The job interview process consists of several different steps. You have your initial, mandatory steps that include showing up to the actual interview and handing in a resume. Then you have the extra steps that a lot of people overlook, because they either don’t realize their importance, or they don’t know how to go about them. These extras can count in your favor and may just help you land a great job—they can help to separate you from the rest of the applicants.
The very first thing you have to take care of is your resume. Make sure your resume is organized and up-to-date. Many hiring professionals like to look at a resume in chronological order, starting from your most recent employment, and then they work their way down. Focus on what you’ve been doing in the past few years, and work within a time frame of around ten years. If you are a career-changer moving from one field into another, you must uncover relevant skills and accomplishments to showcase your skills in your new field.
Your Cover Letter
Once you have your resume in order, you have to outline your cover letter. As soon as you’ve found a format to follow, it will be easy to modify it to suit each job you apply for; this will save you a lot of time and hassle. Your cover letter ought to be professional, with a brief description of why you’re a good candidate for the job. Limit this to 2 paragraphs, as this is just intended to be a brief summary introducing your potential employer to yourself and your resume. In addition to your two paragraphs explaining your skills and accomplishments, you should also include a strong introductory and closing paragraph. Remember, you can alter your career goals and objective to fit the job you’re applying for.
When you get a phone call scheduling a date for a job interview, make sure you research the company before you go. Undertaking research about the company allows you to walk into the interview room with a bit more confidence, knowing you will ask intelligent questions and give meaningful answers. By asking informed questions, you are showing your interviewer that you’re a serious candidate for the job. If you feel like you’re a little weaker than you should be in some skills, then work on them in order to communicate your commitment to the company. Having a positive attitude will show during an interview; and sometimes a committed, positive candidate will be chosen over someone with better skills. Attitude goes a long way.
Your Thank-You Letter
Once you’re through with the job interview, a good way to remind your potential employer of yourself, in good taste, would be by writing a thank-you letter. As with the cover letter, you ought to keep a thank-you letter brief. Thank everyone involved for taking the time to interview you and to consider you for the position. Also, remind them of your available skill sets for the job that you feel makes you a perfect candidate. A customized thank-you letter looks professional and lets your employer know that you are still very interested in the position.
The job interview process is not only about the skills you have to offer, but also about what kind of personality you will be showing up to work with every day. Taking the right extra steps at the right time, as with a simple thank-you letter, will send a positive message and demonstrates that you’re serious about your career and the company you’re applying to.
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