Whether you’re in the job hunt currently, just finished making a move, or are looking at the possibility of a job change in the coming months, we’re here to help. Our staff has several hiring managers or individuals who have been involved in search committees, and are offering advice and tips from the application process through interviews.
This is a topic we are now expounding upon as Kristina gave tips to stand out as a student last year.
Tips for applying
Proof everything before you send in your materials. Typos or inaccurate job titles/naming the wrong organization or college on your application packet is a quick way to putting your application in the wrong pile.
Don’t skip steps. If the company requests a resume, cover letter, three references and an application through their organization or institution, ensure that your email with your application contains every element requested.
If you were referred to the job listing by someone with contacts in that organization, list that in your initial contact with the hiring manager. If you have a connection to the position through a mutual friend/colleague, the hiring manager may reach out to that individual for a quick screen on your abilities and help that hiring manager remember your name.
Do your research on the company. Know who they are, what they do and why you want to work there. Showing general knowledge about the industry is great, but if you can tailor your cover letter to show why you’d be a perfect fit with a company’s purpose statement, you may become a more valued candidate.
Hiring managers will look at your social media. Keep it clean, but be sure to share content, especially if it’s a social media/communication job you are applying for. Nothing is more frustrating than looking up an individual and seeing they’re applying for a social media position, but don’t appear involved in social media themselves.
Tips for cover letters
Personalize cover letters. Don’t use “your organization” or “this organization” when you’re referring to the company you’re applying with. Generalizations lead to the belief that it was a copy and paste job application without tailoring it to the specific requests of the job listing.
List the title of the job. If you don’t include that and an organization has multiple positions open, your application may fall in the wrong pile or never get past the initial screening. Be specific with the job and company listed clearly in your cover letter.
Make it specific to the job for which you are applying. List skills that are pertinent to the job and include information about the company to show you’ve done your research and are invested.
Tips for resumes
Condense. If you can’t keep it to one page, ensure you have a header on every page to keep your application materials together. Also, be mindful of the spacing on your resume. Fill up the page. Don’t leave large white spaces especially if your resume is over one page. Adding line breaks can help hiring managers scan your resume.
Use the correct tense. For example, present tense for current employer and past tense for a former employer. Don’t make search committees question whether you’re still working for a former company.
Elaborate your responsibilities and be specific with them. Give quantifiable numbers such as the follower increase on social media. Specific examples hold more weight than generalized cliche phrases that appear on many resumes.
Don’t use abbreviations or all caps. Bottom line, be professional.
Next week, be on the lookout for part two as we go through the interview process, both phone and in-person, and following up after the completion of the search.