PREPARING FOR THAT JOB
Whether you're looking for a job just to make a few extra dollars or it's the career of your dreams, there are unwritten rules in our society that need to be followed. The better the job, the better you prepare. There are up to 5 elements of applying for a job. They are:
1. Application 2. Resume 3. Reference sheet
4. Cover letter 5. Interview
Let's discuss the expectations for each of these and how you can improve your chances at landing that job you want.
Application: The application is a standard document that asks everyone the same question. Try to take the application home with you and practice filling it out with a copy. Complete the final application with black or blue ink - keep it neat and legible. Answer ALL questions honestly and to the best of your ability. If there is a question that doesn't pertain to you, answer it with "N/A" (not applicable). Spell everything correctly and try not to use abbreviations. If it asks for references, write "References available upon request". Do not put your personal references on here because they'll be passed around and you want to protect them.
Resume: This is your major marketing tool. This is what sells you. Go to the Resume page and see the detailed instructions. You must always remember that you're not the only one after this job. And if someone else does a better job on their resume, they'll get the job because they put forth the effort to make sure everything was perfect. After all, who would you hire - someone who just gave you some paperwork or someone who took the time to make sure it was absolutely perfect?
Reference Sheet: These are the people who know you best PROFESSIONALLY. Do not include relatives or friends. Choose teachers, pastors, friends of parents and people who know your strengths and weaknesses and how you work. DO NOT ever put your references on the application because a lot of people can see the application and you are subjecting those dear people who are going to say nice things about you to possible identity fraud. Click here to get more details on how to present your references.
Cover Letter: Most times, online applications will ask for a cover letter and if you mail your resume via snail mail, you'll always want to present it with a cover letter. The cover letter is your first impression. It's an actual business letter so this tests what you're made of at first glance. What the hiring manager reads on that cover letter will determine whether or not he looks at the resume attached to it. Again, it must be perfect and present you in a very positive light. But again, never lie. And remember those other people who are applying for the same job? Odds are they may do a better job than you did with the cover letter. Have someone proofread it. Click here to find out more about writing a great cover letter.
Interview: If you made it to an interview, you're doing great. But you can also blow it here. Only the choice candidates make it to the interview so this is your LAST CHANCE to convince the company that you're the best person for the job. Click here for critical interview tips.