Job hunting is all about finding the right fit, but we know first hand that is easier said than done. Below are general job hunting tips that we assembled from hundreds of interviews with local employers. Enjoy!
1. Focus on fit
Why are you the perfect person for the job? Answer this question in two parts: First, show that your past accomplishments will position you to succeed at this job. Second, show that your personality/interests align with the culture of the employer. This dynamic one-two punch is “fit.” It’s the secret to getting hired!
2. Do your research
Understand the employer’s culture by doing research. Read the entire job description. Visit the employers’ website, Facebook page, etc. Speak to past/current employees. This step is critical as it shows you are truly interested in the job.
3. Speak the employer's language
Every employer/industry has its own language. Pick up on words, terms, or phrases that the employer uses. Then use those in your cover letter and resume. This will demonstrate that you are a good fit.
4. Focus on the employer’s needs
Focus on satisfying the employer's needs. If you stress your needs in the cover letter, you’ll look needy.
5. The 3 C’s: customize, customize, customize
One size does not fit all! Tailor your cover letter and resume to the specific job you are applying for.
6. Follow instructions
Sometimes instructions from an employer seem random. Don’t be fooled! It’s a screening technique. Employers want to know you read the whole job post, can follow instructions, and have strong attention to detail.
7. Keep it professional
Create a professional email address. The closer to your name, the better. Use an email service that people have heard of (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.). Double check that when you send an email your name shows up as the sender. If using Gmail, make sure your picture is professional.
8. Check file names
Name your resume file appropriately. Whatever you do, avoid having the name of another company in the file name. Also, avoid having “version 10” in the file name. Something simple such as: “Jill Scott’s Resume" works just fine.
9. Avoid links
Don’t send your cover letter or resume as a link to a shareable drive. Employers don't like to click on links because they are worried about viruses.
10. Pick up the phone
Answer phone calls — it may be the employer! Make sure your answering machine is not full.
11. Don’t fall for the trap
Include your resume and cover letter even if the employer forgets to ask. Many employers use this as a screening technique. At the very least, write a short personal note to the employer when applying.
12. Apply, then ask questions
No need to send an email asking if you can still apply, just do it! Making the employer spend time answering questions before they know if you’re a good candidate is a bad call.
13. Google yourself
Make sure you’re comfortable with what comes up. Employers may very well search for you on Google, Facebook, etc., so keep things professional (or change your privacy settings)!
Create an error-free cover letter and resume. This demonstrates attention to detail, which nearly every employer loves.
15. Get a second opinion
Have a friend read your application and make sure they're is able to understand the important points quickly.