You graduated, you’re living in your parent’s basement, and you’re living off of Ramen noodles and Easy Mac. In order to get out of this basement you need money and to get money you need a job, and hopefully you will finally get to use this degree that you have spent tens of thousands of dollars on. You cruise the job posting sites, find a couple you think sound perfect for you, and are ready to jump in head first.
Now, how do you get the job?
1. Make sure your resume is on point!
Use nice heavyweight paper, find a template that is eye catching and professional, and enlist the help of online tutorials or friends who are great at resume writing. You want to sell yourself, but not oversell, and you want the leave the person who reads your resume and cover letter no doubt that you would be ideal for the position. Also, make sure you bring a copy to your interview, even if you have already submitted it when you applied.
2. Do your homework!
Know the place you are applying to. Check out their website, Google them, ask anyone you know who works there what they are about. A potential employer will be more likely to choose someone who has knowledge of their mission and the job position, and who has taken the initiative to do some research.
3. Dress to impress!
As a rule, I would say do not wear jeans or sneakers to an interview but some may not agree with me. Business-casual for a laid-back environment and straight up business if you are looking into an executive position. Make sure your clothing fits properly, not too tight and not sloppy, and nothing with holes or stains. For the ladies, be mindful of your hemline and neckline. You want to appear comfortable, competent, and professional.
4. First impressions are important!
The interviewer will make most of their judgment about you within the first 30 seconds of meeting you. Shake their hand, firmly and quickly; maintain eye contact, and SMILE! People get so caught up in their nerves, or thinking about how they will answer questions, and forget that it is important to smile – you want your potential employer to see that you are human and you handle stress well. A smiles shows that you can shine above stress, while a tense expression may cause them to believe you have a hard time handling it.
5. Listen to what the interviewer is saying!
During an interview you want to say the right thing, so it can be easy to spend too much time in your head thinking of what you are going to say. Try your best to not do this! Listen to what the interviewer is saying and then think of your response before you answer. It is obvious when speaking to a person that they are not listening to you and instead are thinking of the next thing they are going to say, and this is not the type of impression you want to make.
Just remember to know your target audience, be attention, look the part, and RELAX! You can do this!