My boss put an ad on Craigslist. It was a pretty standard ad. We just need a part-time receptionist to begin with. Ideally, this is someone that we can train to do more and really help with our clients in the future.
We received around 400 responses to our ad. So, how does someone make themselves stand out to get that call.
1. This is a professional office, please do not use hot pink lettering on your resume. Yes, it will make you stand out, but not in the way you were hoping.
2. If the ad asks for a cover letter, and you do not include one, the chances of you being considered are pretty nil.
3. Check your grammar! I received literally dozens of resumes and cover letters that had horrific grammar. These were not instances of spell check or grammar check going wrong. I even saw some that did not include any capitalization or punctuation.
4. Keep the cover letter short and sweet. A couple paragraphs should do the trick. I really have a lot of them to go over so if you cover letter is a full page and single spaced, I probably won't read the whole thing.
5. Different font sizes may be okay in some situations, but please don't use multiple fonts and font sizes in the same paragraph. All that this shows me is that you are not detailed and don't care about how something looks.
Okay, now you made it past the resume stage. You have received that call to possibly set up an interview. What should you or should you not do?
1. Do not talk with your mouth full.
2. I understand that I may be calling you at home or out and about. I understand that there may be kids hollering in the background. I'm a mom, I get it. If this happens, ask if you can call me back, and then call back as soon as you can. If you wait a day or two, I will probably have moved on and scheduled someone else already for that interview.
3. Be friendly. I am not saying act as if you are my best friend, but be pleasant. This is for a receptionist position. If your phone mannerisms are not good, then you won't be coming in for that in-person interview.
Yeah! The interview is scheduled, it's time to meet your potential employer or supervisor. Here are a few tips for you.
1. Do not drown yourself in perfume. I already know that you were sitting in your car for a half hour chain smoking, I would rather you take a moment and go to the ladies room to freshen up first then douse yourself in cologne right before you walk in. I'd rather know you are a smoker from the get go then you try to hide it.
2. This is an interview, do not come dressed to go out to the mall or a night out. Corduroys are not fine. Skin-tight latex pants are not fine. I do not expect that you will be coming dressed in a three piece suit, but please take some time to think about how you should dress for the type of work environment you are applying for.
3. Do some homework. It may be for only a receptionist position, but find out what type of business you are interviewing at. You have our name, our address and I told you a little about us during the telephone interview, Google us. I want to see some initiative, I especially want to see if you will take that extra step before you come in. If you do, then you are more likely to take the extra step with our clients.
4. Take off your outside jacket. I know that it's chilly outside, but I want to know that you can make yourself comfortable. If you look like you are ready to run for the door, you probably don't belong sitting in that chair across from me.
5. Absolutely follow-up. Write a short e-mail saying thank you would be great. I want the feedback as much as you do. I want to know that you are really interested in this position.
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Now, good luck in that job hunt. I know it's not easy out there right now, so it is more important than ever to put your best foot forward.