Tailor your resume
Your resume is your first impression to any hiring manager, so you should always triple check that it’s error-free and directly relates to the job you are applying for. Read the job requirements for each opening carefully and make changes to your resume to address the company’s specific needs. For recent college grads, a one-page resume is ideal unless you have extensive work experience or very specific attributes that you just can’t leave out for that particular job. Hiring managers and recruiters typically spend 30 seconds reviewing a resume. Remember that hiring managers may see hundreds of resumes for a single opening, and a 3-page list of minor accomplishments and college courses simply takes too much time to read. Also be sure to write a short cover letter that explains quickly why you are interested in the job and the company, and how your education, skills and work experience make you the ideal candidate.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
When you walk into your interview you should already have a good grasp of what the company does and what your responsibilities will be. Read through the company’s website, check if they have any recent press releases or articles about current or upcoming projects and learn the names of the key people in your department. Names and faces are easy to learn thanks to LinkedIn, and being familiar with the company and people will make you seem smart and show that you truly want to work there. Make a list of things you want to know about the company and things you want them to know about you.
Don’t show up at 9:55 for a 10 o’clock interview. Just don’t do it. You’ll need to find parking, account for traffic, go through security and maybe use the restroom before your interview, so plan to be there 15-20 minutes early. If you can do a test run of the route you’ll take to get there, you should be in good shape. If there is an accident or anything else that complicates your travel, call the company immediately to make them aware of your situation. Being late or even being just barely on time shows that you may not be able to handle high-pressure or time-sensitive tasks.
Showing a genuine interest in the company itself goes a long way toward convincing the interviewer that you’ll fit in with the company. Along with smiling, being polite and sending thank you emails when you get home, asking questions gives you the chance to lead the conversation and can help you bring up anecdotes about your experience or portray your skills as they directly relate to the open position. Don’t just start blurting out questions, but when there is an appropriate time or lull in the conversation, feel free to take control until they begin to lead it again.
Don’t burn bridges
Almost every interviewer will eventually ask “What are your greatest weaknesses?” or “What was your least favorite thing about your previous job?” You have to be ready for these questions and remember not to talk negatively about previous employers or put yourself down. The hiring manager does not want to hear an explanation of how unprofessional or unreasonable your last employer was. Save the complaints for your friends and family. For your weakness, identify a soft skill, such as communication or time management, and explain how you have already made progress and plan to improve further.
Work with a reputable staffing firm
Working with a leading industry-specific staffing firm like Collabera will ensure you get the best leads on job openings at the types of companies you want to work for. Once you’re on board with the firm, you will have an advantage over other candidates by being pre-vetted and having a dedicated recruiter helping to match you with the perfect job.