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How To Get That Job Interview

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Do you need THAT job like Yesterday?

Getting that interview is a stressful time – so much is riding on it. Your income, well-being, confidence, self-esteem. Everything, right?

And you’re probably feeling like you have sent your resume to every possible organization this side of the moon. You’ve probably filled in heaps of online job posting too – until your fingers bleed. Sucks, doesn’t it?

We are just a number. It’s frustrating, being just a number. Is there another way of getting our resume to the top of the pile?

Being Different

We can be different. (We are all unique). The first thing for us to do is to present our resume differently. If you’ve not read my post ‘10 Tips to Make Your Resume Pop‘ then go ahead now and refresh your resume to make it stand out. It MUST appeal to recruiters.

Then, it’s also essential that our resume arrives with an outstanding cover letter. This is as important as our resume, as its the first thing a recruiter sees, and it’s at this point where your resume is filtered to the top, or to the bottom. Read my post ‘Great Resumes Arrive With Even Greater Cover Letters‘ to discover just how to do that!

Target Your Resume

So we might have been using a stock resume to send to all our prospects. This is a good volume tactic, but it’s unlikely to appeal directly to recruiters, compared to those candidates who prepare a targeted resume.

A targeted resume specifically addresses the job opportunity or advertisement, and uses text that mentions aspects of the job description; organization; the organizations practices, products and industry; technologies; regulatory environment; skills required and other features.

I also recommend that we used LinkedIn or other professional social network in our research, and discover people within the organization we are connected to, with links to the organization, and ask them if they have ideas on how to approach.

This requires research. And therefore takes time. You’ll need to:

  • Research the organization
  • Use LinkedIn (or similar) to gain intelligence on the organization
  • Discover the organization’s recruiting process, and make sure you stay within it
  • Understand its products, market, industry, regulations, challenges, and technologies
  • Send your resume to reply to a specific vacancy or job, and (if possible) to a specific named person in the organization (such as hiring manager)

Following-Up

Following-up is important. You’d be surprised how few people do it, and it’s following-up that presents a great advantage to us!

The best time to follow-up is two or three days after mailing your resume (add another two days if you mailed it on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday), or just 24 hours if you used an online submission. Call the hiring manager and introduce yourself as a candidate for the specific job vacancy, and mention that you’re in the area and that you’re available for an interview. My recommendation is to suggest a specific day and time, and ask for an alternative if your suggestion isn’t convenient. At this stage, you should also have ready a brief overview of why you are a great candidate for the vacancy, and propose why your experience and career achievements make you a good fit for the job. If you want to know how best to describe your career achievements, then take a look at my post “7 Keys To Describe Your Achievements – Pro Style

In these situations, we should be assertive, confident, but not pushy. Let the hiring manager do most of the talking.

Your Black Book

If we’re going for a  job in sales, business development, or recruitment, it’s real important to remember that our ‘black book’ is a big asset. Our connections, leads and customers are like gold to potential employers. Notwithstanding any rights our existing employer may have to them (and any restrictions placed on us when we leave their employ!), we should use them to our advantage. So if we have a list of known buyers for product X (and our prospective employer supplies product X) then make it known!

Lastly, Keep It Personal

Remember, we don’t want to be just a number, so the more personal we can make it, the better. If we feel it’s appropriate to, then we should invite hiring managers for a chat over coffee, or even lunch. Create opportunities to use our personality!

After following-up, why not connect with your new contact using LinkedIn?

[EDIT] Use caution with the above tactic. Hiring managers must generally be seen to avoid favoritism and ‘schmoozing’. Use this only when you know you are the only candidate being considered for the post.

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This post is part 6 of 18 in the series Interview Preparation

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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2 Comments

  1. windsor chair

    I feel most confident in an interview when I am prepared. With that being said, I would become familiar with the products at Kohls…what do they sell, who are they targeting as their consumer, etc? In addition, I would try to anticipate questions that you might be asked and mentally rehearse your answers to those questions.

     
  2. Simon

    @Windsor – thanks for the tip!

     

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