Notes about photos and references:
Photos are generally not included in résumés unless you are applying for an on-air (in front of the camera) position.
In most professions the term "References on request" is typically included at the end of the résumé. However, in broadcasting, where jobs tend to be filled rather quickly, some people feel that the process can be speeded up if references and contact information are listed at the end of the résumé.
Generally, you will want a variety of people listed: previous employers and associates, and possibly a minister, priest, rabbi, or teacher. Be sure to get permission from each of your references before you list them. It is also a good idea to give them a copy of your résumé so they can keep it handy.
As a professor, I've often gotten a telephone call from a prospective employer about a student I had in the past. Although that student may want to think that I can remember everything about him or her, an awkward silence on the phone while I try to remember the specific student, doesn't help that student's cause.Notes on cover letters:
Notes on Interviews:
- Personalize the letter to the company involved. Find out who the personnel manager is or the person in charge of hiring for this job, and address your cover letter to them. This information is often available on the Internet. Mention one or two things about the company-an award they won, a recent acquisition, or a person you met who works there.
- Get to the point quickly. Mention the specific job you are interested in and then give two or three reasons why your background qualifies you for this job. This is not a time for modesty! Focus on why you are uniquely qualified for this job, and, if possible, cite personal success examples. Don't overlook volunteer work, especially if it's relevant to the job you are seeking.
- In the cover letter or personal interview don't cite problems with previous employers or make sarcastic remarks about previous work experience. It's unprofessional.
- Sometimes you may to include salary requirements or salary history. By doing a bit of research on the area, you should have an idea of how much it will cost to live there. You don't want to find yourself in a position of having to take a weekend or after-hours job just to pay for groceries. You might say, "My salary requirements are in the range of $xx,000." If you are presently employed, you can say, "My current salary at the WXYZ is $xx,000." Sometimes a new employer will provide funds for relocation; sometimes not. It's best to avoid this issue on the resume.
- State the fact that you are available for a personal interview. Give your home, work, email and/or cell phone numbers. Mention that you will follow up with a phone call to offer any additional information they may want. (This may mean that they will have to keep your résumé handy.)
Keep in mind that:
- If you are fortunate enough to be granted an in-person interview, find out everything you can about the company before arriving-especially things they will be proud of. If you can, talk to someone who works there, or has worked there in the past.
- Arrive on time and dress appropriately. Although you may find that workers there dress casually, unless it's an unusual company, for the employment interview men are expected to arrive in a coat and tie and women are expected to dress in a professional manner. Once you are on the job, you can take attire cues from other workers.
- Keep it positive. If you let the interview drift into negative areas, these things will tend to "rub off" on you as a candidate. You want to come across as a positive, optimistic, energetic person. At this point, a large part of the decision on a specific candidate will rest on personality. Although you may be understandably nervous, avoid vaporous chatter. Keep the conversation calm, pleasant, and focused. If you have letters of recommendation, bring them with you and offer to give them copies.
- Be honest. Employers need people they can trust. Being caught in a lie or "stretching the truth" will almost always get you rejected. Prospective employers are alert for these things, and they often check with the people you've listed as references. Be aware of the factors outlined here.
- Be prepared to back up and elaborate on everything in your cover letter and résumé. This is generally where the personal interview will start. Prospective employers are especially interested in "gaps" in your employment history. What happened during this period? Couldn't you find a job? Were you in rehab; in jail; fighting depression? They have to cover the bases on these things. Terminating employment is difficult and employers don't want to take chances.
- Be prepared to handle the typical questions: "Why do you want to work here? "What are your primary strengths." "What would you say are your weaknesses?" You may be asked about recent developments in the field and the trade publications you read. In some cases you may be asked about recent books you've read, movies you've seen, or travel. Other questions are, "What are your ultimate professional goals? "What do you see yourself doing in five years?"
- Follow up the interview with a letter thanking them for the opportunity and offering any additional information they might need. Remind them again of your unique qualifications for the specific job and the various ways you can be contacted.
- It's easier to find a job if you have a job. Unless they are just getting out of school, employers are suspicious of people who are unemployed. This means that you should not quit a job until you find a new one.
- Don't accept a job unless you feel you can stay there for at least a year. People who rather quickly move from job to job represent employment risks.
- Investigate a company or employer before accepting a job. If the company has a high rate of job turnover, watch out. Moving to a new job involves time, effort, and expense. There may be things lurking below the surface that can make your new job unpleasant, or even impossible. Generally, a prospective employer will give you a week or more to make up your mind before accepting a new position. Talk to present and previous employees if possible-even competitors.
- If you accept the job, get everything it in writing: salary, starting date, job description, and any moving expenses that will be covered. The company may suddenly be bought out, or the person who hired you may be transferred, promoted, or terminated. You don't want to be stuck after you turned in a two-week's or month's notice of resignation from your old job.
- If the new job takes you to a new living location, give yourself time to get fairly well settled before your first day on the job. First impressions are important, and you need to be able to focus on new people and procedures.
Before accepting a position you may want to study over Handling a Job Offer.
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