Power up your networking, resumes and interviews: GET HIRED!
In order to hook and reel in your dream job, you’ll need to first get your foot in the door for the interview and then make a great impression so you tip the hiring scale in your favor and get the job offer. So let’s discuss how you can best prepare yourself for your opportunity day! In order to be invited to interview for a given position, you must first grab the attention of the company’s hiring manager or a corporate recruiter.
The savvy job candidate is always looking for better ways to network and superior strategies to help him stand out in the minds of his prospective employer. Use online social media to your advantage. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete. At the bare minimum connect to at least 35 people. According to a LinkedIn spokesperson, Krista Canfield, members with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. Change your status on LinkedIn and other social networking sites to let people know that you’re open to new positions. Choose your connections wisely; only add people you actually know or with whom you’ve done business. A recruiter or hiring manager may choose to contact one of your connections to ask about you; make sure that all your connections are people you know and trust.
When connecting to others on LinkedIn, twitter or Facebook, take the extra time to write a line or two about how you know the other person and why you’d like to connect to them. Follow Dan Schawbel’s, the Personal Branding Guru’s advice and “develop a positioning, or personal brand statement that depicts who you are, what you do and what audience you serve, so that people get a feeling for how you can benefit their company”. Above all, be sure to search for jobs using a combination of online and in person networking so you don’t miss hidden opportunities that aren’t posted online. Don’t assume that the only way to find a job today is using online job boards! Susan Adams, a contributing writer for Forbes asserts that Networking Is Still The Best Way To Find A Job, Her survey results showed that despite the explosion of online job search tools, from job boards to networking sites like LinkedIn, the conventional wisdom among career coaches holds that most people still find jobs through networking.
Once you have identified the company you want to work for and a job opening that interests you, you’re now at the stage that you need to write a compelling cover letter. The purpose of your cover letter is to attract the attention of the hiring manager and entice him to review your resume so you get the job interview! In order to stand out from your competition, your cover letter must show that you’re the best candidate for the job and make a great first impression.
Most job candidates are aware that they must write a clear and concise cover letter free of grammatical errors but they forget the most essential piece that’s needed to impress a prospective employer; the cover letter (and attached resume) must show that you have certain skills and accomplishments that will benefit the company! Your cover letter will be compelling if it shows that you understand the company’s mission and reveals that your skills and accomplishments fit the criteria for that specific job opening. Showing why you’re the right fit for the job is the most important step to getting noticed so you get your foot in the door for an interview (which is the first step towards getting hired) and yet is often overlooked or flat out ignored by job candidates.
5 Things You Must Know About Your Cover Letter for Getting the Interview!
1. Personalize your introductory sentence; preferably address the specific person who will be in charge of hiring for this position. For example, “Dear Ms. Jones, at the suggestion of ____(a person from ideally who works within the company), I am applying for____.”
2. Your next sentences should flatter the company! Use an enthusiastic tone to show how your interest and passion match the company’s history or its goals. “I have long admired your_____ or “I am excited to hear your hiring in connection with your new venture.” This statement should show that you know about the company’s reputation, history or current situation.
3. Use the next paragraph to communicate why your experience (initiative/skills/education) make you an ideal candidate for this job. Example: “As a ____at the University of ____, I was responsible for recruiting_____ and I was able to increase enrollment by 90% in my first year. These few sentences are critically important! They should indicate why your specific skills and accomplishments demonstrate that you are a great fit for this job; Show from your previous accomplishments how you will add value to their company in ways that are relevant to that particular position .
4. Your ending should thank the person for his/her time.
5. And the closing should be something simple like Sincerely,__.
Your cover letter is the face, if you will, for your resume, so make sure to proofread and review it so it’s flawless! You must do some research on the company and learn about their mission, current issues and if possible, the gap they are trying to fill. The more you know about the company the easier it will be for you to answer the following question; Why should the hiring manager hire me? Make sure you tailor your letter’s message to fill the needs of the hiring manager!
Now that you have constructed a compelling cover letter, you must accompany it with a resume that makes you shine! To quote Jay Block, an international best-selling author, career strategist and resume expert, “average resumes won’t attract outstanding jobs.” Hiring authorities, including human resource professionals, executive recruiters and hiring managers, don’t have time to read stacks of boring biographies from strangers. They want to know quickly what specific contributions you can make and results you can produce. So, by definition, a value-based résumé is a marketing document that communicates your ability to produce significant results better than other qualified candidates. Avoid formatting what Jay Block calls a “chronological obituary” biographies prepared on white paper w/black ink formatted like millions of others.
Your resume should be a Career Summary: an information rich snapshot of your accomplishments. Jay Block refers to this as The Showcase Format. The showcase format is a résumé presentation that communicates your Ultimate Results, Core Strengths and Value-added Messages in 15-20 seconds professionally and in a reader-friendly manner.
*resume tip: (Make Sure the Top Third of the Page Has the Most Relevant Information)
5 Things You Must Know About Your Resume for Getting the Interview!
The 5 Questions Value-Based Résumés Must Answer
1. What position(s) are you seeking or what are you qualified to do that would be of value to our company or organization?
2. What results and contributions make you better than other qualified candidates?
3. What skills, qualifications and assets do you bring to the job that would lead us to believe you can produce the results you say you can produce?
4. Can you provide specific results (achievements) that you produced in the past that would indicate that you can produce them in the future?
5. Can you bring business to the firm or show results from your past work that indicate you could help increase their profit?
• Your resume is your marketing brochure
• Make sure your resume sells you…provide evidence of how you can benefit the company and how they can profit from you! Make it Value Based
• Tailor each resume to the needs of each company and position
A well crafted cover letter and resume should boost your confidence in your interview and increase your chances for getting noticed and getting hired.
Beth is Founder and President of Get Hired, LLC. She advises students on how to bridge the gap from school to career. Beth is the co-author of From Diploma to Dream Job: Five Overlooked Steps to a Successful Career (available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1461087082) Her coaching assists students to successfully match their needs, interests, passions, skills, and personal goals with the needs of a sustainable industry in a sustainable location. Beth is also a resource for print and online media and offers workshops for University Career Service Departments, Executive Recruiters, Outplacement Services, College Guidance Counselors and College Alumni Associations. See website for more details about Beth’s services www.fromdiploma2dreamjob.com You can follow Beth on twitter @BethKuhel