Always send a personalized cover letter with your resume. This is your opportunity to emphasize how your knowledge, skills or experiences make you an ideal candidate. It is also a unique sample of your writing and conceptual skills.
- Your cover letter must be flawless. Run a spelling and grammar check and read it yourself multiple times to make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors.
Thank You Note
Whether you have just concluded an informational interview or a job interview, sending a personalized thank you note immediately afterward is a must.
A personalized, handwritten note is preferred although email notes are acceptable in more and more companies today. Use your own judgement; if the employer set up the interview via email or requested that you upload your resume through their website then an electronic note is probably acceptable. Regardless of how you send it, always send your thank you within 24 hours of the interview.
During the interview, do your best to obtain business cards from each interviewer. When this is not possible, ask for the spelling of each interviewer's name and be sure to get each one's job title. If you are planning to email the thank you note, notice the email naming convention used at the company.
- Be concise.
- For informational interviews, state how helpful the recipient of the letter was to you in your job search.
- For job interviews, affirm your strong interest in the position and focus on what you can offer to the employer.
Employers typically ask for three references. The most important references are people for whom you have worked. If you do not have three former supervisors to list, think about colleagues with whom you've worked on a project and who can speak about your skills. Recent graduates and other candidates with limited job experience may include professors, non-profit or volunteer organization leaders or other people who can speak positively about your level of commitment to a task.
Choose your references carefully and be sure to ask them if they are willing to speak on your behalf before you include them.
- Ask your references to let you know if they receive a call from a potential employer. Thank them for speaking on your behalf.
- Be sure to keep your references informed about the progress of your job campaign including the outcomes.
- Do not send your references with your resume. Bring them to the interview and produce them only if requested. Use the same font style and size used in the body of your resume so your documents will match.