During the job application process, there are so many little things to keep track of that it’s easy to become stressed. Do you write a handwritten note or send an email? How soon after submitting your job application should you follow-up? It would be easier if these questions had black and white answers, but the truth is they’re in the gray area. And let’s face it; the gray area can be a bit overwhelming.
In an effort to relieve you of some of the stress, let’s look at five job application elements you don’t have to be stressed about:
1. What if there’s one qualification I don’t meet in the job description?
Job descriptions often list very specific requirements in order to weed out unqualified candidates. If you’re missing one or two of these qualifications, but you still believe you could do the job, don’t get stressed. Use your cover letter and resume to explain why you think you’re the right person for the job. Focus on the skills and experience youdohave – and showcase those using accomplishment stories.
2. Should I include an objective in my resume?
In the past, the answer to this question would have been, “yes.” But now, an objective statement in your resume has become obsolete. They don’t demonstrate how you can help the company at all, and they take up valuable space. When you submit your job application, the hiring manager knows you want the job, so you don’t need to write it out in your resume. Fill the space with your experiences instead.
3. What if I can’t find the name of the hiring manager?
If you can’t find the name of the hiring manager, do not give up right away. There are plenty of methods you can use to find it first. You can use Google, social media, the company website, and more. If after searching, you still truly can’t find the person’s name, use a gender-neutral salutation such as, “Dear Hiring Manager.”
4. When should I follow-up after submitting my job application?
When you first submit your job application, include your plans to follow-up in your cover letter. It’s best to wait about one week before sending your first follow-up email. Use this email to remind the hiring manager about your qualifications for the job and express interest in an interview. Keep it short and sweet. After that first follow-up, you can follow-up again every 7-10 days up to two times (so, three total follow-ups).
5. Should I write a handwritten note or an email?
After every job interview, it is essential to send a thank you note. It shows you follow through and that you really care about the job. As for whether it has to be handwritten, a lot of people will say a handwritten note is more personal, but nearly 90 percent of hiring managers are perfectly happy with an email note. In fact, half of those hiring managers actually prefer an email note. Just be sure to personalize the note. Remind your interviewer who you are, how much you want the job, and why you’re the best fit.
The job application process is not as complicated as we make it out to be. Job seekers get too stressed over the little details, so it’s important to make a decision and stick with it. If you don’t land this job, there are lots more out there.
Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.
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