1. Redesign your resume to focus on the qualities needed for each position.
If you are an accounting major applying for an auditing position, be sure to focus on that experience and education in your resume. If you are applying for a customer service position and you have both technical and customer service experience, make sure to highlight the latter. Although
doing this takes time, it’s worth it if you really want the position you are applying for. Proofread your resume forspelling and grammatical errors as well as any address, name, or phone number errors that may exist.
2. Write a Unique Cover Letter
The keyword here is unique. It does help to submit a general cover letter over none at all however, by submitting acover letter that is unique to the position you will put your best foot forward. Make sure to focus on the specifics of the position you are applying for and highlight the areas of your experience and education that will be applicable to it. As with all professional correspondence, proofread the cover letter carefully!
3. Apply Using Their Preferred Method
Many times companies will list their fax number, mailing address, and email address. Make sure to try to apply the way they indicate they prefer (if they say). It may seem easier to email your resume if you don’t have a fax machine at home even when they mention they prefer faxed resumes but it will be worth your time to find a place to fax it.
5. Research the Company before your Interview
A few minutes on the internet either before your interview or even before you send out your resume will help you to feel more comfortable and speak more intelligently to the interviewer. By demonstrating this type of initiative you will improve your chances for a job offer. It will also give you a better idea about the company and if they are a good fit for you.
6. Notify your References
A quick phone call or email to your references to let them know they may be called regarding your resume is both polite and prudent. This also gives you a chance to remind them of why they would recommend you for a job. By jogging their memories they will be
more able to speak eloquently and specifically on your behalf.
7. Prepare for the Interview
Prepare for your interview by looking online at common interview questions and practicing them, preferably in front of a mirror. You may feel a bit silly doing this, but it will help you to more confidently answer questions.
8. Dress Appropriately
Although the business world is becoming more casual every year, the interview is not the place to test how casual your potential employer is. With few exceptions the appropriate attire is a black or dark blue suit for men and women. Women may choose to wear a skirt suit, but make sure the skirt falls below the knee. When in doubt remember that conservative attire at the interview will be more likely to net you a job offer.
9. Sell Yourself in the Interview
By the time you get to the interview it is likely that your resume has been reviewed and has passed a cursory exam that has shown you have the experience and education necessary to do the job. The interview is about selling yourself to your potential employer. Make sure to appear confident (although not arrogant) and enthusiastic. Focus on the good points you bring to the company and do not spend time over-explaining any deficiencies you may have. Let those go by with simple, honest explanations. Emphasize why you are the best person for the job.
10. Follow-up with a Thank-You Letter
Keep your name in front of the interviewer by sending a thank-you letter immediately after the interview. This can be emailed or mailed, although email will get your name and message to them faster. Make the letter simple; thank them for the time they spent, reiterate that you are very interested in the position, and let them know you are available for a follow-up interview. As with anything you send out, make sure you have no spelling or grammatical errors in the letter.
Article written by Tiffany Bradford
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