|by Human Resources Development Canada,
||Aug 20, 2001
| Did You Know? … Small businesses generate about 90% of all new jobs in Canada.
Once you've got a resumé and cover letter, and you know what your options are, you're ready to take the next step — actually going out and applying for the jobs you want.
The job application process doesn't end with responding to want ads and delivering your resumé to companies of interest. You may still have to keep the ball rolling by following up on previous contacts, filling out application forms and — if all goes well — going in for interviews.Even the way you deliver your resumé can affect an employer's reaction to your application. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Drop your resumé and cover letter off in person — unless the employer has specified otherwise — preferably to the person who does the hiring.
- Tell the employer who you are and what kind of work you want. Be ready for anything — even an on-the-spot interview. (Have your SIN card and list of references handy… and review the Tips for Successful Interviews section before leaving… just in case!)
- Fill out an application form, if you're asked to do so.
- Thank the employer and ask if you can call back in a few days.
If you don't hear back within a week, call to make sure they received your resumé — reminding them who you are and what job you applied for. If they tell you that the job is filled or that no jobs are available, politely thank them for considering you and say that you will stay in touch with the company to learn about future job openings.When you apply for a job, you are often asked to complete an application form. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Keep In Mind!
- Read the entire document first and follow directions carefully.
- Print or write as neatly as possible.
- Be honest. Remember that you will have to sign your name to the information you provide.
- Include all paid and unpaid (e.g., volunteer) work.
- Answer every question. Write "N/A" (not applicable) if a question doesn't apply to you.
- Complete areas that ask for "Additional Information". This helps employers learn more about you.
- Attach your cover letter and resumé to your application form.
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
If you do hear back from potential employers, they'll probably ask you to come in for an interview. You'll have only a short period of time to demonstrate that you are the person to hire. If you're nervous, try practising for the interview. That way, you'll feel more confident and be better prepared to answer the interviewer's questions.
Here are a few tips to help you succeed in an interview:
- Learn as much as you can about the job and the company before you go for the interview.
- Think of some of the reasons why the employer would benefit from hiring you.
- Prepare questions that you think the employer might ask, then practise the answers with your friends or family.
- Market yourself. Don't exaggerate your abilities, but don't sell yourself short either.
Commonly Asked Questions Include…
- What can you tell me about yourself?
(Expand on the information in your resumé.)
- Why are you interested in this job?
(Know what the company does and explain your interest in doing it.)
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
(Be honest about your good qualities — without bragging — and don't dwell on your bad habits.)
- What skills can you bring to the job?
(Market yourself! Think about the personal skills inventory you developed earlier.)
- Do you have any questions about the job?
(Think of some questions to ask to show that you're interested and have been paying attention.)
Don't be surprised if your interviewer takes notes during the interview. You should also bring a pen and paper so that you can take notes too.
Chances are you'll consider submitting or posting your resumé for computer audiences in one of three ways: you'll send it via e-mail or via electronic form (e-form), or you'll create a Web page. (It's not as hard as it sounds. You can find step-by-step instructions for doing this on-line.)
Make sure you remember to bring:
- your SIN card
- your address, postal code and telephone number
- the times you are available for work
- the names and telephone numbers of references
- extra copies of your resumé
- copies of your letters of reference
- a notepad and pen
Today's employers often ask for resumés to be submitted by e-mail. Often, you can send it as a regular attachment (e.g., saved in Word, WordPerfect or other software). Sometimes employers will want you to submit resumés using ASCII text only.
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