Land the Job 101: Essential Tips

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2014-07-29-jobsearch

(Image courtesy via Huffington Post)

Last week, I had the chance to visit four Public Relations agencies in downtown Chicago. The opportunity to hear professionals give advice on how to land a job was priceless. Often times, I know that myself and peers rely on sources such as the internet to teach us ALL the techniques we need to know from potential interview questions to following up afterwards. With that being said, I thought it would be great to share this first-hand information with you all! Regardless of your career pursuit, it can be beneficial to know a few more tips to get you ahead of the crowd.

Check them out below!

 

General Tips

  • Have a positive “Can Do!” attitude.
  • Be aware of current events within your field and related ones.
  • Work on developing strong organizational skills and the ability to multitask.
  • Tailor your cover letter to the job that you are applying for! Each job will not have the same requirements so be sure to make it fit with what you are looking for!
  • Try to incorporate key words from the job posting into your resume.
  • PROOFREAD for any errors such as typos, misuse of punctuation or formatting issues. Even have a friend or co-worker look over it to be sure that you did not miss anything.

Networking

  • Meet someone on the inside! Find a person at a company of your interest that you have something in common with and reach out to them for an informational interview or a chance to grab coffee.
  • Always ask for a business card. Being able to keep in contact with a person is great for job opportunities, internships, or just general advice.

Interview

  • Prior to the interview, be sure to research the company! You want to be informed on the past, present and future endeavors that the company has and will do. Being familiar with the individuals that are a part of the team and specialties where the business focuses is essential to show the interviewer that you are interested.
  • Use the “Two Hour Application Rule”
  • Research the company for an hour to familiarize with what they stand for, projects, history, etc.
  • Review your resume for thirty minutes – being able to pull specific examples from your personal experience will further enhance your chances to answer questions.
  • Review your cover letter for thirty minutes – be aware of what skills you highlighted about yourself.
  • Be sure to have questions prepared to ask the interviewee. It looks better when you have something in mind rather than nothing at all. Typical questions such as “What drew you to this company rather than others?” “What has been your favorite project to work on?” are great starting points.

 

Following Up

  • Following up with a note is a crucial component that can often be overlooked. Following up to thank a person for taking the time to interview shows that you are truly interested in the company. E-mails are the most common form to thank a person but there’s a chance it could be buried underneath others in the inbox.
    • However, to stand out a little more, send a handwritten note to the interviewee. These are not as common and will definitely make you more memorable. Also, be sure to comment on a specific thing that the person said or a topic you all covered so that a connection is formed.
  • Follow up at timely manners – persistent but not overbearing. Generally this is done with e-mail about two weeks after the initial message is sent. Be sure to mention that you reached out a few weeks prior and reiterate what you are inquiring about.
  • Do not get discouraged if you do not land an interview and/or job. Simply follow up to see what you can improve for the next time!
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