When applying for a job the little things can make a big difference. Even a small mistake can impact the your application and mean the difference between getting an interview or not. These tips will help ensure you get the best result from the application process and end up with the job.
A position usually requires a cover letter with your resume. Include a cover letter with every application. Some employers won't even look at your resume without a cover letter. Make sure it:
- Address it to a person instead of "to whom it may concern"
- Introduce yourself
- Highlight key selling points
- Address the selection criteria
- Research the company to make your letter relevant
- Encourage the employer to read through your resume
- Finish by requesting an interview or meeting
A resume is your marketing tool. It is used to list all of your skills, attributes and experiences. It is given to potential employers as a starting point to determine if you are the right person for the job. Creating an excellent first impression is crucial. Make sure it include:
- Contact details
- Employment history including job title, employer and major responsibilities
- Skills and attributes
- At least two referees. One personal and one professional (If you don't have a professional referee, you could ask one of your teachers)
- Layout is clear and easy to read
BONUS TIP: Have a simple and pleasant voicemail. If you are unable to answer when an employer calls to scheduled an interview, you do not want to be judged based on your voicemail message.
After having that stand out cover letter and resume you have been contacted for an interview. The interview is confirming to the employer that your cover letter and resume are an accurate representation of who you are, and obviously put a face to the name.
- Find out as much information as possible about the company
- Men should wear black dress pants and button up shirt (a tie would be great too)
- Ladies should wear business attire (long pants or knee length skirt, blouse and business jacket would be ideal)
- Employers expect you to be nervous. It's OK if you are
- Remember to take a deep breath before you walk in.... and don't forget to smile
- Ask questions about the position it shows that you're interested
- Punctuality is a subtle clue about attitude. Arrive about 10 minutes early