Always keep your resume up-to-date. A good opportunity could be just around the corner.
If you’ve been in the workforce for more than 10 years, consider reorganizing your resume by first stating your goals and then listing your related skills before your employment history. This allows potential employers to more quickly focus on what makes you different from or better than other applicants.
If you’re just starting out, detail how your experience in internships or part-time jobs has prepared you for a professional position. Make sure to include any related outside community volunteer or association activities.
Keep your resume short and to the point. Don’t use overly effusive language, and consider breaking job responsibilities into bullet points for easier scanning.
Take advantage of every possible networking resource. If you’re actively looking for a new job, put the word out with friends, colleagues, past co-workers, and anyone else you’ve ever met. This is a great time to use the NewSchool Alumni Association’s resources.
Join and become active in associations related to your career area. Memberships not only give you contacts but also show that you are committed to staying current in your field.
Prepare what is called a “30 Second Commercial” about you. What would you say if you met a potential employer or career contact in an elevator? Learn to relay your key capabilities in a precise and succinct manner.
Always carry business cards and follow up on every possible lead. If you speak to someone at an association meeting, for example, make it a point to send him or her an email the next day.
Be sure to use social networking websites very carefully. Make sure that you never include anything that you would not want a prospective employer to see, including personal photos.
Beforehand, make sure to research and read everything you can about the job and the company.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, it’s helpful to prepare a list of questions ahead of time.
Dress appropriately. When in doubt, dress in business attire.
Bring extra copies of your resume and letters of recommendation with you to the interview.
Get there early. And, if time is short, be prepared to present your 30-second commercial.
Make sure to send a follow-up thank-you note the next day.