There are several steps involved when conducting a job search and applying to jobs.  To start, you will need a resume and you may edit it slightly to reflect the position to which you are applying. Secondarily, cover letters are also very important. Oftentimes, they are overlooked, or many people use the same one for each position.  It is important to personalize your cover letter, as this explains why you want the exact job to which you are applying, plus the cover letter gives you the opportunity to explain why you are a match for the position.

While submitting a resume and personalized cover letter are vital steps in the job application process, there is one more step that comes after applying, which is often forgotten. That’s following up the application with a message on LinkedIn and a personalized email to the company hiring manager and/or the CEO/President.

It is very likely that if you take that extra step, it will pay off for you in the long run.  Hiring Managers and Human Resources/Recruiters usually go find those resumes/applications if they receive a personal message or email from an applicant and then reach out to have a conversation.  Taking these extra steps can indeed set you apart from other applicants and demonstrate your commitment and enthusiasm for the position.

Here are a few suggestions on writing a message like this.

Start with LinkedIn and draft an InMail to the Hiring Manager, Human Resources/Recruiter, or person that posted the job.  Introduce yourself, explain that you just applied for the position and why you are the ideal candidate for the role. You can also attach your resume and cover letter to the message.  If you can obtain email addresses, you can send this same message via email. Oftentimes, emails are posted on company websites, or follow a certain format, which you can decipher by doing a little research.

This communication is critical because, so few people take the time to reach out personally. This will help you stand out from the crowd and get you to the top of the resume pile for that job.  Spelling out why you are a good fit for the role and matching your skills and experiences with the responsibilities and requirements of the jobs, shows that you have taken that extra step to be noticed, shows you did your research and saves them time because you are doing their job for them.  Additionally, it demonstrates that you did your research, and took the time to highlight why you want the job and are committed to getting it.

In a perfect recruiting process, both sides are assessing each other, and if you have already started that process, you’re making the job of the hiring manager/recruiter a lot easier.

Taking a comprehensive approach and going above and beyond the standard application process will maximize your chances of landing an interview and ultimately a job!  It is evident that thoughtful and proactive communication can set you apart and contribute to a positive impression on potential employers.