Thinking about working in the Corridor Region? Job searching, resume-building, interviewing – whatever it may be, it’s probably scary to you no matter how familiar you are with the process. Lucky for you, the Corridor is here to help! We’ve come up with a few tips that we are glad to share in order for you to be better prepared going forward. Joanne Follon and Tina Sherrill-Range have been conducting business visits to understand all aspects of what it is that employers want. They ask all kinds of questions so that we have the knowledge to better serve you and our region. Are you ready to hear the winning combination for sealing that dream job? Here you go!
Disclaimer: I am NOT an expert, by any means. I just spent the last 4 years in college and they drilled many of these topics into my brain. It’s only appropriate that I share them with you all.
1. Job search on the Iowa Lakes Corridor website
Have you taken a look on that bad boy recently? We have jobs galore on there!
Here’s what you need to do: first, go to our website and under the “Work” tab, click on the Job Center Page. This will bring up ample job opportunities that have been sent our way via employers in the Corridor area. This is a great way for you to do a quick search for the types of jobs that are open.
Once you’ve looked through that for a bit, click on Find Jobs at the top of the page. This will bring you to a list of links that includes our Employment Directory and various Lakes Corridor jobs. In our Employment Directory, you can post or update your resume, check outinternships, and can then be viewed by employers who are seeking qualified people like yourself. Of course, there are many other awesome pages for you to check out under the “Work” tab, like information on spousal employment and relocation services. What more could you want? When it comes to helping you find a job, we’re at your service!
2. Tailor & perfect your resume/cover letter to fit the job description
Okay, so you’ve searched our site, found one you liked and now you want to apply for that position. It’s time to update your resume and cover letter! This is a crucial step in the job application process because each description is different for every company, no matter if it’s a similar job or not. The mistake that many people make is that they send out a standard resume to every employer; however, it doesn’t work that way anymore. Employers want to see that you are truly the best person for the position. Maybe you’ve had experience in marketing and that has always been listed first. But now you’re applying for a communications position (this is from personal experience), what do you do? It’s important to still keep that marketing experience on there, but you MUST list your communication experiences first.
HR managers will most likely have a list of criteria they’re evaluating your resume on; make sure your most relevant experience is at the top & fits the job description or you will be tossed aside (even if you are perfect for the job). Side bar: I’m not saying to lie about what you’ve done; if you don’t have any communications experience, then by all means, list your marketing stuff (but tweak it so it could fit into either category).
The same type of thing goes for your cover letter. Read the job description and pick out a few key words that you can really expand on personally. Make sure to list your qualifications by using some of the same language as what’s presented under the job title; those few sentences are the 3-4 characteristics/qualities required for that particular position. It’s important that you relate what you have done with what the company wants, even if it’s not extremely significant in your eyes.
The last thing you need to remember about your modifications is formatting. You have to make sure the format of your resume and cover letter match, or you just look silly. Be consistent with your font, the size, margins, etc. Make it looks like you really put some time into the process; employers like to see you care.
3. Do your homework
Congrats, you’ve landed an interview! Now, let’s make sure you’re as comfortable as you can be during the interview. Step one, research the company. I think this is what sets people apart throughout the process. In the world we live in today, the internet is just a click or push away. Take some time to look up the company – its mission, goals, where you see yourself fitting in, etc. I can almost promise you that you’ll be asked “so, tell me a little bit about us and why you’d be a good fit here?” Avoid the deer in the headlights look and do some simple homework. The employer will be impressed that you know about the organization and the people working there.
While you’re researching, think of some possible questions that might come up in the interview. Have someone you’re comfortable with “quiz” you so you are in the interview mindset. You don’t want to sound too rehearsed, but you want to sound confident – there’s a difference. Also, think of some questions that you’d like to know about the company/position that you didn’t see during your initial findings. It’s good to ask questions during the interview, but make sure you are still listening to the information being relayed to you.
4. Wear appropriate clothing
I thought this was pretty black and white until talking with Jo and Tina. Apparently employers are noticing that interviewees simply don’t know appropriate dress attire. Although many companies are past the ages of wearing a suit and tie everyday, it’s applicable during the interview progression. When you research the company, you’ll get a feel for the corporate culture and should be able to determine more from there. But I think if you want to be safe, you should always overdress rather than having it the other way around. It shows that you care and that you take the interview seriously. Check out the pictures below for a few examples.
5. Follow up
This is a tiny detail that many of us forget, but it’s so important. Send a “thank you” when you get home from the interview (try to send it the same day, if possible). Make sure it’s hand-written, you thank them for taking time out of their day to meet with you and mention something specific from the conversation. Again, this shows that you not only listened, but you are appreciative of the opportunity. In the recent interviews I had, I sent and email right when I got home & then put a note in the mail the same day. Trust me, employers notice the little things, and you want to make sure you’re doing the little things correctly.
Now we sit and cross our fingers that you get the job (which I’m sure you will). Be sure to keep doing your research in case a second interview opportunity arises, but don’t get too antsy! Some companies won’t get back to you for 3-4 weeks because they are interviewing so many people – that’s normal. In the meantime, keep looking for other possibilities and stay positive. If you haven’t heard anything back after a week, give them a call just to follow up. Stay engaged throughout the process, it’ll help. Interviewing can be so stressful and emotional (take a deep breath), everything will work out in the end.
I hope these tips helped. Of course, tweak them as you see fit for your individual experience. Now, let’s go get some jobs!
Check out the rest of our blog here!
- Alexa Guessford