Some companies prefer that you mail in your resume. For this type of approach, it is best to include a cover letter with your resume. The cover is a basic letter that describes the position that you are interest in and a few details of your qualifications and skills. It is basically your lead in to your resume. Before writing your cover letter, you should know whom the letter is to be addressed to. You never want to begin a cover letter with “Dear Sir or Madame” or “To whom it may Concern”. It shows that you have not prepared, and that you are not looking for a specific position with their company, but any job that you can get your hands on. Basically, it is disrespectful to your prospective employer.
Emailing Your Resume
Emailing resumes is becoming a commonplace way for recruiters to get resumes. Most companies offer this method as an alternative to the others. However, there are few tips on how you should go about it.
You should attach your resume as a word document or PDF file. These are the most common formats and what most companies will accept. The subject line should read like this: Smith, John (clerical position). This makes it easy for the recruiter to know who the email is from, and what it pertains to. It also assures that your email will be read.
Sometimes there are specific methods for addressing an emailed resume. Some companies have certain subject line requirements so follow them. If your company wants you to paste your resume, don’t send attachments because your email will be deleted right away.
Faxing Your Resume
Again, you will need to include a cover letter when you fax in your resume. If you are not using your own fax machine, be sure to include your proper contact information. The rules for your cover letter are the same as for mailing your resume. More about cover letters will be provided a bit later on in this book.
Walk-In Your Resume
For this type of application procedure, you will want to dress appropriately. You would want to dress just like you would for an interview. Company’s usually ask you to do this if you are going to be working directly with customers. They ask for a walk in because they want to get a look at your grooming habits right away. Sometimes, a walk in will have the employer giving you a brief interview on the spot, to see if they will require a formal interview later. So be on your best and most appropriate behavior.
Also, walk-ins do not require you to bring in a cover letter with your resume. Your appearance is sort of the cover letter. Sometimes, you will be requested to fill out an application form as well. Smile and be polite, no matter who you are talking to. That could be the difference between getting an interview and just taking an extra trip for nothing.
Telephoning for an Interview
It is not particularly common anymore for companies to ask you to call them for an interview. That is usually saved for jobs that include sales and/or jobs that are not so easily applied for by the other methods. Telephoning for an interview is a bit common when a company requires that you be on the phone a lot. It gives them a feel for the quality and the personality of the person on the phone. When making this type of interview request, always speak in a clean and clear manner. Be polite and prepared to answer any questions that may be asked of you. You might approach the telephone interview like this:
“Hello Mr. Brown, I am Mike Sandal. I am calling with regards to your ad in the Post about the clerical position”. If you are asked your experience and/or previous work experience, be prepared to answer quickly and explain how long you have been doing that type of work and give a brief description of your duties.
The correct way to build your resume will be included later on in this manual. It will give you the correct way to format your resume so that it gets noticed for all of the right things.
Preparing for the Interview
Once you get the call for the interview, the next thing that you have to do is prepare for it. You can never over prepare for an interview. The more prepared you are, the harder it will be to make mistakes. It is best to prepare yourself emotionally as well as intellectually for an interview. Giving a great interview is not as hard as some may think, but not as easy as others do either. Here are a few things that must be done in order to prepare for your next interview.
Remember, during an interview, you are a salesman. You are there to sell yourself to your prospective employer. You want to market yourself in the most interesting way possible. Great preparation for the interview is your best bet. A salesman that is knowledgeable, friendly and positive always gets the close.
Do Your Research
It doesn’t matter how much knowledge or experience you have about the position that you are trying to get in a company if you don’t have a clue who the company is or what they do. It is disastrous to enter into an interview and not be able to tell your interviewer what their company is about. How else are you going to tell them why you feel that you would be a good addition to their company?
A good and less time consuming way to get to know about a company is to look up their website. You can get all of the general knowledge about them that way, including the names of key people and their job titles. (There will be more on that in a minute) You should sift through most of their pages, including the pages that show samples of their work and/or products.
You can also look them up in the media files if there are any. Read the articles about them and soak in as much information as possible. Another thing that would be nice to do is to check out the surrounding area around the company. It makes for a nice breaker during the interview. You can make a comment about a particular monument or resting place nearby.
A trickier way to get a little extra information about the company is to call them on the phone and ask general questions, without referring to yourself as a potential employee. It’s a nice way to get the goods on upcoming promotions etc.
Know Your Contact
When called for an interview, ask to whom you will be talking to. It is nice to be able to greet your interviewer by name at the beginning of the interview without first being told who they are. It shows that you are on top of things, and have prepared beforehand.
You will also want to do some research on the person that will be conducting your interview. Learn what they do for the company and try to get some samples of their work or achievements in the company.
If you know what department that you are going to work in you may want to get the names of your potential colleagues and superiors prior to the interview as well. This way you can get some information about their roles in the company and the types of work that they have done.
Mention some of the things that you learn about your potential colleagues in the interview and about how much you look forward to working with them in the future. If you can, give an example of their work so that you will appear more sincere.
Practice Your Responses
It is best, if you are prone to nervousness, to practice giving your responses to the questions that may be asked of you. (A list of the most common questions will appear later on in the manual) You should practice your wording and the tone of voice that you plan to use; Try keeping your responses as brief as possible, but with as much detail as you can.
When you are trying to work out the proper responses to the interviewer’s questions, you will also want to practice the art of getting your nerves under control as well as ridding yourself of any other odd habits while talking; like expressing yourself with your hands.
Practice answering your interview questions with a friend. Get his or her opinion about your delivery and gestures. Perhaps your friend will have some nice insights for you to use during the real interview.
Dress the Part
Pre-select your attire the day before your interview. You want to make sure that your clothes do not have any wrinkles or stains on them. Pick an outfit that best suits the type of job that you are applying for. If you are going to work in an office setting, you should dress conservatively. Soft earth tones are best for women. Try to avoid miniskirts and shirts that show too much skin. A nice dark suit is good for a male.
Of course if you are planning to work outdoors or in an artistic environment, you can dress a little more casually. Just be certain to avoid wearing denim jeans, over sized clothing, and undersized clothing. Women should try and avoid wearing too much make-up as well. It gives the wrong impression.
Even in the hotter seasons, you should not wear sandals or gym shoes to an interview. It sends an unprofessional message. The same goes for hats and other accessories.
Make sure that all of the things that you will need for the interview are prepared the day before. Make a checklist of the things that you will need if you have to. You should always have an extra resume handy during the interview. You should also bring with you a note pad to take notes during the interview if needed. (Only write down the important things that you think you will need to remember)If you have a business card, have one handy, it makes for easy contact later, and it also shows that you are professional and may help the employer to remember your name.