Make us your home page
Jobs | Getting hired

What do good job applicants do to get hired?

Unless you're tapped for a job without throwing your hat in the ring, you're going to have to work to stand out from the applicant crowd. A good applicant should:

Let people know you're looking. Make informal contact with friends, relatives, neighbors, past business colleagues, former professors and fellow members of associations and clubs.

Target realistically. Even your mother or best friend shouldn't endorse you for a job that you're not suited to do.

Have a picture-perfect resume. No typos and rewritten for each job to emphasize your appropriate experience or skills. Be sure to quantify any accomplishments you can. Employers react to measurable results, not just statements that said you "did" something.

Capture attention with a cover letter. Some systems won't accept anything but an application form, but if you can inject personality or drop an influential name, go for it.

Include a good reference list. Make sure that former supervisors or associates you list as references are willing and able to give you on-the-spot good reviews if called.

Keep detailed records of your applications and responses. Don't lose track of any names, phone numbers or email addresses of human resource officials or line managers you're fortunate to get.

Ask for letters of recommendation from former bosses or professors that you can send with applications or produce on demand.

Prepare a 30-second commercial, your "elevator speech," about who you are and what you're looking for.

For example:

"I have been a paralegal for 15 years. I have considerable research and social media skills that I would like to direct toward helping a cause I'm passionate about. I've been an active volunteer for several local social service and civic organizations and have a broad network of contacts in the metro area. The development position at your agency is a good fit for my experience and interests."

Get out from behind the computer. You're more likely to get an interview offer through personal contact.

Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at the Kansas City Star.

What do good job applicants do to get hired? 06/02/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Exploratory Lab Boot Camp provides real-life technology training to students


    CLEARWATER — At this graduation ceremony featuring some of the brightest local minds in tech, it was the youngsters who stood out.

    Laszlo Leedy, 17, a senior at Shorecrest Prep, presents part of his team's project for SPC's Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. Students presented their ideas at the end of the SPC Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. The program provides real-time business training to students. This year's graduation celebrated 15 students that finished the program. 
[JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  2. Appointments at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and World of Beer highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Tampa Bay Watch, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary, has announced two new employees. Pamela Arbisi is the new development director. Her responsibilities include …

    Scott Bendert has joined the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay as the non-profit organization's Chief Financial Officer. [Company handout]
  3. Tampa's Homeowners Choice seeks to offer flood insurance in other states


    Tampa-based insurance company HCI Group Inc.'s subsidiaries are trying to expand their flood insurance offerings beyond Florida. HCI has filed with regulators to offer flood coverage in Arkansas, California, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.

    Tampa-based HCI Group is trying to expand its flood insurance offerings to other states. Pictured is Paresh Patel, CEO of HCI Group. | [Courtesy of HCI Group]
  4. Home of Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman hits market at $3.45 million

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is back on the market for $3.45 million after a brief hiatus.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is on the market for $3.45 million. [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  5. Trigaux: Halfway through 2017, a closer look at six drivers of the Tampa Bay economy


    We're nearly halfway through 2017 already, a perfect time to step back from the daily grind of business and ask: How's Tampa Bay's economy doing?

    Is there one theme or idea that captures the Tampa Bay brand? Not really but here's one possibility. The fun-loving annual Gasparilla "Invasion" of Tampa is captured in this photo of 
The Jose Gasparilla loaded with pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla on its way this past January to the Tampa Convention Center. In the future a vibrant downtown Tampa or St. Petersburg may be the better theme. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]