I promised you resumes would be the next column, but Iíd like to give you some pointers for applications first and, in doing that, some of the tips will also apply to resumes.
I have reviewed hundreds of applications for custodians, library aides and higher level positions in the library. The tips Iíll share with you apply across all job fields. You would be surprised how many people are eliminated from being asked for an interview as a result of what they put, or do not put, on their job applications.
Letís start with some very basic things. Be sure you spell everything correctly and use capital letters when appropriate. The fact that your name and city are in lower case says to the employer that you are lazy and have no appreciation for attention to detail.
It is now essential to have your e-mail address on your application and resume. If you have a cutesy, crude, suggestive e-mail address, change it or get another one that you will use for job hunting. Along with this, how does your answering machine message sound? Remember, this can be your first contact with an employer. If you have your child doing the message, change it.
Your voice and how your message is delivered gives an example of how you would handle their phone calls. Do you have blaring music, non-business like messages? If so, get rid of them. Realize you are selling yourself in all your contacts with a potential employer, verbal and written. It is important to instruct your family or roommates on how to answer the phone and get information in order for you to return calls. It can be very helpful toward being prepared to return a call if you know who called you.
Prepare a notepad and pen by the phone with the basic information you need so your family can ask the correct questions and quickly record it for you. You have no idea how many people eliminate themselves from being asked for interviews because they did not return my phone calls.
When applying for jobs, consider whether you are open to less pay and part-time positions. By putting the wage too high you eliminate yourself, by considering part-time you could get your foot in the door and then be eligible for internal positions.
If you have a gap of employment, use a block and give the time frame and tell why you were unemployed i.e. looking for work, took time out to raise children, even Ďpersonal reasonsí gives adequate explanations. Always be honest in what you put on an application.
If you have a period of time when you had temporary work, and especially if it involved several assignments, the temp agency is your employer. You can say you had assignments from so many days to so many weeks. If you were called back to the same employer this is an indicator that they liked your work. You can provide a variety of job duties from the different places you worked.
One final thing this week, and it applies to both applications and resumes: donít just say what your duties and responsibilities were, but describe how much, how well, how technical they were. This provides a better picture of how you work and how you can produce for them.
Reverse the situation; if you were going through scores of applications or resumes, what would you be hoping to see to invite someone for an interview. If you do not hear from the employer shortly after the closing date of an application period there is nothing wrong with calling to make sure they have it.
If done quickly you may find that it wasnít passed on because something important was left out and you actually have the experience or education that was essential and you can provide them with that information.
The fact that you follow through is an indication that you are truly interested in that job and can get you to the top of the stack for interviewing and serious consideration.