Dear Matt: UnitedHealth Group recently announced plans to hire 1,700 employees and add 1,000 telecommuting positions. What can I do to stand out among thousands of applicants?

Matt says: The open positions at UHG cover all types of careers at all levels: Finance, business operations, network management, sales and marketing, clinical, customer service, health care operations, information technology and administration. Large companies like UHG want to find the best candidates, of course, but they also want all potential candidates to have the best experience possible when applying for jobs with their organization.

That’s why companies like UHG work hard to enable job seekers to easily search for jobs online, create an online profile ( and apply for the job. UHG also offers job seekers the ability to participate in online chats with recruiters and join their social communities on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to participate in discussions with talent managers and learn more about the company and the opportunities it offers.

“Regardless of how we seek out or find the right talent, what we are most interested in is you getting to know us and us getting to know you, ensuring what we offer as an employer is a match for what you are looking for, and for what will energize and empower you in your work,” said Heather Polivka, Senior Director of Talent Marketing at UnitedHealth Group.

If you’re considering applying at a large company, focus on these tips, from Polivka:

• Create a résumé that not only represents all of the education, experience and creative vision you can bring to a company, but which also stands apart from and above the competition. Use active language, include bullets and highlight your strengths and why you are a good match for the specific job.

• Update your résumé so that it speaks to the job you are applying for in terms of skills and experience. Remember to apply for jobs where you meet all the required qualifications and most of the preferred.

• Before your first interview, learn as much as you can about the company, its mission and the industry at large. The more you know about the company, the more confident you’ll feel asking questions.

• Smile and project your energy and enthusiasm throughout an interview. Listen carefully, keep responses succinct and look the hiring manager in the eye while speaking.

• Don’t make negative remarks about present or former employers. Don’t inquire about salary, vacations, benefits or bonuses in the initial interview.

• And finally, after the interview, write a follow-up thank-you letter, reminding the interviewer(s) of why your background and experiences would make you successful in the role.

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