When you apply for a job, do you anticipate the next steps? Do you prepare yourself for that all- important phone call acknowledging your application and inviting you to an interview?

Have you ever wondered what happens on the other side when your cover letter and resume lands in the recruiter’s inbox?

Here are some tips to help you stand out from the other applicants and get an interview:

1. Attention to Detail

First, did you read the job description carefully? Did you note the location of the job? Do you meet the minimum requirements? Does your cover letter address their needs? Many applicants fail to read the instructions. Recruiters tell us that they reject many applications solely for this reason. If you do not pay attention to the small but important details, you fail to make a good first impression – and you shouldn’t be surprised if the phone doesn’t ring.

2. Contact Information

This may seem like common sense, but many applicants forget to update their telephone and email information on their resume. Don’t send stale contact information!

3. Be Prepared

After you apply to a job, the goal is to get a call to discuss your application or schedule an interview. Usually, the first step is a screening call before the recruiter shortlists applicants for
interviews. You should prepare for the screening phone call in the same way you would prepare for an interview. Research the position. It is inexcusable to know nothing about a company that you want to work for. If you are caught off-guard and unprepared by the call, ask the recruiter if you could reschedule the call.

4. Be Courteous

If you miss the phone call, be courteous and return the call as soon as possible. Delaying may reduce your chances of getting an interview, and you may be passed over for the next available candidate.

Respond to questions as you would in a formal interview. Telling the recruiter to look at your resume for information is not helpful. Employers use screening calls to decide who will be shortlisted for an interview – being curt or responding in monotones will hurt your chances and you will screen yourself out of consideration.

Getting a phone call is a good thing – don’t waste the opportunity to shine.

Good luck!