Employment and Interviewing

Employment Advice:

When applying to jobs online, remember these tips:

-Just because you are applying online, it doesn’t mean that your cover letter should be any less formal than if you were preparing a print copy. The method of delivery may be different, but the importance of the message is still the same.

-Applying online is becoming the norm for job seekers. Many sites offer the ability to fill out resumes and cover letters within their application to allow ease of transition. Through this system, some employers are also able to search your resume, so keep this in mind if you are job seeking confidentially.

-If you have a profile on social networking websites such as Facebook or Twitter, remember that potential employers can also search your profile. If your profile could be considered inappropriate, it is best to delete inappropriate information or set it to private.

-There are websites specifically designed to help professionals network within their field. LinkedIn.com allows you to create a profile designed to highlight your career accomplishments. For the healthcare industry, HealthCareerWeb.com includes a healthcare professional network for members of the healthcare community.

-Beware of E-mail Etiquette:

▪   Make sure your e-mail address is generically professional and does not contain anything that might be considered offensive.

▪   Never leave the subject line blank. Stand out from the crowd by putting something

▪   interesting in the subject line, not just the job number (if there is one). A statement like, “experienced technician for supervisor position” is much more eye-catching than “job #06718.”

▪   Do not type anything in uppercase letters; it gives the appearance you are shouting at the reader.

▪   Send your e-mail in plain, unformatted text. Do not use large fonts, add graphics, bullet points or add color. Use a black font, normal in size and typeface (10 point, Arial or Times New Roman).

▪   Make sure your lines are short–no more than 60 characters. This will ensure that your lines don’t wrap, making your cover letter appear fragmented.

-Be Cautious of Attachments:

▪   For security reasons, many companies do not accept e-mails that have attachments.

▪   Do not attach your resume unless you are asked to do so.

▪   If the employer asks for your resume to be sent via an attachment, it’s recommended that you save your resume as a Word document or PDF.

▪   Give the attachment a professional and appropriate name. For example, “SS Resume 01_2010” or “SSmith Resume” would be appropriate as it ensures that the employer is viewing the correct file when there are numerous applicants.

-Check and Double-Check Content:

Do not fill in the address of the recipient until you have finished writing and proof-reading the document. This will prevent any chance of hitting “send” by mistake. Run a spelling and grammar check to make sure nothing is missed. Try sending the finished document to yourself or a friend to make sure it comes out on the other side in the correct format.

-Follow-up Immediately:

Once you have sent the e-mail, you may want to follow-up by sending a hard copy of your cover letter and resume to the hiring manager via regular mail, referencing your e-mail.

(Taken from http://www.employmentguide.com/careeradvice/Apply_to_jobs_online.html)

Resume Tips:

-Creating a Professional Resume:
Your resume provides a snapshot of who you are to a potential employer. Along with your cover letter, it is their first impression and must stand out in a competitive job market. To ensure you have the right resume, let’s start at the top. Here’s what your resume should include:

-Include Pertinent Contact Information

▪   Resumes should start with your full name, address, phone number(s), and e-mail address

▪   Be sure to include social media contact links like your LinkedIn profile and Twitter page

▪   You should always use a font size of 10-12 for your text. Choose an easy-to-read font style such as Arial or Times New Roman

-State Your Objective

▪   The objective should be one sentence only

▪   State the job you are seeking and what you hope to accomplish long term

-Highlight Your Skills

▪   Showcase any foreign languages you speak, computer and/or software skills, and any other technical or skilled trade certifications

-List Your Work Experience

▪   List in reverse chronological order the names and locations of employers, dates of employment, job titles held, description of job responsibilities, skills demonstrated and accomplishments while on the job

▪   It’s only necessary to go back ten years in listing your work experience

▪   Be concise—use short, bulleted phrases (complete sentences are not necessary)

▪   State your contributions to the company, not just duties

▪   Use action verbs and industry buzzwords (Killer Cover Letter) to enhance the body of your resume

▪   Action verbs include: accomplished, accelerated, operated, negotiated, produced, controlled, conducted, evaluated, solved, innovated, updated, trained, initiated, instructed, reinforced, performed and organized

-Catalogue Your Education

▪   List schools attended, degrees and honors. Note that it’s not necessary to list years attended or dates of degrees

-Red Flags to Avoid in Your Resume

Employers who review cover letters and resumes are trained to look for certain “red flags.” Depending on the employer, these might disqualify you immediately from the hiring process. Other employers may just make a mental note of their concerns and address them with you in the interview. Either way, the fewer ”red flags” on your cover letter and resume, the better the chance you have of landing your perfect opportunity.

▪   Make sure your resume is typed on resume-quality paper (or formatted correctly for an online application) and proof-read carefully

▪   Use spellcheck and have a friend proof-read

▪   Use grammar check and have a friend proofread

▪   Always include accurate employment dates

▪   Try to avoid gaps. If you’ve taken time off for personal reasons, school, or travel, list it under a section titled “Additional Experience” or make a notation in the cover letter that allows for continuity

▪   Explain employment overlaps in cover letter

▪   For recent college graduates and entry-level positions, keep resumes to one page. For everyone else, keep resumes to a maximum of two pages

▪   Include where you worked, dates of employment, job titles, job responsibilities, and accomplishments for each position. If you are applying for your first position, highlight areas of study in school, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and hobbies/interests, so the interviewer can get a sense of your personality

(Taken from http://www.employmentguide.com/careeradvice/Creating_a_Professional_Resume.html)

Interview Preparation Advice:

1. Research.

Find out a little bit about the company you want to work for. Visit the location in person if it is a store or building open to the general public. Visit the company’s Website and talk to anyone you might know who works there. What kinds of products or services does the company make or sell? What types of people work there? What are the typical hours this position requires? What are some of the day-to-day tasks that the job involves?

Make notes of things you want more information about and ask the employer about them at the end of your interview (it’s always a good idea to have a few questions to ask the employer, anyway!). Researching a company and the position make you stand out in an interview. It shows that you are really interested in working there. For more information on how and why to research a company before you interview, click here.

2. Practice

It sounds funny – and it looks even funnier – but practicing out loud for your interview will help you sound more polished and concise and less nervous in the actual interview. List a few key things you want the employer to know about you, and review common interview questions. Formulate answers to those questions and answer them out loud while looking at yourself in the mirror. This exercise prevents you from rambling in the interview and sounding unpolished and unsure. It also helps you discover what really does make you the best candidate for the job!

3. Dress to Make a Good First Impression.

In an interview, first impressions do matter. The best way to ensure a good first impression is to dress smart. If you are interviewing for a job in an office, it is usually best to wear a dark-colored, conservative suit (for both men and women). If you are interviewing for a job where the dress code is more casual (at a factory or a construction site, for example), nice slacks and a collared button-down shirt with a tie for men and a nice dress or blouse and slacks or skirt for women are usually appropriate. You should avoid wearing excessive jewelry, perfume, and flamboyant clothes. Good personal hygiene is also important.

If you are unsure what to wear, you should always go with the most conservative, professional option. Most experts agree it is better to be overdressed than dressed too casually. What you are wearing tells employers a lot about how serious you are about getting the job. Find out more about how to dress for an interview here.

4. Be Conscious of Good Interview Etiquette.

▪   This list could go on forever – there is literally an endless array of “dos” and “don’ts” for an interview – and not everyone agrees on every aspect of that list. There are, however, some basic “interview etiquette” tips that are important to remember. (For a more comprehensive list, click here).

▪   Be on time for your interview. This is, perhaps, the most important. Employers expect employees to arrive on time to work. They may see a person who is late to an interview, when he or she is supposed to be showing his or her best side, as someone who will have difficulty arriving on time to work or meeting deadlines if hired.

▪   Be aware of your body language. When shaking hands, make sure your grip is firm and confident. Have good posture, but avoid appearing like you’re as stiff as a cardboard cutout. Even the most experienced professionals get nervous in an interview – it’s normal. However, if you appear too nervous, the interviewer might draw the wrong conclusions about your ability to do the job – especially if it involves interacting with people! Conversely, make sure you don’t slouch – this could give the impression that you are lazy or uninterested in the position. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer to convey confidence. When speaking, be polite and professional and avoid using slang and profanities. The more confident and polished you appear the more likely you are to leave the interviewer with a positive impression of you.

▪   Keep the interview positive. Avoid making negative remarks about any previous jobs or employers. Also, refrain from complaining about any job-related tasks or responsibilities you were given in a previous position. Employers want to hire someone who is positive, enthusiastic, and able to meet and deal with challenges.

5. Be Prepared to Ask the Interviewer Questions.
This is where your research comes in. Employers want to know if you’re truly interested in the position. They also want to know that you have all the information you need to make a decision, if offered the job. It isn’t a good idea to turn the tables and “interview” the interviewer, but it is a good idea to go into the interview with a few questions in mind. This is your chance to ask additional questions about the business, the position, the requirements, and the expectations of the person who will fill the position.

Click on Sample Questions to Ask an Interviewer or Questions to Ask in an Interview for list of sample questions to ask in your interview. Remember to ask questions that are relevant to the company and position for which you are interviewing.

6. Follow up with a Thank-You Note.
Make sure you let the interviewer know how pleased you were to have the chance to interview with him or her. Immediately after the interview, send the interviewer a thank-you note, thanking him or her for taking time to interview you. This is not only proper etiquette and a common display of appreciation, but it also allows you to reaffirm one or two key points of the interview. It also lets the interviewer know how interested you are in working for the company. Being polite and professional always makes a good impression.

All of this advice comes down to three important things to remember when you’re interviewing: being prepared, professional, and polite is the best way to make the right impression!

(Taken from http://www.employmentguide.com/careeradvice/Interview_Tips.html)

After securing the job:

-Want to make excellent first impressions when you start your new job? Here’s how.

1) Ask Questions: Asking a question when you don’t know something is very important. This will save you time and allow you to complete more tasks instead of being knee high in confusion. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. Your coworkers and supervisors understand that you may have a period of adjustment as you become accustomed to your new position.

2) Minimize Personal Business On The Job: During your first months on a new job you should definitely center in on your roles and responsibilities. Drill in and focus.

3) Be on time, leave on time: A critical part of creating a good first impression is being on time. Working your full scheduled hours and making sure to keep track of time while on lunch is essential. Give yourself extra time if you know it’s necessary.

4) Network: Don’t be afraid to socialize. You may feel somewhat apprehensive at your new job but casually conversing with your coworkers will show them your personality and begin to build a rapport you will need.

5) Take Notes: Write things down! It’s a quick way to stay organized with your day to day tasks. Until you become familiar to your new job routine, you may have a ton of other things to deal with in addition to performing well on your job, like finding an apartment or the best route to work. Keep things in order by having a note book for personal matters and work related affairs and bring them everyday.v

6) Attitude: Last but not least, is your attitude. Staying positive while at your new position may be your greatest asset and it will be noticed by others. An enthusiastic new member of the team us always welcomed.

(Taken from http://www.employmentguide.com/careeradvice/_Tips_for_Finding_New_Job_Success.html)

Online Resources:

Employment Guide

▪   This website is best for those looking for entry level jobs.

▪   On Employment Guide you can search for available positions in your area here.

▪   You can also sign up for a free Job Seeker Account. With this account, you can quickly apply for jobs online by uploading your past work experience and will have access to other job-seeking resources. All submitted information can be changed/edited at the end of the Application Process. By applying or registering with their site you are giving them permission to contact you with offers of other related services. If you are interested in doing so, click here.

▪   They also have a service to help you create a resume, Resume Builder. Check it out here!

Job Postings:

CareerBuilder.com

Indeed.com

Monster.com

HotJobs.com

Idealist.org

Craigslist.org

OddJobNation.com

Jobs-to-Careers.com

Kansas City Star Job Postings