Monthly Archives: September 2011

Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Application

In today’s tough job market, you must do all that you can to stand out. Many times, job seekers make their first mistake by not properly completing the job application.

Keep the following 12 tips in mind to effectively complete your next job application.

  •     Always be dressed and groomed appropriately when picking up or dropping off an application. This is when you make your first impression!
  •     Create a sample, generic application with all dates of your employment, work history with job descriptions, phone numbers and at least three references. Use this as a tool when completing job applications so you have all the information at hand.
  •     Use a black pen and print neatly on paper applications.
  •     Read and follow all instructions carefully.
  •     Complete all information. If there are questions that do not apply, write “n/a.” Do not write “see résumé,” even if you have provided one. Avoid leaving anything blank.
  •     Write “will discuss at interview” if you have something you prefer to explain in person, such as having been fired or if you have a felony conviction.
  •     Do not give specific salary requirements. Write “open” or “negotiable.”
  •     Always be truthful and do not over exaggerate on job titles or job responsibilities.
  •     Make sure that you have permission from the people that you list as references. References should be people who know your work habits, such as former employers, supervisors or members of organizations in which you have volunteered.
  •     Be sure to sign and date the application.
  •     If you haven’t heard anything within a week after submitting the application, follow up with the company. Let them know that you are interested in the position. Also find out how long they keep job applications on file.
  •     Keep in mind, the goal of your application is the door to your interview!

Paying attention to these small details can make a big difference when applying for jobs and increase your chances of being invited in for an interview. Be sure to check out the rest of our career advice articles for advice you can use to stand out in the crowd and visit our free online career mentoring site to get personal assistance with your job needs.

LadyVictoria Walker

GII Workforce Development Project Assistant

 

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5 Resume Tips

Over the past several years, some methods for securing employment have changed. Many companies now require online applications and paper applications are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The technological world of scanning and emailing employment applications are now commonplace. Here are a few tips that may make a difference in your resume being selected rather than deleted.

  1. Constructing a Résumé is one of the most important aspects of securing employment, so why not prepare your Résumé, Cover Letter, and References at the same time. Then you can structure all titles where they look the same, which makes for a more cohesive look.
  2. When listing Work Experience, Volunteerism and Educational History, please remember to list the targeted dates of employment. Which is simpler for prospective employers to review.
  3. Avoid jargon phrases! Rather list clear and concise job skills. Instead of listing “computer literate.” Expound on computer skills by listing them…Microsoft Office, PowerPoint etc…Remember online applications are being scanned.
  4. Which Résumé paper do I choose? Should it be…White, Cream, or Green? Well, white paper is still a preferred choice when scanned, for it maintains clarity. Although plain paper in various colors, specifically cream is often used as an attention getter. But as a marketable strategy, beware of choosing neon pinks and oranges, which is not an appropriate choice for most professional fields. Nor is it an easy read for interviewers.
  5. Often preparing a Résumé requires some variation, particularly when applying for employment that is job skills specific. If so, focus on precise job skills for each position; don’t forget to include all relevant experience and training.

Just remember if all else fails–PERSEVERE!

  1. Keep it cohesive
  2. Show employment dates
  3. Clear and concise job skills
  4. Choose professional resume paper
  5. Be versatile and target specific job skills

 

Janet Carlton

Career Connections Coordinator

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Filed under Resume, Skill