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What is the Best Way to Apply for Employment?

By Brad Cole
Updated May 17, 2024
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The best way to apply for employment is the way that gives your application the most positive attention without generating anything negative. The exact way to go about this, however, will be different for each job. A few ways to successfully apply for employment are listed below.

First of all, use your contacts. Contacts are people that you both know and have a decent opinion of you. Is one of them in a position to hire people? Do they know someone that is hiring, and can ask that person to give you an interview? Whether it is a father getting his child a job at the family law firm or a fraternity brother in human resources hiring one of his buddies, using contacts is one of the most effective ways to gain employment.

Next, go in person if possible. Many companies now use the internet to screen job applicants; a few, however, still accept applications in person. Feel free to go to a place of business and ask someone at the information desk or an assistant manager if the company is currently accepting applications. If they are, ask if you can fill out an application or give them a copy of your resume. Actually meeting the people that might hire you gives you the chance to make a lasting first impression, and can separate you from other job applicants. Do not attempt to submit an application during peak activity times such as a restaurant at lunch hour; instead, go when business is slower so that your application is not just pushed aside in the rush and forgotten.

Use a hiring service or a human resource company. Some companies don’t directly hire employees for many of their positions – they go through a hiring service. Submitting your application to a hiring service associated with the job or company you want is a great way to gain employment. Hiring services generally do not get paid unless someone from their company gets a job, so they have an incentive to help you find work.

Another way to apply for jobs is to go to the company’s website. Most companies have a website, and some will post job openings on them. These openings can usually be found in the “careers” section if they are posted online. Applying for a job in person is usually better than applying via the internet, but many companies no longer accept applications “at the door.”

Use an employment website. Employment websites are the modern-day version of the help-wanted section of a newspaper. Many job openings are posted on employment websites that you won’t find anywhere else, so they are definitely worth using. To apply for a job via an employment website, the job seeker is usually prompted to create an online profile that includes a resume and an e-mail address. Each job posted on such a website will usually have specific instructions for how to apply, and these should be carefully followed.

Check the help-wanted section of the local newspaper. Some employers still only use the help-wanted section of their local newspaper and a sign on the door to indicate that they have job openings. Following the directions of the job listing to maximize your potential to get hired.

In addition to the above-mentioned ways to apply for employment, the following tips may also be useful in getting a job.

Dress to the level of the job. You should always be presentable and well-groomed when you apply for employment; what you wear, however, can make or break your chances. Going to a billion dollar corporation and interviewing in ripped jeans and a t-shirt will count against you. Likewise, if you apply at your local fast food restaurant for a grill job wearing a three-piece suit, the manager may think that something is a little off. Dress to the level of your desired pay rate.

Customize your resume for each job that you are applying for. Each job is unique, so try and make your resume unique as well. There are many ways to do this, but a few possibilities include: emphasizing similar job experiences that you’ve had, clearly displaying that you meet the qualifications for the job, and including information about yourself that might be applicable to the position you are applying for. Also, include a cover letter that relates to the job and your specific ability to succeed at it.

Try and follow up on each application. A week after an application has been submitted, it is usually all right to contact a prospective employer if they have previously listed their contact information. Call, e-mail, or stop in to the employer’s office and ask about the status of your application. If a company has specifically stated that applicants should not e-mail or call the company, then do not attempt to follow up.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By surfNturf — On Jan 12, 2011

Latte31-I agree that staffing companies are great when looking for opportunities for employment.

Another place to consider is the internet. Most people apply for employment online because traditional newspapers are a dying breed. Sites like Monster and CareerBuilder not only offer job listings but they also give you interview tips, and resume boosting strategies.

It is really important when applying for a job online that you attach a cover letter. This is something that is so easy but many people leave out.

A cover letter offers a brief introduction of yourself and how your background is perfectly aligned with this proposed position.

There are cover letter books available in most books stores and there are also plenty of internet sites that offer a variety of samples so that you can have an idea.

Another important business etiquette key is to send a thank you letter or email immediately after the interview.

It serves two purposes: One you want to thank the interviewer for taking to the time to speak with you, and two you want to remain fresh in the interviewer’s mind. These are critical skills for finding employment.

By latte31 — On Jan 10, 2011

Sneakers41-This really will provide the most opportunities when applying for employment. Also keep in mind that if the staffing company does find a permanent assignment for you, their client will pay a fee of 15-25% of your annual salary.

This is important to note because if you do not pass the probationary period which can be three to six months and your employment is terminated either by you or the employer client, you will have to reimburse the staffing company for the hiring fee.

So if you are offered a job, only accept it if you think that it is something you will be able to do for a while. If the job does not appeal to you, don’t accept it or it could cost you a lot of money and the staffing company will not be happy with you.

By sneakers41 — On Jan 09, 2011

SauteePan-I agree. Another way to help you find a job is to seek the help of a staffing company or search agency.

Staffing companies have a list of clients that are always looking for help whether it is temporary or permanent. They will also fix your resume to reflect the potential jobs that they may have for you and give you interview pointers.

They will sell you to their client and if the client is interested you will be scheduled for an interview. This is one of the best ways to apply for employment because you can have them working on your behalf while you continue your networking.

By SauteePan — On Jan 06, 2011

I agree that networking provides the best opportunities for employment. The reason is simple. Many jobs go unadvertised because employers are relying on referrals in order to fill certain positions.

This is why it is important when applying for employment to let your immediate circle of family and friends know that you are looking for a job.

The next thing you should do is have a resume for employment.

The resume should be no more than one page and it should outline your professional experience as well as your education in chronological order,also if you speak more than one language or belong to a professional organization that should be noted on your resume as well.

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