Friday, March 23, 2012

Be Prepared to Act on Hot Job Leads

Recent favorable news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a steady rise in the number of jobs being added to the U.S. economy. Job seekers should be encouraged by the possibility of increased job opportunities and prepared to act promptly on relevant job leads. The following suggestions can help.

Keep Resume and Cover Letter Updated

Your resume and cover letter should always be current, professional, and polished. Use it to succinctly communicate the skills, experience, and knowledge that make you a great candidate for the job. Remember to add some tailored points to both the resume and cover letter to address the specific job you are pursuing. If you always keep a great resume and basic cover letter at the ready, customization should be quick and easy.

Remember References, Work Samples, and Professional Attire

If a company is moving fast to fill a position or you join the candidate pool late in the process, be ready to respond quickly to inquiries. Have professional references already lined up and professional attire available for an interview or meeting. Additionally, if you are pursuing an occupation in which samples of work are commonly requested, be sure you’ve identified samples you can share.

Create an Elevator Pitch

Every job seeker should have an elevator pitch¾a short speech, typically two minutes or less, that summarizes your qualifications and skills and highlights your potential value to an organization. This pitch should be succinct and compelling, and the best ones will pique the listener’s interest and spark further dialogue.

Follow Up Immediately

When you hear of a hot job lead, follow up immediately to demonstrate interest as well as professionalism and motivation. Find a way to organize and track your job search, including actions already taken and next steps. If your efforts lead to an interview, be sure to send a prompt thank you note.

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