On my career journey, it’s more important than ever for me to find an opportunity that uses my skills and experience, and supports me in my career goals. When I’m in harmony in my role at work, I provide greater value to my employer, and I am more open to loving my work and finding a healthy work-life balance. To find the right career opportunity, I must first get interviews.
Employers are receiving more resumes per job opening than most employers can reasonably review. Here are some tips that have improved my response rate from employers in my own job search:
1) Tailor your resume to match the job posting. A hiring manager is looking for key skills and qualifications that match the job description. I highlight my experience in these areas by removing job experience and skills that do no match to the job I’m applying for. Leave out information that does not relate to the job.
2) Include a targeted cover letter with every resume submission. There’s little value in writing a general cover letter just to send a cover letter. Instead, introduce yourself and specifically reference your skills and experience that are a match for the position. While this information is also in your resume, you’ll receive a better response rate if you make it easier for the hiring manager by comparing your skills to the job posting.
3) Don’t be afraid to show a little personality! After reading through hundreds of dry, impersonal cover letters, showing a little personality can work to your advantage. Be appropriate and professional, and be yourself.
4) Copy your cover letter and resume into the body of the email. Make the hiring process easier by pasting your cover letter and resume in the body of the email so hiring managers can review your skills and qualifications without having to download attachments and run a virus check before opening them. I’ve heard several hiring managers say they screen out applicants who attach documents and leave the email body blank.
5) Pay attention to the requirements of the job posting. If you do not have the required skills and experience, don’t apply. Sending your resume blindly in response to every posting is the equivalent of spam. If you don’t have the required skills and you feel you have transferable skills, apply and detail how your transferable skills relate to the job posting in your cover letter.
6) Pay attention to the requirements of the job posting. If the employer requests salary requirements or other information be included in your response, make sure to include the information they are requesting or at least address the request in your cover letter.
Experiencing joy in your work and your life takes patience, practice and active engagement in your world. Apply for jobs that inspire you, and show employers what you have to give by sending purposeful and thoughtful responses to job postings. Good luck!Join the Conversation
It’s an exceptionally hard time to be looking for job or undergoing a job change, and being contacted for an interview is a great boon. I am fortunate to have skills that continue to be needed by employers. My skills and experience have resulted in interviews, and receiving a job offer is the result of good interviewing skills.
Asking questions in your interview is as important as answering them. The questions you ask a potential employer reflect your professionalism, preparedness, motivation, expectations and thoughtfulness.
When I’m interviewing candidates to fill an opening at my employer, I absolutely want the candidate to show they are bright, prepared, and are a good fit for the job. With so many job seekers vying for the same positions, it’s more important than ever that candidates send the right message to employers when interviewing. And the right message is, “I have the skills and ability to do this job, and the attitude to get the job done.”
When preparing for the interview, I consider the company and the specifics of the position, and write down my questions which I bring with me to the interview. I bring a list of 8-10 questions, as some of my questions may be indirectly answered during the course of the interview and I want to have some questions to ask directly.
When you think about what questions to ask, think about what is important to you. Is it the company environment, the daily activities of the job, opportunity for advancement? Ask questions that relate to your career goals and needs.
Here is a list of questions I like to ask in an interview.
Company Culture Questions
What are the company’s goals for the next 5 years?
What makes “Company Name” a great company to work for?
What do you like best about working for “Company Name”?
How would you describe your management style/ the management style at “Company Name”?
Position Specific Questions
Why is this position open?
What skills and qualifications will the right candidate possess?
What goals do you have for the candidate you hire in this role?
What challenges do you see for the person you hire?
Describe a typical day for a “Job Title” at “Company Name”.
My salary range is “Salary Amount” to “Salary Amount”. Is this in line with the salary range for the position?
What is your most important consideration in hiring for this position?
What could happen in the interview that would cause you to disqualify a candidate from consideration?
How many interviews are scheduled to fill this opening?
When will you be making a decision?
May I have your contact information and follow-up with you?
When asking your questions, consider using this opportunity to bring up any skills and experience you haven’t already mentioned that applies to the position. Use the interviewer’s answers to get a better understanding of what they are looking for, and if you match their desired qualifications, let the interviewer know!
For example, you ask, “what is your most important consideration in hiring for this position?” Your interviewer responds, “we’re looking for someone who has the skill set and the attitude needed to get the job done.” You can counter his/her answer with an appropriate response such as, “You can see from my resume that I have the skill set you’re looking for, and I am dedicated and motivated.”
Ask thoughtful, intelligent questions in your interview and improve your chances of getting a job offer.Join the Conversation