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The Ultimate Check List for Job Seekers: Steps to take BEFORE submitting a resume!
The process of searching for a job can be complicated and stressful, especially when it seems to lead to one dead end after another. You have all of the right qualifications and necessary experience, so why aren’t they calling you? Even the smallest of details can make a hiring manager cross your name off the list. So before you click submit on that application, go through this simple checklist of job-seeking do’s and don’ts. It could mean the difference between landing your dream job and spending another day trolling job boards.
Update your resume:
I know this seems like an obvious first step, but giving your resume a little makeover can make a big difference. Your resume should contain all of your recent employment, including the length of time spent at each position and bullet points outlining specific responsibilities and accomplishments. Think of a resume as your first impression – clean, polished, professional, and perfect for the job! Keep it simple and avoid busy fonts or funky designs.
Reminder: Make sure the contact information on your resume is current! You may be a great candidate, but if an employer can’t contact you, they’ll move on.
Write a cover letter to impress:
A resume tells an employer the Who, What, When, and Where. A cover letter tells them WHY! Why do you want this job? Why are you qualified for the position? Why are you unique? This is a great opportunity to elaborate on points made in your resume and add some personality.
Read this for expert cover letter writing tips.
Make sure your email address is professional:
I’ll be the first to admit, I would not want any future employer to see the email address I created when I was thirteen. There is nothing professional about Sassygirl13@yahoo. Do yourself a favor and create a new email address using only elements of your first and last name.
Personalize your voicemail greeting:
If you are actively looking for a job, you should have a personalized and professional voicemail greeting. A faulty voicemail sends the wrong message to potential employers. If your mailbox is full, you sound unorganized and flaky. If your voicemail greeting is silly or snarky, they may doubt your professionalism or question your seriousness about finding a job.
Here’s a simple script to avoid a bad voicemail impression: “Hi, you’ve reached [Insert name]. I’m not available to take your call right now, but leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!”
Clean up your social media accounts:
According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring. Check out this article by CareerBuilder for more insights on what employers are looking for on social media.
When you are presenting yourself to potential employers, every detail is a method of branding yourself. What is the lasting impression you would like to make? How do you want employers to remember you? If you follow the tips above, you are sure to make a favorable first impression and come one step closer to getting your foot in the door.