before, most people have a Word resume, but did anyone thought about having your resume online? Every company has internet, and trust me, you can create much better and more professional resume’s online. You can then create accounts on different job application websites and refer to your online resume which will impress recruiters and employers much more than the standard downloadable Word resume. But remember that you are more important than your resume. Keep that in mind when you apply for a job. At the end of this article I will show a good example of a short, yet powerful resume which you can model yourself.
When you successfully finished the phone conversation with the recruiter, and you have given them a well structured, professional resume, it is very likely that you will be invited for a job interview at the company’s office. Whenever you receive a phone call, or email telling you you’re invited for an interview, kindly thank them and state that you’re looking forward to setting a date meeting them.
To prepare yourself for this interview it’s good to know what the company is exactly doing, what their main activities are, and most important, what your role will be. This is why I said that when you’re having the first phone conversation with your recruiter you must ask for a detailed job description, so that you can orientate yourself with it. Make sure you took good care of yourself before going to the interview location. You want to show that you took more than enough time to shower, shave, pick nice clothes, and that you did not woke up 30 minutes ago. Be sure to wear a professional and clean outfit/suite. Of course if you are applying for a job that does not involve a dress code like working outside, or working in construction, then you can loosen up a bit and dress more casually. But if you are applying within a coöperation or office this is extremely important. By being professionally dressed you show experience (that you’re familiar with formal offices), professionalism, and a good representative image for the company (expecting that clients will visit the store your company wants sophisticated looking employees).
When you enter the job location for the first time and you’re meeting your future team leader, manager, or boss, have a confident and positive attitude, maintain a genuine smile, and look them straight in the eye’s when introducing yourself for the first time. Make sure to always maintain a natural smile, and to be confident and positive. The first thing they’ll tell you is to of course introduce yourself. Briefly introduce yourself, where you come from, your age, hobbies, and if you have any brothers or sisters. Keep in mind that throughout the whole interview you should maintain natural eye contact – that means to not stare, or worse, to avoid eye contact too much. Make it natural so you come across as confident, and as a person who stands strong in his/her shoes. Also, don’t talk about any negative subjects. Keep it positive! If you do say something negative, even when it’s a joke, simply change the negative subject around by making it positive since that’s always possible. For example you could be making a joke about how terrible the rainy weather is today, but then you could add: “But the plants will at least have enough water, and everything outside will smell fresh again.” – Which paints a much more positive picture of you.
The second question will most probably be: “Why are you interested in this position?”, or “What made you apply for this position?”. Answer this question with your heart by telling your recruiter(s) exactly why you’d love to have the job. Thisshould not be difficult for you as you should always and only be applying for jobs which you truly want to have. You should always be honest, but if you are doing it for the money it’s better not to say so because every recruiter knows that if you say something foolish like this you instantly lose all your value for the company. Probably the conversation will be finishedquickly by the employers’ side, and after about a week you’ll receive a nice, good old decline letter stating they found someone else for the job. What you should tell them is what they want to hear. Employers love to hear people talk about how they want to develop themselves, how they want to grow and build their career, and how they’d love to do so in their company. Tell them that their company looks like a great company to develop yourself in, and that you think you would be a great asset to their team. Also, that you are highly motivated, and that the most important thing for you is to wake up in the morning without having the feeling of not wanting to go to work, and/or that you hate your job. Simply tell them the truth which is that your highest priority is that you want to love your job, and that money is only a byproduct of it. Don’t let money be the first reason why you’re applying!
The third question may be: “When could you start?” If you are still working for another company and you have a 1 or 2 month notice period, calmly explain that you are still under employment by another company and that you have an X month notice period. Tell them that after this period you’re available for immediate start. If you aren’t employed at the moment, tell them this is the case and that you’re ready of immediate employment.
And now a really important question which will inevitably come: “How much do you want to earn?“. This is really a tricky question and it is here where almost all of the applicants make big mistakes. When this question comes, most applicants immediately blurb out what they want to earn, and in most of the times the amount they name come out with a lot of unconfidence and insecurity. By acting like this they look more like a person who doesn’t even feels qualified enough to earn this monthly pay. Remember what I told you in the second paragraph of this article: “The company needs you more then you need them“. This statement states that they need to pay you enough money for the job to become attractive enough to you. Companies always have a budget available for you, they always have some kind of amount in mind just like you do. However, those companies and their recruiters are extremely well trained in recruiting employees and they want to recruit them at the lowest possible costs. This is why I always tell people who are applying for jobs not to mention any amount what so ever. Instead, roll the dice to them, and return the question to them. Tell them: “Of course I have an idea in mind of what I want to earn, but I would rather leave it up to you to come with an amount.” What this does is you giving them now the responsibility to come up with an amount, and this puts them in the position of thinking: “What amount should we begin with in order to make the salary attractive to him/her”, instead of the other way around where you are in the uncomfortable position of “asking” for an amount. They will probably try to keep on asking and trying to force an amount out of you but this is where you have stand put and persist in not naming any amount. Tell them that you’re not exactly sure about the working conditions, at that it’s hard for you to name any amount at this moment. Then kindly ask them again to come up with an amount, and don’t let them dominate the conversation on this topic by acting on their suggestions. You should always be the one who is dominating the conversation (without being domineering!) and that you are the most confident person between you and your recruiter(s) because you know you are the most suitable person for the job.
The advantage you get by letting them name an amount when applying for a job is the following…
Let’s talk a bit in numbers. If you would be the first one to name a monthly salary of for example: $2000,- , then you could be shooting yourself in the foot because the company actually could have had a budget available of $2300,-. Since you already said $2000,- that means they already saved $300,- a month which you could have had extra. Then they can even throw in some bluff poker by telling you $1800,- is max what they can offer you. Most people will accept the $200,- loss and settle for $1800,- while they even could have had $2300,- to begin with.
Guy’s what I am telling you here is really valuable information, and this is how you should apply for a job you truly want.
If you stand your ground, force them to state an amount, and they are really interested in you (remember, you already put up a great interview from the start and you have triggered great interests in you then it’s most probably the case that they will name an amount which could (in a lot of times) be actually higher then what you first had in mind.
A friend of mine who moved to Poland is the best example of this. He had 9000,- zł ($2700) in mind and he thought this was already a really high amount. The conversation ended without either parties having named any amount, and it was to bediscussed on a possible second interview. A week later he received an email from the same company with a job offer he did not even apply for, which was an even better position, and as a monthly salary they offered 9500,- zł. All expectations turned out to be higher than expected just because he had adapted the right mindset and actually believed that he was more important for the company than the company was to him.
So when you finally closed the interview successfully and you successfully got the job, always stay as professional as you presented yourself. Especially in the first 3 months of your probation period. Getting a good job is tough these days because a lot of people are applying for the same position as you do, so only a couple of critical mistakes and/or error’s in the first months and you will be replaced within a blink of an eye.
So that’s it for this article. That’s how to apply for a job! If you have any questions simply leave them in the comment section below. To everyone who’s reading this because they have a job application upcoming, I won’t wish you luck because in my opinion nothing depends on luck, especially job applications. You can do it.
An example of great online resume can be found here: