For recent college graduates or professionals beginning a new job search, a job hunt can be an exhausting process. One of the reasons is that, according to the experts, to be successful in your job search, you have to "market" yourself, and many people just don’t know how.
The two of the most important building blocks for a successful job search: the resume and cover letter. The purpose of a resume is to tell an employer what a person has done in the past. The cover letter tells the prospective employer what skills and abilities the job seeker has that will allow them to be successful in the future with their company. Each cover letter should be crafted to be very specific to the job applied for.
It is recommended never having a resume longer than one page. Anything beyond that won’t get read. Most resumes are read, on average, for eight seconds.
If you have limited work experience, like a new college grad, consider creating a functional resume that emphasizes skills. For example, near the top of your resume you would list such skills as knowledge of specific software, bilingual skills, or relevant volunteer experience.
However, there are common mistakes in job hunting. For example, graduates need to respond quickly to job leads, i.e. within a day. They need to return a potential employers’ call immediately and be on time for interviews.
Remember, a first job is not necessarily a dream job. But it does add to your professional experience.
All experts agree that thank you notes for an interview need to be sent within one day of an interview. Thank you notes also give you the opportunity to point something out about yourself that you didn't make clear during the interview process.
When it’s time to sit back and wait for the job interview calls to come in, remember to listen to the outgoing message of your home answering machine or cell phone. If a potential employer hears poor language, your job offer could be doomed.
So whether you’re a new college graduate or an experienced professional who has been recently downsized, the guidelines are the same. Write a good resume and cover letter, be organized and keep track of who you interview with, write thank-you notes and maintain a professional image, even if you’re just at home waiting for the phone to ring. You never know.
Read the statements below and say whether they are TRUE, FALSE or NOT MENTIONED.
1. A resume describes how you can contribute to the company in the future.
2. A different cover letter should be written for each job you apply for.
3. Resumes are usually looked at only very briefly.
4. A functional resume mainly describes your experience.
5. Resumes and cover letters should use only formal language.
6. Candidates sometimes have a relaxed mentality about a prospective job.
7. Not returning a call immediately can hurt your chances.
8.Thank you notes can help you improve your interview.
Adapted from an activity by Johnnie Finnis