Scoring the interview for the job that you want doesn’t have to be rocket science. Sometimes you can score that interview by simply making a phone call. There are many ways that people go about trying to get an interview. The methods of achieving one vary by company. It is best to know what the company’s application process is before taking your first step.
Generally, when a company is hiring they post an ad in the newspaper or an online job bank. How to contact them is usually included in the ad as well. You don’t want to email a resume to a company that is requesting that you walk in with your resume. You don’t want to call a company that requires a faxed resume etc. Ignoring their initial contacting information will guarantee that you will not get that interview because you have already proven that you can’t follow simple directions.
Sometimes, you can get a job lead from a friend before the job has been posted. If this is the case, you can either ask the friend to give the employer your resume and cover letter. If your friend doesn’t actually work where the lead came from, you can try calling about the position and ask what the application procedure is.
There are four general methods of applying for a job, and they include these basic methods.
Sending a Resume
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 your resume. Before writing your cover letter, you should know who the letter is to be addressed. You never want to begin a cover letter with “Dear Sir or Madam” 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. The company usually asks 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.