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Avoid Interview Mistakes

Some interview mistakes are so common that you can make them without even realizing it. Take the time to prepare in advance so you can avoid them.

Job Searching Spotlight10

10 Seconds to Get a Job Interview

Tuesday April 22, 2014

resumeI was talking to a hiring manager the other day who told me that applicants have 10 seconds to get his attention. He gets 400 - 500 applications for each open position, and he reviews them all because he's not a big fan of the software his company uses to screen applications.

He says if you don't show him specifically what you can do for him in the first paragraph of your cover letter, you're not going to get an interview. If you don't write a cover letter you probably won't be considered for the job.

You could be an excellent candidate, but if he can't figure it out at a glance you're out of the applicant pool. He's not concerned about missing a candidate or two because there are so many applicants for each position there are plenty of others. I've spoken to hiring managers with a similar philosophy - it's up to you to show them why you are interview worthy.

How can you do that? The most important thing you can do is to take the time to target your cover letter and your resume to the job for which you're applying.

It may sound like a tough hiring policy. However, hiring managers don't have a lot of time to figure out who is good and who is not. It's up to you to do the work to show that you're a qualified candidate.

Here's how to match your qualifications to a job.

Related Articles: How to Write a Targeted Resume | How to Write a Targeted Cover Letter

Image Copyright Pali Rao

Cover Letter Opening Sentences

Tuesday April 22, 2014

nullThe first sentence or two of your cover letter are the most important ones. You need to get the hiring manager's attention and start the process of explaining why you should be selected for an interview.

When you're not sure how to get started, review these examples of cover letter opening sentences. However, do make sure you tailor your introductory paragraph, and the rest of your cover letter, to your personal circumstances and the job for which you are applying.

Also, choose a type of cover letter that reflects how you are applying for the job or the type of job search assistance you are requesting. Review these examples of each type of cover letter and advice and tips on how to choose the best format for your letters.

Read More: Cover Letter Samples | Top 10 Cover Letter Tips | Cover Letter Types

Image Copyright Peepo

How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

There is some debate about whether you need a cover letter, or not, when you apply for jobs. There are also varied opinions on how long a cover letter should be.

Should you keep it short or should it be a full page that covers in detail why you are a match for a job?

The Saddleback College Resume Survey reports that more than half (53%) of employers responded that a cover letter is required, while nearly 30% had no preference.

As far as how long your cover letter should be, shorter is better. Almost 70% of employers wanted a cover letter of less than a full page and almost 25% said the shorter the better.

Here are the preferences for cover letter length from the employers who responsed to the survey:

  • Full page - 12.6%
  • 1/2 page - 43.7%
  • No preference 19.5%
  • The shorter the better! 24.1%

Read More: Cover Letters | Cover Letter Examples | How to Write a Cover Letter | 5 Steps to Cover Letter Success

Related Articles: How Long Should Your Resume Be? | How to Write a One Page Resume

Sending a Thank You Letter After an Interview

Monday April 21, 2014

Thank You Note It doesn't take much time to send a thank you note or thank you email message after an in-person job interview or a phone interview. Regardless of how you interview, sending a thank you letter is a good way to reiterate your interest in the job and to remind the interviewer why you are the best candidate for the position.

It's also a good idea to thank everyone who helped with your job search, as well as to thank those who help you at work. Thank you notes, in addition to showing your appreciation, are great networking tools. Here's information on thank you letters, including who you should thank and the best way to thank them.

If you're not sure how to say thank you, review sample thank you letters to get ideas and suggestions for your own letters and email messages.

Read More: Top 10 Thank You Letter Tips | Email Thank You Letters | Employee Thank You Letters

Photo Copyright Carlos Arranz

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