spending time during these holiday weeks screening and interviewing candidates.
With national unemployment at 10% I expect candidates to take the time to make
certain every step in the job search is perfect. I’m amazed at the many people
who seem to be only perfunctorily sending out resumes.
up to date advice:
Include a Cover Letter
Even if the
employer does not ask for one provide at least two paragraphs that target the
specific job in an email. When I request a cover letter, “See my resume
attached,” does not meet the requirement.
can spot a generic letter that shows no review of the job specifications before
they finish reading the first sentence. When faced with a stack of files from
candidates that look equally qualified on paper the lack of adequate
correspondence can land a resume immediately on the no thank you pile.
Label Your Resume
looking at 50 word files and 10 PDFs no hiring manager wants to fish for a
candidate by any convoluted method. I am amazed at how many resumes I receive
labeled, “Marketing Manager”, “tsmithfeb09” or even, “resume.” Take the file and label it with
your first and last name. Adding resume
and a date is also appropriate. Mine would be titled, “Rebecca Mazin Resume
Be Prepared for a Phone Interview
If it’s a
bad time to talk, tell me. I would rather have the candidate ready than compete
with background noise or listen to fumbling. Make a list of the jobs you apply
for and have it handy so you don’t sound mystified when I say, “I’m calling
about the HR Manager job you applied for on SHRM last week.”
Don’t Focus on Scheduling
interviews, and the second, are not times to start describing how many hours
you cannot work. When the employer falls in love with you there will be time to
negotiate potential schedule adjustments, or you make the decision that you
really want this job and will make it work.
Know When to Talk, and Stop Talking
asked the candidate last week if they had time to talk they launched into a
list of questions about the job. When they took a breadth they announced, “OK I
can come in at .” I don’t think they heard half of what I said.
When you do
answer questions keep your responses to the point and on topic. We don’t need
to hear about your entire work history when we ask specifics about one job.
Identify a Good Reason for Wanting
surprised when individuals who have been caught up in one, or more, layoffs
tell me that they want to work for a stable company. It doesn’t impress me as a
reason for wanting a job. There’s a not so fine line between longevity and the
potential for lack of initiative or creativity. If your goal is really to get
stuck in one job forever, good luck. If your goal is to make a contribution,
learn more, grow or help a company make more money tell me.
these all sound obvious but I’ve heard and seen the opposite many times during
the past few weeks. Too many candidates sound unprepared for the interview
process. These interactions don’t make
them sound job ready.
Do you have
other tips to share? Anyone searching for a job today needs all the good advice
available. Good luck, keep hunting and searching to make the connection you