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Whether you are new or returning to the workforce or looking for a career change, finding a new job can be a challenging and frustrating experience. Make it easier on yourself by creating a proactive job-search strategy. Prepare yourself for the “job” of getting a job.

Make a good first impression. Your cover letter, resume and application are your opportunity to make a good first impression.

The Cover Letter

-Include your contact information at the top of your letter (name, phone number & email address). It is not necessary to include your address.

-Address your letter to a specific person. If you do not have a name, contact the company (by phone or email), and enquire as to whom the letter should be addressed. If you absolutely cannot locate a name, address your letter to the HR Manager or HR Department. Using a specific person’s name will make your cover letter more personable and memorable.

-Your cover letter should be short (one page) and to the point. Do not regurgitate everything that is already in your resume.

-Make your opening memorable. Express your enthusiasm for the position. Include accomplishments and skills that are specific to the job and meet the employer’s needs. State why you are the perfect candidate for the job.

-Wrap it up. End your letter by letting the employer know you are excited for the opportunity to work for their company, and you look forward to discussing your qualifications in person.

Reminder: Do your homework. Familiarize yourself with the company/business where you are hoping to work; do some research. Read the recruitment material and job description carefully. Make sure your cover letter and resume reflect what they are looking for.

The Application

-Take your time when filling out applications. If they cannot be completed on-line, write neatly to ensure that they can be read and understood. Always use a pen and make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors.

-Follow directions.

-When you feel you have completed the application, review it a second and third time to ensure it is complete and correct.

The Resume
-Keep your resume short (1-2 pages max), simple, and clear. It is not necessary to include employment experience from beyond ten years.

-Use a simple format and avoid tables and templates.

-Make contact information easy to find (preferably at the top of the page)

-Include skills, work experience and education that is most relevant to the employer/position.

-List achievements rather than job duties.

-Consider a “Summary” or “Professional Summary” at the beginning of your Resume rather than an “Objective”. This should be short; one or two sentences stating the value you will bring to the company.

-Have others proofread to ensure that it is easy to read and understand.

The Interview

-Look up common interview questions and use them as a guide to practice; however, remember to always be genuine and honest with your answers.

-Try a few mock interviews with your peers, family, or friends.

-Don’t just be on time, arrive 10-15 minutes early.

-Dress like you want the job. Even if the company has a casual dress code, dress nicer for the interview.

-Be prepared, bring all of your information with you; cover letter, resume application and letters of recommendation (if you have them).

-Do not bring anyone with you; arrive alone.

-Leave backpacks, coffee, soda, MP3 players home or in your car. Turn your phone off or put it on silence.

-Make eye contact with your interviewers

-Keep answers concise and focused; speak clearly. Interviews are time-limited so make the most of your scheduled time. Keep in mind that it is possible to give too short of an answer; however, don’t ramble. This is your opportunity to sell yourself.

-If you need clarity on a question, ask. It’s okay to take a second to consider your answer, just don’t hesitate too long.

-Do not chew gum or fidget.

-Be authentic and truthful; smile.

-Never speak negatively about a previous employer. If you are unhappy in your current position, focus on what you have learned from the situation and what you are doing to improve it.

-Have a couple questions ready to ask at the conclusion of your interview.

-A good attitude and good grooming lead to a good impact.

-Thank the interviewers for their time.

Send a thank you note to the interview panel after your interview, as soon as possible. Believe it or not, this could be the deciding factor.

Interviews can be nerve-racking. Try to relax and remember, you’ve got this!

There are a number of resources to assist with your job search. A good start is to contact your local One-Stop and/or go to careeronestop.org.

Now, go get that job. Good Luck!!

Colusa County One –Stop is an equal opportunity Employer/Program
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to people with disabilities


Colusa County One-Stop is a proud partner of America's Job Center of California
Colusa County One Stop, 144 & 146 Market Street, Colusa, CA 95932, (530) 458-0326