Straight from the desk of Bill Koch, SSV’s Director/Workforce Development, here is another lesson in job readiness. The following article gives you tips on how to wow an employer by implementing simple changes when writing your resume, emailing, and interviewing:
One of the biggest frustrations I hear from job seekers is that they do not understand why they aren’t getting an interview, or even getting an acknowledgement from the employer. It pains me to say that I have watched as potential job seekers will scour job boards and just throw something together, in order to move onto the next posting.
The most important thing to remember is that searching for a job is like auditioning. This audition doesn’t start at the interview, it starts the moment you start looking for work.
“Assume that everything you do, in every part of the hiring process from your initial contact through job offer and acceptance, is being viewed as a demonstration of how you would perform on the job,” says Susan, a Job Coach from Work Coach Café.
Here are some recommendations that are made for each step of the hiring process.
- Application: When you submit your application or resume; make sure it is submitted on time, the copy is clean of debris/stains (purchasing some Manilla folders will help with this), and well-done.
- Response: When you email with staff members remember to be polite, well-written, short, and clear. While emailing back and fourth with potential employers emails that are lengthy or with major grammatical errors are never read thoroughly.
- First Interview: For most companies, this will be in the form of a phone interview. Dress for the interview as if you are meeting with the hiring panel face-to-face. There is a psychological difference between doing an interview in a suit, versus your Pajamas. Be prepared with your resume in front of you, be pleasant to talk with, and most importantly be professional.
- Second Interview: Even if you have made it past the phone interview, you are still not in the home stretch. Second to the resume’s this is where you can make it or break it. Your second interview will be Face-to-Face. Similar to the phone interview, be well-prepared with copies of your application materials, ensure your interview attire is clean and pressed, be confident, professional and polite.
- Follow-up: At the end of your interview, ask the interviewer how they would prefer for you to follow up. This can be through email, telephone, or mail. Ensure that you send out follow-up material promptly, politely, and professionally. If you are asked a question you do not know the answer to during your interview, send the response to them during the follow-up. This will show the interviewer your aptitude and willingness to find out the answer to questions.
In order to get through the steps listed above, you need to ensure that you are prepared for the job search. This includes building your resume, filling out your application, dressing for the interview and practicing your answers for the interview.
Read the job description thoroughly. Most company will include a “Gotcha” question or statement in the job postings. These can be things like: “Apply in person only,” “Only applications submitted online will be considered,” ect. Also make sure that the skill set you possess matches the skills the company is looking for. Carelessly applying for every job you find is most likely wasting your efforts and giving employers the impression that you don’t (or can’t) pay attention to the descriptions or are too lazy to take the time to read the description.
Attention to detail and following directions. Answer any questions included in the job description. Employers can build a “test” into the job description in the form of a question (or two or more), like “In your application, include a description of how you solved a problem like this…”
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