Employers might receive hundreds of resumes in the mail each day, but only a few job seekers are invited to a job interview.
Think of your job-seeking documents as your “sales literature”: they must be well organized, clean, error-free and convincing. Your appearance and ability to communicate with people are equally important. Some managers conduct interviews as if they were casual, informal conversations. They may expect you to be nervous, and may try to put you at ease. However, it is essential that you make a good impression during the interview, and the best way to make a good impression is to be thoroughly prepared.
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Use this form to get started. Start brainstorming and listing everything you can think of for each of the headings in the format. Note that there is no “one right way” to prepare a resume. All headings do not have to be included, and the order of the headings should be manipulated to highlight your strengths.
This fictitious document, of “Miss Anita Job”, highlights many of the things that you should NOT do in your resume and gives suggestions for improvements.
A cover letter is written to accompany your resume any time you mail it to a prospective employer. It should be brief, business-like and addressed to a specific person. Individualize your letter to the organization or position that interests you. Most employers can recognize a form letter and may interpret that as a lack of real interest. Follow this link for a form to help you compose a cover letter.
Write a thank you note as soon as you get home from an interview to thank the manager for meeting with you. This small and simple step, which is often ignored, can set you apart from the rest of the job seekers that the employer has seen. Follow the link above for an example of a thank you note.
Why should you be required to fill out a job application when you have a resume? The application form allows the employer to study and quickly compare data on many applicants in order to select the ones he or she wants to interview. Employers also use applications to see if you can follow directions correctly. Follow this link for some tips on how to complete job applications.
Just as the purpose of a resume and a job application is to secure an interview, the purpose of the interview is to secure the job. Being thoroughly prepared is the best way to perform well at a job interview. Follow this link for more information.