The harsh reality as you leave school to enter the job market is that no one knows who you are. So how do you get that first job ahead of every other student looking for a job?
It all starts with self knowledge:
- Evaluate your skills and strengths.
- Know what you are really good at and what you love to do.
- Collect and note your successes and accomplishments, no matter how small you think they are. People will want to know and hear you talk about them.
- Be honest with yourself in your evaluations.
The Hiring Process:
This is a competition. Like any competition the winner is the person who prepares the best and performs the best. It is the same in your job search…the person who gets the job is the person who prepares the best and performs the best.
- When your resumé is read by a hiring manager he/she is trying to answer only one question, “Do I want to meet this person?”
- No mistakes are tolerated on resumés. Proof your resumé by reading it out loud and then read it backwards word for word. Now read it again. Then get someone else to read it.
- Put your Linkedin address on your resumé.
- When you apply to a specific job, label your resumé file with the name of the company to which you are applying eg; “John Smith, MacIntosh Foods.doc.” This will differentiate you from others.
- Have an email address using your name for easy recognition.
- Your resumé should tell the reader what you have learned and what you know, not just what you have done.
Sending Your Resumé:
- If not applying online, send a cover letter and resumé to the decision maker by courier, and add the message, “I will call you” at the bottom of the cover letter.
- Know the person you are sending the resumé… it has to be to a real person. Never send it to “To whom it may concern.”
- Follow-up calls in off-hours (only) and leave a message, “I sent you my resumé and I will call you in a couple of days to follow up.”
- Call before 9 a.m., after 5 p.m. or during the lunch hour. People work from 9-5! Respect that.
You will not be criticized for persistence. As long as you are polite, professional and considerate you will get credit and recognition for your behaviour.
Do not cut any corners or take the easy way out in your job search. It is a difficult time but you will be rewarded if you prepare and perform better that your competition.
The good news? Most people don’t put in the extra effort to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Differentiate yourself and be “Remembered”