Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Traits That Will Help You Get You Hired

A lot of job search articles, including some on this blog, focus a lot on the things you shouldn't do when looking for work. These kinds of tips are very useful as a big part of the job hunt is avoiding things that will make you look bad to employers. We shouldn't forget, however, that it's also useful to know the things that will make you look good.

Part of being a successful job seeker is being proactive. That means showing employers not why you want the job, but why the organization needs you. Below are five traits that will show that you are the employee that will not only help the nonprofit in the present, but also in the future.

  • Contact organizations that aren't actively hiring. Send organizations that are in the middle of sustained growth a resume and cover letter explaining why you could be of help to them in the future. All organizations eventually need new employees eventually, and this proactive approach could save you effort when that time comes.
  • Make a phone call. The world is dominated by e-mail these days and, in most cases, it's a very useful tool. Yet there is something to be said about hearing an actual voice that can tell you a lot about a person. That's why you should take the time to call the organization's hiring manager after you submit your resume, just to introduce yourself.
  • Personalize your cover letter: Ditch the "To Whom it May Concern" opening and use the hiring manager's real name.
  • Get to the point: There's no need to explain in your cover letter that you are writing in regards to their job posting. Chances are, they already know this, so cut to the chase and start explaining why you would be a good fit for the job. A good idea is to open with an anecdote that explains your passion for the organization's line of work.
  • One size doesn't fit all: Make sure your resume fits the position and organization where you are seeking work. Just because it's similar to another job for which you applied doesn't mean you can copy-paste your application for that position.

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