Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Get Interviews - FAQ #10

The question is: I’ve sent out so many resumes and never get an interview. What can I do differently? While there is never a guarantee that you will get an interview, people who do these things have a much better track record of getting interviews:

* Apply only for jobs for which you are qualified, using the job posting as your guide.

* Write and send targeted cover letters, specific to the job and company.

* Use clear, simple language; look on line for Strunk & White's wonderful, easy to understand guidance on plain writing.

* Research the company and include references to its mission in your cover letter.

* Use language from the job description in your letter; there are key words in there that they want to see in your materials.

* In two short paragraphs, match your expertise, experience and skills to the requirements listed in the job description.

* Tell a story about how you used your skills and expertise to produce a clear result for an employer, and say that this is the kind of work you would do for the company if they hired you.

* Express enthusiasm for working for the company so they know you want this job and this company.

* Flatter the company by telling them how important their work to "xyz" is to their industry, to the world, to the community - something.

* Include your contact information in the last paragraph of the letter, as well as on your resume.

* Make your cover letter 1 page and never more than 1 and a half pages.

* Get the name of the person to whom the resume is going and address the cover letter to them.

* Ask someone to review your letter and tell you if it makes a compelling case for you. If not, change it.

* PROOFREAD your cover letter and resume, and then ask someone else to proofread it.

* Make sure your resume contains measurable accomplishments that demonstrate the impact of your work.

* Put in only as much detail on your resume as you need to explain what you did and the impact of your efforts; it's GREAT if the reader has questions! That's what an interview is for.

* Call after you've sent your materials to make sure they arrived and say "you wondered if you could answer any questions now."

* Find a contact inside the company to pull your resume to the top of the pile.

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