As corporate America gets increasingly competitive, finding a great job becomes exponentially more difficult. These days, there are more applicants applying for the same position and employers are constantly stressed over tight hiring deadlines on filling these positions.

Follow These Steps to a Job Offer

To circumvent the large amount of competition and find the better employers, you must be meticulous in your efforts. The best way to do so is to dissect your job search into 4 sections. Worry only about the step you are currently on and approach with a realistic optimism.

Step 1: Application

The web has made it very easy for anybody to apply to an abundance of positions very quickly with the same resume and cover letter – and apply they do!

The amount of resumes employers see per open position continues to increase while the quality of those submissions decreases. Job seekers often find themselves asking, “How do I get a response from these employers?” The answer is to do the exact opposite.

Apply to fewer jobs and put more time into tweaking your resume and cover letter to the employers’ needs. Just because some people are reckless with their job search doesn’t mean that you have to be the same way.

Step 2: Effective Prepping

Once you get the interviews, it is imperative that you go into the meeting prepared and confident that you are going to answer the questions in a thoughtful, intelligent and thorough manner. Because proper preparation takes work and due diligence, many people don’t take the time to do so, thus wasting the time it took to get to step 2.

Full preparation means carefully reading over the website, researching the industry trends and predicting what questions are going to be asked.

Then you must take the time to write down those answers so your thought process is more cohesive. While you can’t predict every question, you can almost guarantee that you are going to have to discuss what you’re doing at your current job, why you’re leaving and, in some form or another give a description as to who you are.

Step 3: Interviewing Effectively

While there are hundreds of interviewing techniques, tips, tricks, etc. that exist, the best thing to do is to be honest, be yourself and take a sincere interest in the company. When you’re honest and speak from the heart, people appreciate you and if they don’t, at least you did your part.

You’re not going to win every time; as a matter of fact, you’re not going to win the majority of the time. It’s the individual who goes into each interview with a clean slate, focusing only on that meeting who gets the job offer.

Step 4: Job Offer

This is the closing of the deal. You’ve gone through the 3 steps, you’ve done your work and now it’s time to get the compensation you want. Before you take action, think risk vs. reward and long term gain. For instance, risking a job offer at a good company for $5,000 more will quickly put you all the way back to step 1.

Believe it or not, aside from drugs and alcohol, greed is the number one career killer.