A resume cover letter should concentrate on experience specific to the job being applied for — generic cover letters are not as effective.
Don’t treat a cover letter as an introduction to a resume. The cover letter is more important than that. Think of it as a way to get the employer to take action on the resume. An effective cover letter should be focused on persuading the employer to invite you in for an interview.
The cover letter should be addressed to a specific person rather than just a plain "Dear Sir." In the text, instead of just introducing the resume, list experience relevant to the job advertised. Finally, end it by stating a desire to follow up with a phone call for any questions. There are many books available that show proper styles as well as tips on developing a powerful cover letter.
Take the time to proofread your resume and cover letter. A resume with numerous mistakes will make a bad impression on the person screening it. Check for misspelled words. Also ensure all addresses and names are correct. Sometimes having a friend read it will help uncover mistakes.
If the resume and cover letter do their job, the employer will set up an interview. The interview is probably the most important step in the job seeking process. Good interviewing skills are essential in landing any position.
The research and self-analysis performed during the resume writing process gives a good starting point in the evaluation of job performance strengths. Before going in for an interview, more research is in order.
If applying for a job outside your current employer, find out some information on that company. Chances are, you are already somewhat familiar with them or you wouldn’t have sent in a resume. Try to find out information on specific work performed. This preparation will be helpful during your interview. Finding out what type of aircraft or systems are worked on will help to determine how your work experience will be able to benefit the company. Even if you have no experience with that particular aircraft or system, you can show how past work and troubleshooting skills would enable you to quickly learn the new work requirements.
Learn about the specific job
Another important part of preparing for an interview is knowing the specifics of the job. What kind of work will be done? Is outside work required? Is any travel involved? If possible, it is helpful to talk to the person who was doing the job before to get some specific information. He or she will provide some valuable information that can help come interview time.
Dress for success
When it comes time for your interview, your attire is important. It is one of the first impressions that you will make. Always ask when you are scheduled for an interview about proper attire. At the minimum, slacks and a button shirt are a good idea. If applying for an upper management job, a suit and tie may be in order. It is always better to err on the side of conservatism.
Give yourself plenty of time to arrive early. No matter what the excuse, a sure way to make a bad impression during an interview is to show up late. Be sure you know the directions and give yourself plenty of time to allow for unexpected traffic jams or car troubles.
If you planned for enough time to arrive early, you’ll have some time to relax. Freshen up if necessary, making sure your appearance is neat. Although an interview can be a stressful experience, try to relax. If you did your homework on the company and read some books on interview techniques, you can relax knowing that you are prepared.
During the interview, pay close attention to the questions being asked. Answer them as directly as possible while emphasizing your strengths and positive attributes. Provide all of the information the interviewer is looking for without rambling on too much. Whatever you do, don’t lie.
Besides work experience and qualifications, employers look for the following traits when considering an applicant for employment:
• Positive attitude
• Good communication skills
• Ability to work well as part of a team
• Ability to analyze and solve problems effectively
• Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines
• Eagerness to learn new things
By emphasizing these traits in a resume and demonstrating them during an interview, the chances of getting hired increase significantly.
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