There are several keys to a successful job search. The following is a list of helpful hints to help you in your search for that perfect job:
- Your appearance is critical. You make your first impression in the first 10 seconds. This includes when you walk into a business to pick up an application or to set up an interview time. Dress appropriately for these occasions.
- The receptionist – an important gatekeeper. Many candidates for positions either ignore or are rude to the receptionist/secretary. The person sitting at the desk or answering the phones is an important gatekeeper in the company. Rest assured they will communicate their opinion of you to the others in the company and it will matter. Be polite, be friendly and never act superior. When you contact a company, imagine that the owner or manager is sitting at the front desk or answering the phones.
- The resume – your sales brochure. Take stock of the appearance of your resume. It needs to be neat, clean and free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. Have someone read and edit it for you. Those receiving the resumes are often looking at a big pile and they are looking for reasons to toss aside most of the resumes into the circular file. Do not use an objective statement as it can be limiting. Use a cover letter that is customized to the company and position to which you are applying. Do not list salary information or requirements unless requested to do so by the company (i.e. in a classified advertisement). Click here for a sample resume.
- Research the company. Go to the library, call for brochures, meet people who work there. Use these resources and mention some of the things you learned in your interview and express interest in learning more about what the company does.
- Be positive in your interview. Emphasize what you can do for the company, not what you want from the company. Too many candidates go into interviews with the “I need” “I deserve” attitude. The employer is looking for the “I’m willing to offer skills, energy, enthusiasm, etc.” person.
- Be honest. If there are some negative experiences in your past work history or academic background, do not lie or misrepresent yourself. Do try to minimize the experience and put a positive tone to it. Do not go into details at length about negative experiences. Minimize criticism of a prior employer. The employer interviewing you is likely to feel you are a complainer or negative individual, if you are critical of your prior employer.
- Follow-up with a thank you note and phone call. If you are interested in the position, say so. The employer is looking for your interest and enthusiasm.
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set forth in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
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