Tips & Tricks & Links
After much, Much, MUCH looking, scrounging and literally (not
figuratively) 500+ submissions, referrals, "networking", cold-calls, etc., over
157 days (average 3.2 submissions per day) I finally landed a job using all
Here's what I learned:
1. Stand Out
Print your resume on ANYTHING but standard white paper when you bring it with you to the interview or mail it in ahead. Thicker, high quality, pastel colored paper will stand out better, and standing out amongst the hordes is what it is all about. I got a lot of, "Oh, I wish we had seen YOUR resume before we hired ...".
Email AND fax AND mail AND drop by/walk in AND call (unless it says not to... see #2 below!). Submit your resume via HotJobs, Dice, etc. THEN GO TO THE HIRING COMPANY'S WEBSITE AND DO IT AGAIN.
Throw some graphics on your resume, too. Not a lot, maybe a thumbnail of you, a couple of icons, company logos. Keep them subtle and professional, but entertaining.
2. Do What You Are Told
Fill in the forms PERFECTLY, submit the cover letter, follow up 2, 3, 4 times. MAKE SURE you follow whatever directions and requirements they have To-The-Letter. HR folks are looking for ANY reason to disqualify you. They NEVER look for ways to keep you IN the running, only ways to kick you OUT.
3. Relevant Resumes
Make sure it's formatted and "spun" for the job you are applying for. They won't even GET to the 3rd job description which said you were "Profiteus, the God of High Profits" if your last two jobs were flippin' burgers. Put what they want to see (and what you NEED them to see) FRONT, TOP AND CENTER. Dates do NOT MATTER. Job DESCRIPTIONS matter.
Don't just say "I did X, Y & Z", give brief (I SAID BRIEF) "ideas" and "concepts" about what was done by you, and even better, how significant your impact was for the good of the (department, profits, company, school, public, etc.).
DO NOT put any reason for leaving any job on your resume unless they were ALL positive.
4. Don't Fart During the Interview
That may be a metaphor, or it may not. Either way, don't do it.
Be prepared! Being able to answer the question, "Can you describe what we do here at XYX company?" is absolutely mandatory. Call their front desk and ask if you have to! Find out a little about the history and direction/future and ask about both during the interview. Definitely, find out who their customers are (or will be, or should be).
Bring black, blue and red color ballpoint pens, a GOOD LOOKING/stylish notebook and take quick notes during the interview (or even if you have a photographic memory, scribble a few things - it looks great when you do it).
Look as "normal" as possible, but be comfortable in what you are wearing. If you break out in hives if you wear a tie, then find something else. Almost everywhere is "business casual" these days, but don't forget that the "front desk" will answer almost any question if you call them.
Good luck everyone,
Buz at deadwax.net