One of the most challenging aspects of your job search is getting the interview. You have done all of the legwork; your resume is top-notch, you’ve researched companies, and you are ready to get a job. All it takes is getting your foot in the door for the interview. There is an art to gaining access to the person who is in charge of the hiring process. These tips may help land the elusive interview.
- Initial contact – Pull your contact list together. Know who you are going to contact, the position you want, and the contact information (phone number, address). Initial contacts should be brief, designed to express enthusiasm for the company and potential job opportunity.
- Attach a cover letter – Your letter should outline your desire to have an interview and contain a follow-up action such as, “I will contact you in a few days to discuss the possibility of an interview. Should you wish to contact me earlier you may reach me at _______.” If you are communicating by email, make the message brief and to the point. In any event, it is not wise to send a resume without a cover letter or without introductory verbiage included in the email when you send your resume to the hiring authority electronically. Resumes sent without introductory communication are often never reviewed.
- Follow-up quickly – Each resume that you send should be followed by a call or email within 3 to 5 business days as a way to show your interest in the position and desire to gain that interview. Don’t be pushy when doing your follow-up contact. Remember, professionalism is a plus when you are making an impression on a recruiter.
- Review your social media – Social media is becoming a resource that many companies use to “check out” a potential job applicant. Remove any embarrassing or inappropriate pictures or posts. You don’t want to lose an opportunity for an interview because of something that appears on your social media.
- Continue networking – It’s not always what you know, but who you know. Networking can pay off during this process. If two people have the same qualifications, but one is personally referred to a recruiter, that individual is more likely to secure the interview.
- Keep a contact list – A list of company names, contact people, information you have sent, follow-up notes, and interview times will help you keep straight on everything you have done. You are less likely to miss any detail.
The interview process can be made simpler and more satisfying by remembering these few tips. Become the candidate that every hiring manager wants to interview. Professional, prepared, and ready for the job opportunity.