At the Department of Career Services, we’re seeing encouraging signs and some evidence that the job market has turned around in Massachusetts. People are getting jobs – good well-paying jobs. You can, too.
Let’s take a look at two basic aspects of your job search:
1. Your Job Application: Your resume and cover letter are often the first point of contact for the HR recruiter or hiring manager. Since most job applications get only a cursory look, yours must stand out to get you an interview. That doesn’t mean something gimmicky. Your resume should ideally be one-page in length and summarize your experience and contributions in a few short bullets. Often, recruiters use software programs to scan the resumes, so be sure to include key terminology and buzzwords in your resume. Your cover letter should indicate why you are applying for the position, and explain any gaps in your work history. Do not sound desperate – employers want to hire a well-qualified and confident candidate.
Tip: One-Stop Career Centers offer workshops on writing resume and cover letter. Many of the instructors are certified resume writers. Click here to find a Career Center located in your area.
2. Interviewing: Here’s your chance to hit it out of the ballpark, so to speak. You have one shot at making a strong impression and to demonstrate the value you can bring to your prospective employer. Before your interview ‒ practice your elevator speech, research the company, and find ways to relate your experience to the company. During the interview, bring your ‘A game’ – dress appropriately, project confidence, display a strong command of knowledge/expertise, answer questions succinctly and provide examples of your work, if applicable. Be professional and friendly in your interaction but don’t overdo it. If you’re interviewing with multiple people at the same time, be sure to address each person and make eye contact.
Tip: One-Stop Career Centers offer workshops to prepare job seekers with interviewing. Some centers offer mock interviews that are video-taped for a fee. Click here to find a Career Center located in your area.
Remember, there are many qualified candidates competing for the same position you are. Explore and leverage all your strengths. If you are proficient in another language or have a special interest or skill, that could give you an edge. A successful job search is all about selling yourself.
Best wishes for 2014.
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