Get Hired: Tips on how to make your application stand out

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

Ready to land your dream job? Online job postings make applying for a job in today's market a breeze. But big companies like Disney, ESPN, and CNN can receive hundreds of online applications for open positions. What does it take to stand out from the crowd?

We spoke with ESPN Senior Corporate Recruiter Stacy Williamson and Hiring & Talent Development Manager for ESPN's Next Program Kevin McDonnell for tips on how to give yourself a leg up from the virtual competition. Here's what they said:

Personalize Your Resume & Cover Letter

Sell yourself through your resume and your cover letter by personalizing them to fit the job you're applying for. Study the job description, and try to include keywords from that listing in your resume. Organize your resume so that the most relevant information is right at the top. Use your cover letter to showcase your skills and really dive deep into what you can bring to the company.

Get Digital

Recruiters are looking at your digital brand, including your social media, your online portfolio, and your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and is optimized. Does it complement your resume? What can they learn about you online that they couldn't from your paper application? Use LinkedIn and your social media as a place to regularly post your original content, and remember to link to these sites on your resume and online portfolio for easy access.

Build Your Network

Before submitting your name into the "big black hole" of the job application system, reach out to a recruiter first. Look through your list of contacts to see if anyone can connect you with someone who works in that company, or in that same position. Network with recruiters and other staff members at events, then connect with them on platforms like LinkedIn.

Know the Brand

Research the ins and outs of the company you're interested in working for. Get in the habit of regularly reading, listening, watching, and interacting online with that company and its many branches. Become familiar with the landscape of the media industry.

Create, Create, Create

Continuously create content that is relevant and interesting. Flex your creative muscles as often as you can. As a college student, get involved in student organizations and internships that align with your career goals. These positions give you opportunities to create new content and get feedback on your work. Post your content often to your online platforms, like LinkedIn and your social media.

To learn more, stream the full interview with Stacy and Kevin here. This workshop was originally recorded during the 2020 Adapt & Conquer series hosted by the Cronkite School.

More About Adapt and Conquer:

Adapt and Conquer the new college and/or job market landscape with the Cronkite Career Services team and learn useful tips to help you navigate our new reality. Workshops are open to all Cronkite students and alumni, and are hosted virtually via Zoom.

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