Tag Archives: Job Seekers Advice

Getting the Job (When You’re Not Really Qualified)

Few things are more discouraging than seeing an open job position that sounds just perfect for you—the kind of role you want, at a respected company, with great benefits—only to find that you’re not technically qualified for it. The recruiter wants five years of experience, and you just have two; or, there’s a list of specific skills needed, and you only possess a handful of them.

A lot of jobseekers run into situations like these and just move on. Of course, that’s perfectly reasonable—but here’s the thing: Underqualified people get hired for great roles all the time—and often, they end up really excelling.

So what can you do to make yourself competitive for a position that, on paper, you’re not suited for? Here are a few tips.

Going Beyond Your Qualification

Show off the skills you do have—enthusiastically.

The recruiter has a list of skills that they want to see—but your job is to take their mind off that list and focus them on your list. Use your resume to sell yourself, highlighting the breadth of your experience and the wide range of things you can do well. Focus on the value you offer, and the specific achievements you’ve had. Build a case for yourself as a uniquely talented and multi-faceted applicant.

Emphasize your potential.

You may lack some of the technical skills needed for the job, it’s true—but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn them. Use your resume to showcase the fact that you’re a quick study and an eager learner. Show off your continuing education and the ease with which you adopt new talents.

Provide context.

You can use a strong cover letter to fill in the gaps and really convince the recruiter that your candidacy is serious. Paint the big picture, portraying yourself as a talented and enthusiastic applicant who is ready and able to learn new things and really grow into the role.

Be a positive force in your interview.

When you sit down for the job interview, that’s when you really have to sell yourself effectively—shifting focus away from the ways in which you fall short of the requirements, and toward all the ways you shine. Avoid negative phrasing (“I’ve never done,” “I don’t know,” etc.) in favor of positivity: “I’d love to work on,” “I’m eager to learn,” etc.

Reach Higher

You may not be the best candidate on paper, but that doesn’t mean you have to take no for an answer. A solid resume and cover letter can get you in the door, and convince hiring managers that you’re just the right person for the job. Get your resume materials up to snuff with a little help from our team; contact Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444 or http://www.grammarchic.net.

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How to Write a Post-Interview Thank You Note

Job interviews are all about making a positive impression—and that’s something you can do even once the interview itself is technically over. Within a day or two of your job interview, send a thank you note to the person you interviewed with. It doesn’t matter whether the interview was a triumph or a total disaster; it doesn’t even matter whether you still want the job or not. You never know when you might encounter someone from that organization again, and it’s simply wise to make sure you leave that strong impression.

Before You Leave the Interview

Even before you exit from the interview, one thing you can do is ask everyone you’re interviewing with for a business card. That way, when you send thank you notes, you don’t leave anyone out—and you don’t get anyone’s name wrong! At the very least, take an extra minute to confirm that you have all the names right before you leave the office.

How to Write Your Thank You Note

As for actually composing your thank you note, here are some tips to keep you on the straight and narrow.

  • Send an individual thank you note for everyone you interview with—not just one blanket thank you for the group. That personal touch goes a long way!
  • If at all possible, send your thank you note within 24 hours of the interview—48 at the very most.
  • Mention specifics. Make note of something about the company you found to be exciting, e.g., “I was excited to hear about New Client A,” or “I think new app B sounds like a tremendous asset.”
  • Highlight a particular skill or achievement from your own resume that you think will align with the position in question.
  • Affirm once more why you feel as though you’re a good fit for the position.
  • Make sure each thank you note is unique! Remember that the people who receive them may compare them, so you don’t want each thank you note you send to be a generic form letter.
  • Keep the letter fairly brief and straight to the point; you want to reaffirm your thankfulness for the interview and your interest in the position, but you don’t need to belabor things. A good thank you note is usually a paragraph or two.

Always Send a Note

Again, it’s always good to send a thank you note—even if you don’t really want the position. Keep those impressions positive—and your bridges from burning.

By the way: Sending your thank you note via email is almost always acceptable, unless you know the company to be especially formal or old-fashioned—like a law firm, perhaps.

And if you need help composing a robust, effective thank you note, we encourage you to use our team. Grammar Chic, Inc. can help you craft the perfect resume, cover letter, and yes, even the perfect thank you note. Reach out to us today to learn more: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Is Your Emotional Status Compromising Your Job Search?

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At Grammar Chic, Inc., we’ve helped countless jobseekers refine their resumes and cover letters, utilizing the precise wording and specific formatting needed to win the attention of recruiters. Obviously, we’re nothing if not passionate about the importance of a good resume. With that said, we have no trouble admitting that your career prospects are about more than just words on a page. They’re about more than your skills, achievements, and past opportunities.

In a very real way, your career advancement can be aided—or compromised—by your emotional state. If your mind or your heart aren’t in the right place, it’s going to be evident to hiring managers and HR bosses. They’ll sense that, even though you may look like a perfect fit on paper, there’s something holding you back from total investment in the process—and because total investment is what they’re after, they’ll simply move on to the next qualified applicant.

So what are some of the ways in which your emotions might be hindering your career progress? Consider the following four scenarios:

  • You’ve become discouraged by the process. Let’s be honest: Searching for a new job can be grueling. It’s easy to become wearied by it, and to feel discouraged by the process. Unfortunately, your feelings of discouragement can come through in your job interview; hiring managers need candidates who don’t just have the right skill sets, but also have positive attitudes and boundless energy. That’s what makes it vital to do something to prevent total discouragement—to enlist the help of your friends and family members to support you and keep your spirits as high as possible.
  • You’re trapped in a terrible job and just want to escape. To be sure, there’s nothing wrong with doing everything you can to get out of a bad work situation. However, if your only interest is in escaping your current job—if you’re not actively, positively interested in this potential new employer—recruiters will know it. It will be obvious that you don’t care about the company per se, but rather just need a way out of your current gig. If you are looking to escape a bad job, make sure you take time to research new employers and to cultivate some passion for what they do.
  • You don’t actually wish to leave your current job. Some jobseekers look for new work just as leverage to negotiate a better salary at their current gig. Again, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but a lack of active interest in your potential new gig will come through in the job interview. Learn about the company, and at the very least try to fake a sincere interest in it.
  • You’re unsure about your career. Do you feel like you may wish to change careers within the next year or two? Then looking for work along your current career track may prove tricky. Make sure you have a clear sense of what you want to do and what you want to be; indecision will be perceptible to recruiters!

We’re not suggesting, by the way, that you can simply flip a switch and change your emotional state—and if you’re dealing with any of these issues, working through them can be tough. However, just being aware of your emotions, and trying to get a better handle on your feelings and motives, can be a big help to you in your job search.

To learn more about job search dos and don’ts, we invite you to contact us today. Call 803-831-7444, or visit http://www.grammarchic.net.

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