Over the years I have interviewed hundreds of young adults who were desperately keen to secure employment. I vividly recall one such young man who was not shy in expressing his disdain for the recruitment process wondering how he could ever get a job. He told me he had applied for ‘hundreds’ of jobs but with no luck. He had been invited to the ‘occasional’ interview, but usually he didn’t even get to that stage, and most of the time he never even heard back from the company who was hiring.
It’s an all too familiar situation that I hear about time and time again. Unfortunately, despite no success, the job seeker will often continue to do the same thing – send copious amounts of applications away, and somehow expect a different result.
If you are sending out job applications and not getting an interview, your cover letter and your CV very likely need to be rewritten as they aren’t getting you where you need to be. If you are getting interviews, but no job offers, it’s a sure sign that you need to look at your interview skills. Albert Einstein wisely stated that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.
Take a good hard look at the words and formatting of your cover letter and CV, take an honest look at the words and language you use throughout your interview and check your follow up post interview. Keep it professional, use appropriate language, and make it personal. Find out the name of the Hiring Manager and address your letter to that person, using their name. Find out their title and use it – Miss, Mrs, Ms, Mr or otherwise.
Pick up the telephone and talk to the Hiring Manager. Introduce yourself and demonstrate respect and good manners throughout the conversation. Be respectful of their time, and yet talk with them long enough to leave a strong lasting impression.
As it turns out – when I reviewed the young man’s cover letter above, it was immediately clear to me after the first line why he wasn’t getting interviews. It started off the ‘Hey’ as it’s greeting, was full of grammatical errors, and used abbreviations and very casual language throughout. In short, it demonstrated not one ounce of respect, professionalism or good manners. As an HR professional, I wouldn’t have read past ‘Hey’.
Good manners and respect will open many doors for you in life – particularly when it comes to your career.
Source: Lyndal Clark – www.mycoach.net.nz
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Author: Lyndal Clark
Lyndal Clark is a highly knowledgeable and approachable Career Coach at My Coach, and is well known for her ability to relate to and interact effectively with young adults. With significant experience in HR, Recruiting, Training and Employment Coaching, Lyndal is extremely successful in helping young adults transition into employment. My Coach provides expert coaching in all areas of employment including creating compelling cover letters and stand-out CV’s and provides tailored 1:1 interview training and support. For further information: www.mycoach.net.nz, www.facebook.com/CoachLyndal or email firstname.lastname@example.org.