Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Job Search and Interview Tips

Here's the awaited job search and interview tips post! I learned many things during my recent job search and I know there are so many people searching out there, I wanted to jot down advice from my experiences. I'm NO expert, just wanted to offer what I have learned.


Finding/Applying for jobs

Use networking/social connection sites
  • LinkedIn is a great site to re-connect with colleagues from college or previous jobs. It may surprise you the connections you may have at a company you're interested in. I also learned that you can follow companies on LinkedIn and see updates when jobs are posted. You'll also get e-mail updates on the companies you follow (as well as the people you connect with). Some companies even search profiles for qualified candidates for a position to fill, so keep your profile up to date.
  •  See if your college has an alumni site (i.e. CySpace for Iowa State) to connect with people in your major, in the city you're looking for work, etc. 

  • Tweak your resume to be relevant to the position you're applying for. Read through the job description, and use some of those verbs or key words in your resume. 
  • I was able to have my resume reviewed by the Iowa State Alumni Association - if you're part of your college's alumni association, this can be a great resource.
  • Use action verbs 
  • Keep it organized and easy to follow- many employers spend less than 30 seconds (if that!) on each resume
  • I typically save mine as PDF when I'm finished so it freezes my formatting so the employer sees the same formatting when they open it.
  • This site (among others) has resume tips

Cover Letter
  • I know it isn't fun writing cover letters, but always submit one when possible. It really shows the employer who you are and what you have to offer. It's your chance to sell yourself and explain how your experiences would benefit their company. 
  • Use key words/terms from the company's mission/values statement, as some employers may search electronically looking for specific words or phrases that are relevant to the position or company.
  • This site (among others) has cover letter tips

Interview Preparations & The Interview: