There’s that old saying that “practice makes perfect” but in the job market, there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate. Given the complexity of the job market, the list of responsibilities in a job description, and the interpretations of these qualifications by the interviewers, the likelihood of being able to be a perfect match is pretty much zero. With that said, it doesn’t mean you can’t be the RIGHT candidate for the job, you just have to prepare yourself!
Let’s talk about ways to get yourself prepared:
- Do your research. Learn everything you can about the employer you hope to work for. Analyze the job posting and imagine why they need someone to do this job. Remember, a job opening is a statement of need, think about how your skills fulfill that need.
- Review your résumé. Start with a résumé critique in the Center for Career Development, afterwards, do a critical analysis of your work. Take a look at each bullet statement, does each one add value, do they add information that is relevant to a prospective employer, are they clearly written?
- Write a cover letter. Find a job you want and write a cover letter specifically tailored to that job posting, even if the job is already closed. Make an appointment with the Center for Career Development to have it critiqued. Writing cover letters is a skill, and it is best to practice it early so you are ready when opportunities present themselves to you.
- Practice your interviewing skills. Research the kinds of questions that will potentially be asked by your employer and start to think about how you would answer them. Think about the stories you have from your experiences that demonstrate your skills and positive attributes. Think about specific examples, remember, specifics will help you get the job. Sign up for a Practice Interview in the Center for Career Development.
- Do it again. All of these things are not one and done. Resumes need to be reviewed more than once, cover letters are all unique, no two interviews are the same, and no two employers are exactly alike.
The great news in all of this is the Center for Career Development is here to help you. Stop in and see us and be the best prepared candidate you can be!