So, you’ve finally found your dream job. You’re amped. You’re making plans. You’re imagining everything you’ll accomplish when you’re there. You’re envisioning yourself becoming C.E.O.
And then you remember that you have to get hired before all of your wildest work dreams come true.
It’s a setback, for sure. But here’s the good news: It’s only a minor one! You can do it, and we’re here to help.
We spoke with the people who make hiring decisions at Johnson & Johnson to find out what they look for when reviewing thousands of applications every year. Here are eight of their most helpful tips for how to stand out from the crowd. Read on, then apply to work at Johnson & Johnson here!
1. Define your “professional purpose.”
Everyone lists their work experience and education on their resume. But all that stuff is in the past. Johnson & Johnson wants to know where you’re headed in the future—aka your “professional purpose.”
So, before you hit apply, think through your short-term and long-term career goals and write a sentence about where you’re headed. Then, add it to the top of your resume before your work experience.
Writing something like “Creative Designer with a passion for startups” or “Outgoing engineer with a love of mission-driven companies” is an amazing way to show you’re ambitious and committed to growth.
2. Celebrate your personal brand.
Your application and interview are not the time to be humble! Hiring managers at Johnson & Johnson want to hear about your accomplishments and understand the impact you’ve made in past roles. Bonus points if you can back up those successes with real numbers. Example: “I helped put new processes in place that cut my team’s average project completion time by two weeks.”
Stats like that will get people excited about the impact you can make in the future.
3. Do your research.
Do your research and find out everything you can about the company. Know what initiatives they are working on, read news stories, and find out any information you can so you come off like an expert.
When you’re applying to a company like Johnson & Johnson, showing you’ve done your homework and are a brand evangelist will help you stand out among the many (manyyyy) applications they receive every year.
Don’t just learn it, however. Think about how you can apply it. Include little tidbits in your cover letter and drop references during your phone screens and in-person interviews.
4. Show off your creative side.
Think a portfolio is just for writers, designers, and artists? Think again.
The team at Johnson & Johnson wants to see if you approach challenges in a smart, strategic way. And one of the best ways to stand out is to compile all your work in one place, like a personal website or a presentation deck.
The best part? It doesn’t have to be difficult. Platforms like SquareSpace and WordPress enable you to create your own personal site with minimal lift. They’ll help you display your work so it looks like a million bucks, even if it didn’t cost that.
Being able to share your work visually—whether you’re a developer or a finance major—can make a huge difference.
5. Optimize your application.
Websites use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to appear higher in search rankings, but you can use it on your resume, too.
Pay careful attention to the keywords in a job description, then sprinkle them strategically (and accurately, of course!) throughout your resume. Many employers use software that scans applications for words that might make a candidate the perfect fit and surfaces those at the top of the list. While some smart keyword usage won’t land you the job, it will get your amazing application noticed faster.
6. Do more than (just) apply to that perfect job.
What’s even better than using the right keywords to stand out? Connecting with a current employee.
Sure, it’s tempting to apply ASAP, but take a few minutes to reach out to current employees you’d be working with. Express your interest in the role and ask one or two well-researched questions about their work at the company. Not many people take this step, so you’ll instantly stand out from the pack when you do apply.
Johnson & Johnson has made that process even simpler with its BE VITAL app, which helps students network and connect with mentors at the company. That gives them the ability to find mentorship and insider tips before you’ve even met with a hiring manager.
Johnson & Johnson also offers a “Get Referred” feature on their job descriptions. This feature allows applicants to search their LinkedIn networks for Johnson & Johnson connections, so they can request to be referred to the role they’re applying for.
7. Consider cultural fit.
Some of the qualities that make you a great fit for a role aren’t on your resume. At Johnson & Johnson, cultural fit is equally important. Before your interview, do some digging to understand if Johnson & Johnson’s mission and values align with your own, and whether you could see yourself joining the team. If the answer is “yes,” use your interview to show that you’re passionate about the same things and would thrive in that environment.
8. Don’t overlook the little things.
It seems simple, but it’s worth calling out. It’s easy to overlook some of the smaller aspects of the application process, especially when you’re so focused on all the points above.
Throughout your application process, take the extra time to proofread your resume and all emails you send, regardless of whom you’re communicating with. It’s even helpful to ask a friend to read your resume and make sure it’s as clear as possible. Another small but useful tip: Make sure the email address on your resume is professional (and hyperlinked). If it isn’t, it’s easy to create a new one with some variation of your name.
Ready to put this advice into action? Johnson & Johnson is hiring on WayUp now! Click here to explore open positions.
Johnson & Johnson has over 125,000 employees in 60 countries, all with a common mission: help people everywhere live longer, healthier, and happier lives. Their work touches all aspects of human health, from consumer products, to pharmaceuticals, to medical devices.