5 Things to Ask Yourself Before You Apply for that Job

Job applications stressing you out? Don’t worry -- you’re not alone! Here’s a checklist of things to do and resources to check out on campus before you send in your application:

1. Do your skills match the job description? This is a crucial question to ask yourself because you can tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight the best experiences that match the job description that you really want. For example, is the company looking for someone who is detail-oriented and demonstrates strong leadership abilities? Make sure you discuss that time you helped organized that one event or contributed to the success of your team. What did you learn from that experience and what does it show about your character? Having the right skills and presenting them in a favorable way will surely catch a recruiter’s attention. 

2. Do you like the company culture? Culture is another significant characteristic to consider before sending in your application. Does the firm invest in its employees? Does it offer programs to help you develop your skills? Do they provide resources for different groups that you may benefit from? Attending networking and information sessions can help you gain a sense of what it may be like to work at that company. If you can get along with the employees that currently work at the firm and see yourself potentially working alongside them in the future, that is always a good sign. Being a good fit with the company culture is an indicator of how satisfied you may be in that position within the firm. 

3. Did you follow the application instructions? This one sounds like common sense, but it can immediately disqualify you from moving to the next round. Double check exactly what documents the employer is requesting. Usually the company wants to see a resume, but sometimes they also ask for an unofficial transcript (which you can download directly from MyAccess) and a cover letter. Certain firms may ask you to answer specific questions in your cover letter, so pay attention to that, too. While most companies only need you to submit your application through their job listing on Hoya Career Connection, sometimes they ask you to submit your materials a second time through a specific link in the description.  

4. Did you double check your materials for errors? This is another obvious question to ask yourself, but many mistakes can be made here. Look out for the usual grammar or spelling errors. Make sure your format for your resume and cover letter are standard (always save your resume in PDF so that the format doesn’t mess up when the recruiters download them). You’re probably applying to multiple jobs, so make sure that you don’t accidentally use the wrong company name or recruiter name in your materials. Always have someone look over your application documents before you submit them! 

5. Did you use all of your available resources? You can always go to any of Georgetown’s resources for help in preparing your application materials. The Cawley Career Center offers mock interviews, same-day appointments, and information sessions. Subscribe to their newsletter to keep up-to-date on all the helpful events that they host. You can set up appointments with experts in various industries just to chat about anything you may be interested in that field. For MSB students, the MSB Office of Professional Development also offers similar services through their appointments with industry experts. Using campus resources will help give you your best shot.

You can check out more advice here. After you submit your application, expect to hear back within a few weeks and start preparing for your interview