Tuesday, August 12, 2014

If You're Not Getting Interviews You Might Be Missing Out on These Common Sense Tips


One of the reasons that many people are nervous when they have job interviews is because they just don’t have enough experience with them.  It can be difficult to walk into an interview right out of school and do a good job because you are nervous.  People who have done many job interviews usually get better as they go though because they get used to the type of questions that are asked and they grow more comfortable in talking about themselves.

So what is the answer?  Go on more interviews!
But what if you aren’t getting the interviews?  Well, then you need to check and see if you are missing out on any of these common ways that you can make sure that you get more offers for interviews.
1. Your Resume

First thing is first – if your resume is not up to par you simply are not going to get a call for an interview!  For every 10 resumes that you send out you should get about 2 interview requests.  If you ratio is much lower you should examine your resume to see if there is something you should be doing differently.  Take it to a friend and ask them for their honest opinion.  If you have an acquaintance that does hiring they would be a great person to ask.
Are you adapting your resume for each job that you apply for or are you using the same one over and over again?  If you are using the same one every time you should start making changes for each job that you apply for so that your resume is targeted to that job specifically.   I know, I know – but that takes so much time.  You’re unemployed!  What else do you have to do that is more important that getting a job?  Research that company that you want to work for and make sure that you put something in your resume that will make them stand up and pay attention.
Make sure that you check your resume for spelling and grammar.  Give concrete examples.  Use action words.  Remember that when you apply for a job you are in the sales biz and what you are selling is yourself.  Present yourself in the best light possible

2. Your Cover Letter

You are using a cover letter with your resume right?  If not, start now.  This is the best opportunity you have to really speak to the company in a way that is truly relevant to them.  NEVER use a standard cover letter template.  Each cover letter you write should be written for a specific job.  Template cover letters are way too common and are likely to end up in the trash bucket!
Think of your cover letter as the gift wrapping of a resume.  You could get the coolest gift in the world but if it is delivered in a plain brown bag it takes away from the excitement and fun of a present.  Put it in something fancy though and you know that the person who is giving it to you really cares.  Same with a resume – if it is surrounded by a template cover letter, the employer will think that you really don’t care that much about getting the job.  Surround it with a cover letter that you have put some time and thought into and the employer will know that getting this job is important to you.

3. The Thank You Letter
There are many people that think a thank you letter is obsolete.  I don’t agree with that.   There are many reasons to send that thank you letter.  What if the person that they originally were going to hire did not work out?  Then they need to find someone else and they need to do it quickly.  If your thank you letter is sitting on their desk at the moment that they really need to hire someone else fast, there is a pretty good chance that they will call you.  Or what if another job opens up and you just happen to be right for it?  They have your thank you letter, you submitted a great resume and cover letter so why wouldn’t they call you for this new job?  Add a business card and a few nice words that are well written and that thank you letter might get the interview that you missed out on the first time.

4. Target Everything
No matter what you are doing – writing a resume or a cover letter or getting ready for the interview – you should target it all towards that specific company and that is why you need to do your research.  Get online and find out everything you can about the company.  If possible, find brochures about the company.  If you can talk to someone that works there you’ll be even better off.  You can find out things like what the company morale is like, who are the key players in the company, what their code of ethics is, the goals of the company, the press that they have received and more.  And you can do a good portion of this online.

The more information you have about the company the more you will be able to tailor your resume and cover letter.  And when you do that you are bound to impress the person who is going through the resumes and cover letter to choose people for interviews. 
The bottom line is that you need to treat seeking a job very seriously.  If you treat it like some kind of annoying activity that you have to get through and you get through it as quickly as possible you are not going to get the results you want.  If you photocopy 200 resumes and 200 cover letters and put one of each into 200 envelopes and then send them out to 200 companies that had adds in the paper, you are likely to have ratios more around the 2:200 range than the 2:10 range!

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