Guest Author - Dianne Walker
If you are searching for a job for the first time, the important phrase to remember is “appearance is everything.” It doesn't mean simply mean how you look, though that is important as well, but your “appearance” on everything that a potential hiring manager will come in contact with about you. In other words, it is time to get professional.
What’s the harm in a crazy voicemail greeting? Potential employers do not leave messages after listening to an unprofessional voicemail greeting. They don’t want to sit and wait while the latest song plays before the beep. Once upon a time, this warning was only needed for teenagers. Now people of all ages are becoming more creative. Keep your greeting simple with your name and a short message. Don’t try to be cute or funny – you may fall miss the mark and offend the caller.
I bet you thought that e-mail address “firstname.lastname@example.org” was cute - not really. All employers, whether they are a corporate organization or retail, are looking for professionalism – even from first time job seekers. If you really love that email address, consider creating a separate e-mail account strictly for business. Use a professional sounding email address and use this email for your job search. Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail are just some of the providers offering free email you can check from anywhere.
What clothes do you have in your closet? If you only have jeans or sweatpants, you need to expand your wardrobe. You don’t need to go out to buy a lot of clothes just yet, but you do need something nice to wear to an interview. A nice, inexpensive suit is worth the investment. If you cannot afford a suit, try a nice pair of pants and jacket. You don’t want to go to an interview looking sloppy. If you don’t have a lot of cash, go to a thrift store. They have very nice looking suits for much less than you would spend in a store.
Check, check and re-check your resume, application and cover letter – then check again. Have you ever thought a letter or paper was perfect and then when you went back to read it again, you found all of these typos? Also, it may be easier to use all caps when completing an online application, but that is a sign of true laziness. If you’re submitting a resume, have someone else take a look at it. Ask them to be brutally honest, you’re practically putting your reputation in their hands if they tell you all is well on a document full of errors.
Looking for a job is extremely tough. Being a first time job seeker with minimal experience can be even tougher. Your number one goal is to impress any potential employer with professionalism and attention to detail. By practicing these simple steps you will increase your chances by leaps and bounds!