The beginning of summer is an exciting time for any student—including those graduating and looking to begin their careers. Resumes, cover letters, interviews for the Dream Job: All can elicit a healthy dose of simultaneous excitement and dread. Read on to make sure you are dotting your Is and crossing your Ts when it comes to the job application process.
Make Your LinkedIn Page Sparkle
Before you even start plugging away at resumes, make sure your LinkedIn is up to snuff. Take the time to fill out a summary that shows your personality and the achievements you have experienced thus far, upload some projects or writing samples you are most proud of, and consider publishing a few articles in LinkedIn Pulse. We don’t have to tell you that LinkedIn is the place many HR professionals and contacts go first when checking you out online. Make sure you are giving them something great to look at that shows you take your career life seriously.
And while you’re at it, make sure your profile pic is appropriate for the network.
Spruce Up Your Resume for Each Job Lead
Once your LinkedIn profile shines bright like a diamond, start sprucing up your resume for each job are applying for. You’ve heard this multiple times, but it really does bear repeating: Tailor your resume for each job you send. This helps better convey to hiring managers that you have taken the time to research the job and the company and that you feel you truly are the perfect fit. Look at the specific wording of the job description and fit the words used to describe the job and/or ideal candidate into your resume. Include accomplishments that show you have already done what the job is asking its candidate to do. If your resume includes an objective section, write it in the same voice as the job description.
Just remember: Everything (we’re talking every bullet point and sentence) on your resume should back up the argument that you are the ideal fit the company is looking for.
Let Your Voice Shine in Your Cover Letter
You can fill your resume with a hefty dose of personality, but let your voice truly shine in your cover letter. It doesn’t feel quite as restricting as your resume and brevity isn’t such a concern. That said, it’s ill-form to simply repeat your resume so you shouldn’t be rattling off the same information. Instead, use your cover letter to expand on information included in your resume. Perhaps you can talk about an anecdote that shows your stellar strengths or a situation that was a strong learning experience for you. Whatever you include, it should be interesting and intriguing enough that the hiring manager chooses to look at your resume as well. After all, it’s called a cover letter for a reason.
Put Your Internet Sleuthing to the Test
Once you’ve locked down an interview, it’s time to borrow a cue from Nancy Drew and get to snooping. Look into the news the company has generated recently so you can have a general pulse of the organization. Read any content the company has produced, including blog posts, white papers and social updates. Social media has made it easier than ever to have an idea of your interviewer before you even step into the office. Perhaps you learn that he or she has a unique hobby you could ask about or you all have a mutual connection. Maybe you both went to the same university or you have children the same age. All of this is great fodder for conversation to have at your disposal when you are in the interview.
Burchard & Associates is an executive search firm specialized in accounting and finance recruiting across all business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution, healthcare, financial services, and more.