Wooing an employer and that classmate in your biology class are not that different. Okay, maybe a little different. But if you apply a little bit of your swagger and finesse to your job search, you increase your chances of your success.
- Prepare some great one-liners. Although you should certainly avoid the offensive pick-up lines that you might hear in a bar, you will need to prepare concise statements for your resume that highlight your qualifications. These statements should start with a strong action verb and emphasize the results that you can deliver. Consider the following example: Contributed to a 15 percent increase in the retention of at-risk students by launching a new after school tutoring program.
- Be ready to introduce yourself. If you have not yet carefully crafted your opening elevator speech, now is the time to do so. You never know when you will run into someone with a job or internship lead. Now sure what to include? Learn more about writing your personal pitch.
- Lead with your best attributes. Chances are you would not divulge your obsession with argyle socks during your initial conversation with a prospective mate. The same applies to your application and interviews. Only emphasize the skills, activities and accomplishments that directly relate to the position you are seeking. Eliminate useless attributes for your resume that hold no value to your readers.If you completed an activity that you do not think relates to the position you are seeking, rewrite it and associate it with a skill that is desired. For example, perhaps you worked at your local department store and are applying for an accounting position. You might initially dismiss your work with store inventory, but you can indeed captivate your readers with this task. Perhaps you include something such as the following: “Demonstrated strong organization skills and attention to detail by managing more than $1 million in annual store inventory.”
- Find your fit. Organizations such as match.com have gone to great lengths to help you locate someone who shares your interests, beliefs and values. You would not want to be with someone who is an avid hunter if you’re a vegetarian. Similarly, this is just as important in your job search. Research organizations to confirm that their core values, strategic plan and mission are congruent with yours.
- Dress your best. Although the attire drastically varies (Trust me, you’re better off dressing like your mother during an interview than the things you would wear on a date), they share the same commonality of focusing on the details. Your attire communicates your professionalism and reflects your ability to represent the organization. Learn more about professional attire.
- Emphasize your longevity. Both an employer and mate want someone who is going to stick around. In your cover letter, articulate the reasons you are attracted to the organization and that you see yourself there long-term. If you are relocating, put them at ease by mentioning that you have friends or family in the area.
- Follow-up. Nobody likes the person who gives you the cold shoulder after a great conversation together. Send a thank you note after you interview with an organization. This not only gives you a chance to reiterate your qualifications and interest, but you can also share any additional details that you forgot to mention or that they requested during the interview. You will also continue to stay on their radar screen while they interview other candidates.
- Navigate the awkward breakup. Avoid burning bridges with an employer by politely resigning. Like dating, it often “isn’t you. It’s me.” Maybe you want to be closer to your family and are moving. Perhaps you are looking for a position with a different specialty. Whatever it is, express your appreciation for the opportunity to work for them.