(MoneyWatch) Many people dread Mondays, but if you're a job seeker you should be looking forward to them. Why? According to a study by Bright.com, people who apply for a job on a Monday have a 30 percent chance of advancing to the next round, compared with 14 percent of people who apply on Saturdays (the worst day to apply for a job).
Job hunting is an unpleasant task for most people and many avoid doing it until they are absolutely desperate. That is, either they've lost their job, or their current situation is so unpleasant that they just cannot take it any more. So, if you find yourself in this situation, as soon as you finish reading this article, if it's a Monday, go apply for your dream job, stat.
And just how should you apply for that dream job?There is always filling out the online application, which more often than not leads to a black hole. There is a better way.
1. Find a real life connection. The best route into a job is through networking. If you've located an open position that you are interested in, see if you can find a connection. Tools such as CareerSonar can go through your Facebook and LinkedIn contacts and return a list of your friends (and sometimes friends of friends) who work for specific companies. It's worth looking into.
2. Tailor your resume. You resume is a marketing document and you want to make sure it's marketing you properly to each job. Don't make it too long, focus on achievements, and leave off the objective. Remember the average person looks at a resume for less than a minute, so bullet points are better than paragraphs. Remember to check your spelling and grammar. If you're not a native English speaker (or native speaker of whatever language you're applying in) ask a native speaker to do a thorough reading to catch those little errors.
3. Don't forget the cover letter. While a resume covers what you've done, acover letter tells a company why you are the right person for the job. This is where your personality can come through. This is also where you can explain why you're looking for this particular job. Hiring expert, Alison Green warns candidates not to say things like, "I'm applying for this position because I'm the best candidate for the job," because, quite frankly, you have no way of knowing if that is true or not. You just come off sounding pretentious and clueless.
4. Politely follow up. As a general rule (outside of retail) don't stop in in person to drop off a resume or see where you stand. If you have a question for the recruiter or hiring manager, email should be your first choice (unless you've been told specifically to call). Remember, the hiring process is slow, slow, and slow. A week is nothing in terms of hiring time frames. Don't be too pushy.
5. Continue to do your research. If and when you're called in for an interview, you will be much more successful if you already understand what the company does and where you can make a difference. In today's world of easily available information, you'll lose big points if you haven't at least read the company's website as well as any recent news articles about the company.
6. Don't be afraid to apply. Sure, if you don't have a PhD in biochemistry, it's a complete waste of your time to apply for a job as a biochemistry professor. But, if you reasonably could do a job and you're interested and you can contribute to the health of the company, apply. The worst that will happen is you won't get the job. (The exception to this, of course, is if you're applying to multiple positions within the same company. Don't get yourself labeled as desperate.)
Since today is Monday, there's never a better time than today to apply for that job! Go do it!