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Sending a thank you letter after a job interview is probably one of the most overlooked pieces of job-hunting advice. This isn't just a courtesy, it demonstrates a genuine interest in the position and company, and is pivotal for sealing the deal. No matter how confident you are in the success of the interview, failure to follow up may end up costing you the job.
A thank you letter not only allows you to reiterate why you should be the one they hire for the job, it is also a chance to remind them of some of the key-points you picked up in the interview. If there’s an important point you happen to have left out, this may be your opportunity to sway your potential employers to hire you into your desired role.
Keep it brief and clear, don’t sound desperate, and be sure to add something specific that you acquired from your meeting with the interviewer. It is best to send within 24 hour of your meeting, and to the personal email address of the hiring manager (or whoever conducted the interview). If you need a little extra guideline on how to follow up after your interview, here is a great article I found on Forbes with a diversity of information and tips to get you inspired.
If you need further assistance, I offer follow-up letters as one of my services.
You've made it past the first round and now it’s time to dazzle them in person. Many people dread job interviews so much it stops them from even applying; going under a microscope can feel uncomfortable for even the most confident and extroverted of us. With the right preparation, and a little shift in mindset, your nervous anticipation might magically switch to excitement for your next job interview. Here are some tips I have gathered based off of my wisdom, experience and research.
1. Become an online sleuth
Do your research, but take it to the next level. Find out as much about the business and the people in the company - especially if you know who's interviewing you. Find out if they like golf, or oil painting; if they're family oriented or adventure oriented. Find out about the company, which charities they've been involved in, awards they've won, general accomplishments. Use this information to find a common ground and try to weave it into the interview - naturally of course. Regardless if you get the opportunity or not, you will be happy you've prepared.
2. Develop your personal story
"So, tell us about yourself". You will get asked this in almost every interview. This is your chance to entice and compel. What they really want to know is how your person meets their company and the specific position. This is an opportunity to show them your gold, and make them want you more.
3. Ask insightful questions
Being interested makes you interesting. Skip the salary question, the start date, and the boring and obvious questions and take it to another level. This is an opportunity to show them you're genuinely interested in what you can do for them, as oppose to what they can do for you. Some great examples of these kinds of questions are:
"What are some of the biggest challenges/successes facing the department currently?"
"What process will be used to evaluate my employee performance?"
4. Be polite to everyone you encounter
On the way there, in the elevator and obviously to everyone you pass inside the establishment. It will brew the positive energy and get you primed for the big guys. Also, it's just nice to be nice.
5. Wear a conversation starter
Dress your best and consider a subtle fashion statement that adds some personality. Whether it's an ethnic piece of jewellery from your recent travels, or a tie with a unique pattern; you never know what might spark an interesting conversation and build a greater rapport. Use your research and judgement to gauge just how subtle or bold is appropriate for the company and position you're interviewing for.
6. Prepare for the difficult - yet obvious - questions
"What do you do in your spare time?"
"What inspired you to get into this line of work?"
"Why do you want to work here?"
"What are you weaker points?"
"Tell us about an incident where you went above and beyond expectations?"
You may not get asked these exact questions, but there's nothing more nerve-racking and awkward than having to pause and think about how to answer something so simple. They want to know you, so know yourself.
7. Have the last word
This is an opportunity to sell yourself to them and seal the deal. Thank them, briefly state why you're excited to work there, and if you're really ambitious cut to the chase by asking this question: "Is there anything I've said, or any reason you know of at this moment that would make you not want to hire me?". It's bold, clear and courageous. Most of all, if they do have reasons, you will know for the next time and it opens up discussion and a rebuttal to close the deal. And let's face it, you want to know.
8. Follow up with a thank you note
Don't let them forget you. Sending an email summarizing some key-points from the interview and assuring them you're very interested in the position puts you back on their radar. It can also be a chance to say the one thing you forgot to say; or reiterate the one killer thing you did say. If you need further assistance, here's a great guideline for following up after an interview.
If you are somebody that already uses the world’s largest professional network, then you know that LinkedIn is an unbeatable opportunity for you to showcase yourself to HR managers and recruiters alongside your resume. It is a direct route to connect with a company, or someone within that company. There is no wonder it is the number one online platform for job-seekers and employers.
Having a good LinkedIn summary can go far in the industry. Many employers search their top applicants on LinkedIn before making the call for an interview. This is a great opportunity to further entice by sharing all of those great things you would like an employer to know about you, but that don't seem relevant to include in your cover letter.
Like any expression, there is an art to writing a good summary. Think of a great cover letter but with less bounds. This is your story, and everyone loves a good story.
If you need some inspiration to get going, here’s an amazing article I came across on Forbes. It is a guideline that I not only used for my own LinkedIn summary, but that I use when creating summaries for clients. For more examples of bios and summaries I have written, have a look at these free downloads.
Or for a finished example using these guidelines, you can check out my own personal summary here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericatremblay
I receive a lot of requests for cover letter examples from job-hunters asking for ideas and inspiration. Here I've created a couple of example cover letters and example resumes you can download for free.
I have written this example cover letter by following the style & tips I suggest in my previous post: 3 quick tips for a noteworthy cover letter to show the power of following those three simple rules.
More example resumes and cover letter samples can be found on my testimonials & examples page, which you can download for free. I hope this helps.
Download your free example cover letter PDF:
Download more example resumes and cover letters here: testimonials & examples page
Instead of a summarized ramble of your resume (which will be submitted in the same email), see your cover letter as a prime opportunity to show some charisma, curiosity, and intrigue. Make them want to meet you, so you can make them want to hire you.
1. Immediately state something unique about yourself.
Consider throwing in an anecdote, for example, “I have over five years of formal education and experience to combine with my lifetime passion for this industry. Since I was a child getting dressed in the morning has been an expression of creativity, there was never any doubt that fashion was my future."
2. Study the company website.
Take note of something you find genuinely inspiring and express admiration. For example, if you are applying for a job at an architectural firm, you might say “the addition to the Art Gallery your firm designed is especially impressive, the contemporary concept gave it a fresh appeal, while keeping in flow with the original structure” This shows personality, expertise in the field, as well as specific interest in the company.
3. Keep it short.
No more than three paragraphs. Skip the verbosity, use clear and powerful statements, and wrap it up by simply stating – in your own words – how your talents and experience will make you good at the job.
Make sure you proofread carefully.
To download an example of a great cover letter, visit my dedicated blog post: example cover letter
It’s not what you do that matters, it’s how well you do it. Your resume really is a marketing campaign and employers do not care about your weekly assignments, they are interested in what you will do for them. Turning your duties into achievements is the easiest way to sell yourself and bring your resume up to a whole other level.
To do this effectively, simply start by creating a list of everything you did under you previous position titles. Can you recall a time when your superiors were really impressed or when you were especially innovative and took initiative? Did you go above and beyond your job description leaving the company with something to remember you by?
Now think, what was the outcome of my actions? Perhaps you cut work time saving the company money, came up with an amazing marketing strategy that increased profits by 46%, or organized an event that boosted company moral and increased business.
These are the sorts of things that will really make employers want to hire you. You are an investment to your employer, and making it known that you will serve the company in a way that makes their investment grow is really going to separate you from the other applicants.
For more on how to write a superior resume, visit my list of extraordinary tips: Extraordinary Tips Page.
Resume writing service Edmonton
I am delighted to launch a new website to support my resume and cover letter writing service in Edmonton Alberta.
On the site there will be regular posts of resources and tips to help job-seekers present themselves in a way to get ahead of the competition.
Now that you're here you can:
I offer comprehensive one-to-one resume, cover letter and interview consultation services for a lot less than you might think. I am educated in creative and technical writing and have over twelve years of experience creating resumes and cover letters for people just like you.
Erica Tremblay is a master wordsmith with a dedication to helping people create their success. She writes as she lives: with a fine balance of mathematics and creative expression.
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