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Yes, These Job Search/Interview Tips Still Apply

Got questions about looking for work and the interview? Here are some answers.

What to wear ...

People wonder if certain job search / interview tips still apply. This post is here to tell you that yes, some things are still relevant, such as the following.

1. Tweak your résumé.

You should tweak your résumé for each position you apply to. This is helpful advice because it forces you to dissect the job description or job posting and see how your skills translate into what the employer needs. Again, you need to customize your résumé for each job you apply to because each employer uses different verbiage to say the same thing. This could even apply to your job title. For instance, if all the positions you are applying for based on your experience are Customer Service Representatives, but your job titles have been Greeter, Front Officer, and Hostess, then you may consider amending your job titles. You could use Greeter/CSR, Front Customer Service Rep, and Customer Service Hostess. This is not meant to be deceptive. This is meant to help the employer know that these past positions are the same as the position they are looking to fill. So, the next time you are applying for work tweak your résumé to use the same words they do in the job description based on your past experience and even consider changing your job title to better match the position to help the employer make the correlation that you have done this job before.

2. Do your research.

It still pays to do your research prior to the job interview. You are not only applying for a job, but you are applying to be a new employee for a company, organization, agency, etc. You should want to know more about the place you are applying for, and not just apply for the job. This will help you answer the inevitable question of, "Why do you want to work here?" with much more meaning. You may also learn something in your research that you have other questions about and can inquire about this at the end of your interview. For instance, in your research you may learn that for one day a year this office closes the entire office and all staff participate in the communities Day of Service. With this information, you could include this at the end of your interview when it's your turn to ask questions. You could say, "I read that not only do you pay employees up to 8 hours a pay period to volunteer, but each year this company cares enough about the community to shut down the office for a Day of Service. How did this come about? This will help your interview become a conversation and help you to stand out from the crowd.

3. Develop a master résumé.

The old school advice is to keep a master application where you list all of your job information and references. This still works fine, but the new way is to let social media be your master résumé. If you haven't already you can join a professional networking site, such as, LinkedIn. Doing the work to create your profile and continually keeping it up-to-date is an excellent way to keep track of all your work experience, accomplishments, groups you are a part of, volunteer work, and brand yourself according to your expertise. LinkedIn can be your on-going virtual resume that you can put every minor and important employment detail that can be used to market yourself in and it's saved for you to access and others to see. There are other professional networking sites you can join too. Do your research and explore.

4. Volunteer.

It is useful to volunteer at places that matter to you or is in your field of interest while you are looking for work. This can be put on your résumé to help you fill the gaps in employment, also shows what you are passionate about, and that you enjoy helping the community.

5. Say please and thank you.

Manners still go a long way. Always be polite to everyone you encounter in route to the interview, especially the receptionists/front desk staff. Each person you meet in the building could be a future coworker. It pays to show gratitude towards having the opportunity to interview for the position. Thank the interviewers for their time. Make eye contact with the person asking questions or with each of the panel members as you are answering the question. After the interview, you can send a thank you letter to again thank them for the interview and use that opportunity to explain how what you learned in the interview solidified why you want to work there. If you are in the final two, that thank you letter could be just what is needed to help the employer make their decision. In this day of technology, you can type or handwrite a thank you letter and mail it or hand deliver it. It is also acceptable to email a thank you letter to the interviewer.

6. Dress intentionally.

Think about what you wear to the interview. Doing your research on the company or organization you are interviewing with can help you know the appropriate way to dress for the interview. For instance, in the trades industry, it could be a good idea to show up in the attire you would wear if you were working the job to show that you could start that day if needed. Such as if you were a painter showing up on the job site based on a referral from a buddy. Then show up in your painter clothes ready to work. In most cases, dressing a notch up from the every day office attire would suffice. Knowing the culture can help you make the right decision regarding what to wear.

So, job seekers, tweak your résumé, do your research, keep a master résumé, volunteer, use your manners, and dress appropriately. Now, go out there and give it your best!

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