Being a young professional, your reputation is always on the line. Always. Whether you’ve just graduated and are job hunting, or you’re pursuing an internship, you always have to present yourself well – yes, even on social media which employers do check out about you. Particularly during the application and interviewing process. Let’s chat about this friends…
The Dos and Don’ts of applying/interviewing for a job/internship:
- DO personalize your resume and cover letter. These documents are the first impression potential employers have of you. That’s HUGE. Tailor your resume and cover letter to the company and position for which you’re applying.
- Don’t send out a generic message of inquiry. If you want to know whether or not your “dream company” is hiring, then customize your message of interest. Show off that you’ve done your research! Speaking of research…
- DO research the company: Do your homework before sending your resume and cover letter, and definitely when you walk into an interview. Check out the company’s website and social media channels, Google them and get as much information as possible. Interviewers will recognize your efforts.
- Don’t be sloppy. Dress up (no one ever gets in trouble for being over-dressed). Have your materials: resume copies and portfolio, organized and neat so your interviewer can find/view things easily. [Side Note: Bring hard copies of your resume and a portfolio if you have one. Also, having a business card for yourself is great too.] Oh, and be confident!
- DO have prepared responses. Know answers to these questions: What makes you a good fit for our company? What makes you unique to the other candidates we’ll be interviewing? What are you passionate about? Why did you choose this field? And practice them, but come across as natural, not rehearsed.
- Don’t ask about salary right away. Especially if you’re applying for an internship, just hold off on money talk for a bit. Send in your application/resume/cover letter, see if you score an interview and if you do perhaps ask near the end of it. You want to show your genuine interest in the company; immediately asking about salary can hinder your chances. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
- DO send a follow-up/thank you card. People appreciate being appreciated… Saying “thank you for the opportunity” goes a long way, whether it’s in an email or even better - in a hand-written/snail mail delivered card. Not only does this follow good manners, it also gives you another opportunity to contact the interviewer and remind them what a great candidate you are!
Those are the things that I think will help you the most; feel better prepared now?