IowaJobs.org USAjobs.gov Indeed.com Networking Craig’s List Direct from the employer or employer’s website Newspapers? Not so much, these days
Your resume and cover letter are more about the job you want than the jobs you’ve had Put your best foot forward! Catch the Hiring Authority’s attention Show that you have the skills to do the job Check O*Net (www.onetcenter.org) for job descriptions and labor market trends
Show that you understand the job you are applying for Match your experience to the job you are applying for Express your sincere interest Pretend your cover letter is you, meeting the Hiring Authority for the first time and having a conversation Be polite and make a good first impression!
Make sure the message on your phone is polite and professional If you are having someone else take messages for you, ask them to be polite and professional Your phone message should include your name, not just the phone number Return phone calls and emails promptly, even when you choose to decline the job
Email address should be professional Email address should avoid numbers that might suggest age (or anything else inappropriate) Check your email regularly!
Employers look at Facebook. If your FB page is full of party photos, they are not going to be impressed.
Ask if they will be a reference before referring employers to them Are you sure they will say good things about you and your work? Work references spanning several years or jobs are best; but even personal references should come from professionals, not friends (e.g., clergy, teachers, people who work for the same company/industry and would vouch for you)
What to Wear The Handshake Eye Contact Questions to Expect Questions to Ask How to Wrap Things Up
Research the company before the interview Show up 15 minutes early Come alone Bring your ID and social security card Bring a black pen and a clean copy of your resume Bring a notepad or folder They may offer you water, coffee, or something to drink; it is usually best to politely say no You are on stage the moment you enter the parking lot – so be on your best behavior Relax! Seriously, what is the worst that can happen?
Dress a step above the job you are applying for If you want to stand out, stand out on your merits; your clothes should blend in The goal is to appear ready to work Lay your clothes out the night before Easy on the perfume/cologne (and avoid cigarettes, too)
Men Nice dress shirts/suit Dress pants-don’t sag Dress shoes with dark socks Belt Clean shaven Neat, professional hairstyle Limit the aftershave Little or no jewelry Trimmed clean nails Portfolio /folder Women Nice blouse/suit-no low cut, strapless tops or anything too tight fitting. Conservative shoes Limited jewelry Light makeup and perfume Neatly manicured clean nails Portfolio/folder
Make sure your hands are clean A firm, dry, and confident handshake Shake hands and greet each of the interviewers in turn Make eye contact Practice!
Make eye contact with the interviewer (or interviewers), but do not stare If there is more than 1 interviewer, focus your attention first on the person speaking, and then on all of the people listening Sit up straight and show that you are engaged in the conversation Don’t make odd facial expressions or fidget
Show them you would be a nice person to work with, and a team player Show them you have a good work ethic Show them you are flexible – you are here to meet the needs of the company, not the other way around Don’t try to make them feel sorry for you, or tell them how much you ‘need’ this job – it will have the completely opposite effect
Tell me about yourself Why do you want to work here? What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Tell me about a challenge you’ve faced Tell me about a problem or conflict you had on your last job When do you think it’s okay to miss a day? Why did you have this gap between jobs? ???????????????
Have you got the skills, expertise and experience to perform the job? Are you enthusiastic and interested in the job and the company? Will you fit into the team, culture and company? Bernard Marr. (2014). Job Interview: Why Only 3 Questions Really Matter
It’s not a race – you can take some time and think about what you want to say, before you answer “That’s a good question,” and taking a moment to answer is much better than, “I don’t know.” Look at each interviewer as you answer Be sincere and likable Smile when appropriate The interviewers understand you are nervous - they’ve been in that chair, just like you. They had to go through interviews to get their jobs, too!
Don’t over-share. Keep answers brief and to the point. Hit the highlights, not the low- lights! Be positive. Don’t say negative things about former employers or coworkers. Speak of everything in the past in terms of being a learning experience Always speak in terms of moving forward and making progress Pay attention to your body language
Relate your answers to the job you want What do you value? What is important to you? Now, how does that relate to this job? Don’t blame others (or ‘the Economy’) for your situation Show that you are responsible and competent
It doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker… But if the employer doesn’t believe you have put it behind you, you will not get the job.
The employer has a need to know about the conviction Appreciate this chance to discuss the matter Don’t go into detail or try to explain it It happened, but it’s in the past. Have you learned from the experience and moved forward? Own up to it and accept responsibility: don’t blame others Don’t show bitterness or anger
Reflection: You may have had a chance to look at what happened, realized the effect it had on you, and allowed yourself to focus on the future and better decision making. Education: You may have done some work toward your education that you may not have done otherwise. Employability: You may have developed employment skills through work or schoolwork while incarcerated. Interpersonal Skills: You may have learned to get along better with people who have different personalities and backgrounds. Stress Management: You may have learned self-discipline and respect for yourself and others, and mastered emotional, psychological, and social techniques to deal with stress.
Bad personal appearance Too aggressive Unable to express self clearly Poor interest and enthusiasm No career planning/goals Overly nervous/under confident Too much emphasis on money Not willing to start at the bottom Immature Speaks bad about former employers No eye contact Messy application form Late arrival for interviewer Asked no questions about the company Could not give direct answers when questioned
Ask questions – it shows that you are really interested in the job and motivated to work Thank the interviewers for their time, and ask about the next step If possible, get business cards from the interviewers: it will make it easier to send thank-you notes later
What type of training would I receive? What did the previous person in the position go on to do? What would I need to focus on differently than the previous person in this position? Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him/her? What is the typical work day/week like? Is overtime common? What do you like about working here?
IMMEDIATELY after every important meeting, lecture, or contact take just 30 seconds to jot down a few notes that cover the key ideas or points you want to remember. -Greg McKeown, The 30 Second Habit with a Lifelong Impact
Employers LOVE to get a thank you note after an interview. It will score you points, and it’s one more chance to pitch yourself for the job Send within a day or two of the interview or contact “I enjoyed meeting with you and I look forward to taking the next step in the process.” It’s easy!
You got the job! Now, how do you keep it?
Don’t be the clown Don’t gossip Just let trouble pass you by Don’t steal Show up to work If you absolutely can’t make it to work, CALL IN! Don’t be a complainer Don’t be the one other people complain about