One of our newest career-related discoveries is What Would Dad Say?, a blog written by dad and business authority G.L. Hoffman. He had a fantastic post last week, "The Class Everyone Thought You Took, But You Didn't."
The class in question was Interviewing 101. Frankly, it's nothing that we haven't all heard (or said) before, but it's so basic, so important, and so simply stated that it really ought to be embroidered on a throw pillow.
I'm a believer in simplicity. Wasn't it Thoreau who said, "Simplify, simplify, simplify"? That's probably why I loved the post. It lays the foundation for job seeker success by condensing the essential elements into 10 simple statements.
Here's the first, direct from the "duh" truck:
When you send out a resume, send a cover letter too.
Make both perfect.
Come on, there's just no arguing with that!
Unfortunately, that doesn't stop people from arguing. Sure, some big companies will just strip the cover letter out of your electronic application and scan the resume into a database. Some hiring managers will overlook typos in your resume. But why risk it? Just write the letter and fix your mistakes. It's not hard!
Here's the second painfully obvious point:
Keep track of what company and to whom you send your resume and cover letter. You do this so when you are called by the company's recruiter, you don't say things like "how did you get my resume," or "who are you and why are you calling me?"
Trust me, this scenario really is painful. I have actually said to a phone interviewer, "Forgive me, but can you refresh my memory about which company this is, and which position you have open?" Yeah. Still couldn't tell you what that company was, because – strangely – they passed up the opportunity to hire me.
Keep a record of all the resumes and letters you send out. Organize it so that when an interviewer calls (which is the whole point), you'll be able to determine instantly which version of your resume they're looking at, what you said in your letter, and which of your qualifications are most relevant to this position. Again, it's not hard.
You get the picture. I urge you to check out the other eight basic statements in the post to remind yourself how simple job seeking really ought to be.
You don't have to get fancy to advance your career. You just need to understand and master the basics. Do that and you'll be miles ahead of most of the competition.
Do you agree? Is getting hired really a simple process? Or is it a complicated jumble of variables in which success depends on dumb luck and a precise planetary alignment?