You have what it takes to succeed. Now all you need to do is communicate that in writing so that an employer sees just how amazing you truly are. How do you make that great first impression, especially when you have to do it on paper rather than in person?
Start with following a few basic guidelines. No matter how wonderful you are, unless you are able to get the attention of the person scanning the cover letters and resumes, you have very limited opportunities to get the interview you want. Some of the basic concepts mentioned here seem like common sense. That’s because they are. The job-search process is not complicated. It is time consuming and involved at times, but it is fairly easy. Follow these guidelines and you will be that much closer to getting an interview. Why? Employers are looking for people who follow the basic tenets in place, not those who like to rock the boat.
Guidelines exist for a reason. They help everyone conform to certain standards so that the whole process (whatever it is) goes smoother. Follow them and you will do well. Don’t follow them and you limit yourself. You see, most everyone else is following the guidelines, too.
The main two reasons most failures occur is:
- Some individuals think they are clever and will try things their own way (thus ignoring the guidelines)
- Others are just plain lazy and refuse to spend any more time than necessary preparing their credentials in a format that is easy to read and presents their personal history in a way that is inviting.
So, what guidelines lead to success in the job-search process? You want to make a great impression, right?
- Be careful - Proofread your material. Whether it is your cover letter or your resume, make sure it is free of errors. Typos and grammatical errors are not the best way to get an interview. Look beyond the body copy, too. Is your address correct? Did you spell the hiring manager’s (or whatever the title may be) name correctly? Make sure you double check everything.
- Be prepared - Do some digging. This is a two-fold dig, too.
First, take some time to get to know YOU. Defining your professional and personal traits can add a great deal to your job success. How do you accomplish this? Make a list of your finest attributes and how they relate to the work environment.
Second, do some research on the company you intend to work for and the position you want. How large is the organization? What do they produce, sell, market or offer? Are they planning future expansion? Where do they stand in the market for their product or service? Find out what makes them who they are, then tailor your material to the organization and their needs. When it comes time for the interview, you will be more knowledgeable and better prepared.
To read an article to find out if you and the prospective employer are a good fit, click here: Employer Fit
- Be real. You don’t have to lie or distort the truth. Simply present yourself using key action words that define your personal and professional traits.
- Be smart. Do what needs to be done and do it well. If you want your resume to end up in the “Call for interview” pile, you have to do everything as thoroughly and professionally as possible. Make good choices in spending your time on things that matter, like your cover letter and resume. Only one person is hired for each job, remember?
If you are successful in making a good first impression, you will do great in the interview. Of course, that requires a different kind of preparation, but it will actually be much easier because of the steps you have taken to ensure your written materials are stellar.
Do it right and you will find the job-search process is much, much easier.
Best of luck!
Carla Vaughan, Owner/Webmaster
To learn more about the Job Search Process, click here: Job Search Articles You will see this article and many more to help you find the right job.