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Finding a job: How to score an interview

The only thing more disappointing than going for an interview and not getting the job is not even being granted an interview. The workforce is packed right now, and jobs can seem hard to find. Make sure you’re giving yourself a fighting chance with this simple guide for scoring that initial interview.

Woman on an interview with her resume

Target your resume

Once you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, chances are you’ve racked up more jobs than can reasonably fit on your resume. Although the easiest option may be to simply print off a stack of resumes with your most recent places of employment, this is often a surefire way to wind up somewhere in the middle of the pile. For the most eye-catching resume, you will have to edit each copy slightly differently for every job you apply for. You want to highlight those places of employment that most closely correlate to the job for which you are applying. Even if your previous jobs seem to have nothing to do with your current application, see if you have any transferrable skills. For example, working in a coffee shop may not seem like it has a lot to do with insurance, but you can highlight skills such as “helping customers” to show you are friendly and “handling money” to accentuate the fact that you are trustworthy. Anything that could make a potential employer see you as experienced deserves a place on your resume.

Never forget a cover letter

When it comes down to it, a resume is a series of facts that may prove you are qualified, but it doesn’t do a lot to inspire potential employers to pick you out of the bunch. The cover letter lets your personality and unique attributes shine through. Make sure it is specifically targeted to the job and details why the position interests you rather than merely relaying the facts on your resume. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and let them know why you’re passionate about the job. They are more likely to give you a call if they can make a connection with who you are as a person.

Make yourself known

There is a difference between being pushy and being present. When you open yourself up to the latter, you put yourself in a better position to get hired. An email titled “job application” doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be getting a call. Email is a fickle thing. An employer might open your resume, get distracted and forget about it, and suddenly you think they aren’t interested when really, there’s been a simple miscommunication. To avoid such a situation, aim to deliver your cover letter and resume in person. Being able to put a face to a name can go a long way toward securing you the job. Make sure to look the part and let your personality shine! If you absolutely have to submit by post or email, don’t be afraid to follow up with a phone call to make sure your package was received. You don’t want to go along thinking they’ve given you the cold shoulder when there’s simply been a mishap!

Be persistent

Most important, don’t get discouraged! If you send out a batch of resumes and don’t hear back from anyone, don’t give up. Do some research, and ask yourself what you can improve upon for the next round. Trust in yourself, and you will nab the perfect job for you!

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Smart questions to ask at a job interview
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