Nice article. Most of what is in here – you probably already know. But Ms. Benson presents it well. It was written about a year ago but I’m reposting it because the information and discussion is still relevant today.
It’s about the basics and I think we tend to forget that it’s the basics that count. It’s research, preparation, and execution from the macro-level to the micro-level. Research, preparation and execution is what you must do.
Pay close attention to tips 1,4 and 5.
When I first arrived in Hawaii back for the 1st run (I left about a year after I got there – I’m here on my 2nd run), it was without a job. So, I drew up a list of companies that I could work at and where my skills might be beneficial to them. I walked right up to HR at those companies and ask for the opportunity to show how they would benefit by hiring me. It’s what Ms. Benson’s 1st tip is all about. Sometimes you just have to cold call.
But to cold call successfully, you must research, prepare, and then execute with confidence.
Tip 4 is so crucial. I will never – and never is a long time plus strong word – never badmouth a previous employer. Any applicant that badmouths a previous employer to me is out. You must be positive.
Tip 5 – go to Kevin Donlin’s article, “Thank Your Way to a New Job” and live it.
As for Tip 3, I’ve had my resume professional done in past and not sure it was worth the price I had. It was pricey. It was also beautiful. But not really thinking it had much to do with my getting that job in Hawaii the first time around. Or any other job since.
It probably wasn’t necessary. You don’t need to write the perfect resume. Your task isn’t to write a perfect resume. Your task is to get a job. On the other hand, you don’t want typo’s, contradictions, or flat lies in it either. The key is to have someone else – say a mentor – proofread it critically. And for you to accept harsh criticism if your resume warrants. Better a trusted mentor whack you than a hiring manager.
That said, Kevin has a really great product called Guerrilla Resumes that provides outstanding looking templates that you could utilize. Probably better and a whole lot less expensive than getting your resume rewritten by a “professional.” Even less expensive is getting a how-to book from the library. Lots of options here.
Tips on Landing the Job You Want
If you have found yourself out of work you are not alone. The unemployment rate in America is currently 9.7% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Jan 2010. The question you have to ask is “How can I take myself out of the 9.7%?”
Many of the problems that people are facing are overcoming the challenges of technology.
What so many are not understanding is the fact that many career sites offer easy resume submissions to job seekers but they also offer easy resume scanners by employers. What does this mean to the average person who has little to no experience? It will be virtually impossible to have your resume viewed by a “Real” person so how can you land a job if your resume is not even reaching a person’s desk?
Whenever possible, apply for the position in person. (If you know the location) Visit the office and speak with the Human Resource person. If this is the job you are interested in dress for an interview and don’t forget to bring a resume. You will set yourself apart from everyone else who couldn’t be bothered coming into the office. (This tip only works if they accept applications in person. Be sure to know and understand the company policies)
If you are not able to apply in person see if there is another more personal way to get your resume in front of an actual person. Did they provide an email? Fax? If so, this may be a good way to make your presence known. Keep in mind very few people are going to submit a fax resume. If you use the email approach make sure that you include a cover letter. Don’t use a generic cover letter whenever possible. Try to make it specific to the company you are applying to. This tells the person reading your cover letter that you took a few extra minutes to make it personal.
Update your resume often. There are a lot of sites offering to fix your resume for you. If you can afford it and you want to do it go for it. If you are like most people you cannot afford it so be careful to avoid the common pitfalls in a resume. A resume is your way of telling the employer who you are as an employee and as an asset. If you have spelling, grammatical errors, formatting issues, mixed fonts, your resume looks like you wrote it five minutes before applying chances are you will be passed over. It is all in the detail. Your resume should express your accomplishments. What made you the better employee and what asset did you bring to the company. A good cover letter will get the potential employer to open your resume. A good resume will get you an interview.
During the interview process it is very important to be prepared. Keep in mind that you are interviewing to work for this company you should know something about the company you are seeking employment with.
It is very important to be professional. Professional people do not bash previous employers. This says to potential employers that you may be a risky investment.
When an employer asks you a question answer it as best you can.
Don’t be over confident. Over confidence can come across as arrogant, and if the employer is looking for a team player who is personable you may find that this interview will not last long.
If you are a nervous interviewer you may want to jot down a few things about yourself. A few things a potential employer may ask; why should they hire you? What are some of your past accomplishments? What is something you liked or disliked about a previous position? Some employers may ask situational questions. If the position you are applying for is similar to work you have done in the past write down some examples you could use during the interview.
It is better to be over prepared and being over prepared also means being early. 15 minutes before the scheduled interview is the generally accepted time frame. Make every effort to show up at least 15 minutes early. Never be late if you can avoid it. If it is unavoidable be sure you contact the interviewer to let them know. Showing up late without calling sets a bad precedence; you will want to avoid this if at all possible.
Follow up after the interview. A letter or email is a good way to say Thank you for the interview.
You may not land the job your first time but do not let that discourage you. When you walk into an interview you have to know that you ARE the best person for the job.
Best of luck to you on your job search!