Sunday, February 22, 2009

Real World Session 2: Seal the Deal - What you Need to Know to Land the Job

The next session we went to was about actually getting a job - from mailing out your resume, to accepting an offer.  The two speakers, Jennifer Grizzle (The PR Studio) and Sharon Jones (Ketchum Public Relations), went through the steps of applying for a job or internship with helpful tips along the way.

1. Get Your Resume Working For You
-Be aware of your online presence (potential employers are).
-Spell check! A spelling error is the number one way not to get looked at for an interview.
-Use a clear, easy to read format (content usually matters more than style).
-Keep the resume to 1 page.
-Give a brief description of each company you have worked in - don't assume potential employers will know who they are.

2. Cover Letters
-These are generally looked at after the resume.
-Read the job description - put their buzz words in your cover letter or resume.
-Use the name of the company and/or some of their clients in your cover letter - these particular words automatically grab the attention of your reader.

3. Prepare for the Interview
-Research the company (website, trade publications, etc.) - don't ask the interviewer about the company, tell them what you know.
-Rehearse your "elevator speech" (9 out of 10 times, this is the first question you're asked)
-Know where you're going, do a trial run - this will avoid being late (if you are late, call).
-Get there no more than 15 minutes early, if you're sitting in the waiting room for 30-45 minutes the interviewer may feel awkward/guilty about making you wait.
-Be courteous to everyone you meet - your entire experience in the office is evaluated.

4. During the Interview
-Be calm, energetic, and confident.
-Listen carefully to questions, answer them completely.
-Maintain comfortable eye contact (there is such thing as too much)
-Be comfortable with yourself, bring your personality.
-Mirror the formality of the interviewer (tone, body language, etc.)
-Ask thoughtful, prepared questions and write down the answers you are given.
-Find out the timing of the hiring decision, know how to follow up.
-Send personalized thank you notes, but don't cross the line of persistence.
-If you brought a portfolio, you may show it at the end - make an effort to tailor it to their clients.

5. If Offered the Position
-Be respectful of the timing for consideration (ie: if you're offered the position on a Wednesday, take until Friday; if you're offered the position, take the weekend to consider it).
-Many entry level salaries are not negotiable - if yours is, research average salaries.

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