Job Hunting Tips
These days the competition for good jobs is especially fierce. So when it comes to landing the job you want, even seemingly minor things can tip the balance in your favor—or against you. Here is some advice from Lingua Science, based on years of hiring experience, about how to impress a potential employer.
- Before you send prospective employers your resume, be sure to double check the spelling, word spacing, and grammar carefully. This also applies to the cover letter or e-mail accompanying your resume.
- To be on the safe side, consider having someone else proofread your resume and cover letter or e-mail to catch mistakes that spellcheckers can miss.
- When you compose your resume and cover letter or e-mail, be aware that text-message style writing will not impress a prospective employer.
DON’T: i’m looking forward to discussing the job w/u.
DO: I’m looking forward to discussing the job with you.
- If you send your resume by e-mail, make its file name meaningful to your prospective employer. Be sure to include your full name in the file name; for example
- If you are using Careerbuilder or another site to forward your resume, use a very simple format that does not get garbled when uploaded or downloaded.
- Target your resume to fit the specific job that you are seeking. It is not necessary to list every job you have ever had on your resume. For example, if you want to be a security guard, you do not need to indicate that you have been mowing lawns for the past month.
- If you can’t fit your resume on a single page, use two pages. But avoid making your resume longer than three pages, unless you are in academia and are sending a CV.
- Research the company in advance so you know what they do.
- Bring a few copies of your resume, and copies of any letters or recommendation or certifications that you would like to share as part of your job application.
- Bring a list of references.
- Bring photos or samples of your work, if appropriate. Some employers will want to see a copy of your college transcript if you have recently graduated and have no other work experience.
- The first 30 seconds to 1 minute are a critical time for an interviewer to form a positive impression of you.
- Be on time for your interview appointment, or better yet, be there early.
- Wear appropriate clothing.
- Remember that your posture, your smile and facial expressions, your handshake, the way you remove a jacket or place down your purse, the way you listen before responding to a question—all these will tell your potential employer something about you.
- If you are in doubt about your interviewing skills (or if you have been on several interviews without landing a job), practice with your friends and family, a career placement counselor at your school, or with a professional interview consultant.
- Sending a thank you note or e-mail after an interview does make a good impression on a potential employer.
- Unless you are told otherwise, it is OK to follow up after about a week if you have not heard back from the employer.