Hints For Job Seekers
JOB SEEKING tips
Information about the Company
Find out what the employer
does so you can ask intelligent questions during an interview.
Let the employer know you
are really interested.
about the employer from individuals who work there, chamber of commerce,
Iowa Workforce Development, local newspaper, library, or company website
Questions you should ask when you are
researching the company
What type of work is
What types of jobs are
How long have they been in
How many people are employed?
What are the work hours?
How do they train new
What is the normal
& COVER LETTER tips
Your resume should focus
on your skills. Employers want to know what you can do, not just where
Resumes vary depending on
your situation: recent graduate, extensive work history, gaps in
employment, mature worker, etc.
Key words on resumes make
a difference. Some types of resumes include: chronological,
functional (skills), or a combination. Plus there are
different types of format when creating a resume. A listing of
occupation keywords and to learn about advantages/disadvantages of type
of resume and when to use them. The
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development website
gives resume examples of: work history, recent graduate, little or no
paid employment history, and blank model formats to get you started.
Electronic resumes are
becoming more common or resume scanning, both of which require specific
formatting. Resume scanning systems look for skills. This is because
resume scanning systems use a lexicon or dictionary when looking for
words and will identify only those words that are on file.
Cover letters are
important for over 80% of recruiters look at the cover letters and 76%
of recruiters said they would not consider applicants who had errors in
their cover letters.
Get a copy of the job
description you are applying for and read the description finding common
areas of what the job describes and what you can offer. If requirements
are mentioned in the job description, note in your cover letter if you
have these requirements.
Keep the cover letter to
one single page.
Be sure to state your
interest in the position and re-state your interest in your closing, and
thank them for their consideration in your closing.
Have someone read your
cover letter before you send it.
Use an acceptable standard
business letter format, i.e.
March 11, 2002
Mr. John Smith
1313 Mockingbird Lane
Somewhere, IA 55555
Dear Mr. Smith:
I am writing to express my interest in
the editorial position (reference code RIP13) as advertised on your
website homepage. As my attached resume notes, I have six years of
If you have any questions or would like
to schedule an interview, I can be reached at (555) 555-5555.
Thank you for your time.
A variety of
commonly asked questions and answers about filling out applications
A Lasting First
Ask yourself these
questions before the interview
Are my clothes clean and
Are they appropriate to
Do they fit or are they
Do I need a haircut?
Are your teeth clean and
your breath fresh?
Be on time
Maintain good eye contact.
Speak well of previous
employers or co-workers.
Ask specific questions.
Don’t discuss family
problems or provide too much information.
Send a thank you letter
after the interview and wait a couple of days to make a follow-up call
to see if the employer has made a decision.
Asked Questions (& Answers) in an Interview
Why do you want to work
here? “I feel I can put my skills to good use here.”
Tell me about yourself.
Briefly list your skills, abilities, strong points and accomplishments.
What did you enjoy the
most about your last job? A safe answer is I can’t think of anything I
What would you want to be
doing in five years? Show interest in moving up, increase
responsibility, or learning new tasks.
How do you deal with
stress or pressure? “I take daily walks to relieve stress.”
List your strengths and
weaknesses. Honestly state your strengths and tell how you are trying
to overcome a weakness.
Why should I hire you? “I
feel capable of doing this job and ….(state your strengths and abilities
What do you expect for a
starting wage? “What is the normal starting wage for this position?”
these questions along to the job interview
What would my job duties
How would I be trained?
How would my progress be
Are promotions possible?
Who would I report to?
Why is this job open?
May I have a tour of the
If the employer has not
volunteered this information, ask them about the rate of pay, fringe
benefits, and any probationary period.
addresses that could be demeaning and insensitive, i.e.
addresses that make the employer wonder about ethics.
*Always provide a
personal name if your system allows it, i.e.
*If you are
providing an email address be sure to check your email inbox.
More information is available at your local Iowa Workforce Development
office. Call or stop by for some one-on-one help with your questions or
ask for copies of these helpful publications:
The Great Job Search
A Veteran's Guide for
Successful Job Interviewing
Billfold Résumé for Job