You did it! You finally found a great internship or job that you’ll be applying for, and you want to make the best possible impression on the potential employer.
Well, the impression you create begins with the very first communication. It begins with the very first sentence written, well before you even meet with an interviewer. In fact, if your written communication skills are weak, you won’t progress to an in person interview; but if they are strong, most likely you will.
Follow these written and non-written communication tips to make the best possible impression on the potential employer and to maximize your chances for landing an in person interview:
- When reaching out to an employer with your resume, be absolutely certain there are no typos.
- Many organizations require a cover letter so be sure you have a very strong one, and it has been reviewed by your career coach prior to sending it.
- Employers will be emailing you to schedule the first round of interviews (usually virtual or via phone). Use this email correspondence as a way to start forming the correct impression. Refrain from using any slang terminology, or emojis. Be sure you are checking dates/times so that there is no confusion as to the next steps. Be sure to use Mr. ___ or Ms. ____ when addressing an employer at the outset. Even if they sign their email with their first name, show that you are respectful of their higher position as an employer by using a more formal term to respond.
- Respond to all emails/phone calls from an employer as quickly as possible. Responsiveness translates into a student who is eager and responsible. Delays in responding after 24 hours are a red flag to an employer.
- Don’t ask about compensation upfront. This is another red flag. If the salary is not posted, or provided, ask your career advisory to help you research the range for the role.
- Be prepared to know your resume, and be prepared to answer questions about exactly what your role was in your previous internships/part time jobs, etc.
- Prior to interviewing please research the organization and the individual(s) you are meeting. Use linked in to review their backgrounds and experience. DON’T request to connect with anyone prior to an in person meeting; but DO know enough about their background that you can ask questions about their own career to show you did your homework.
- Have strong questions to ask about the position, including the specific questions you may need answers to in order to fully understand the job responsibilities, etc.
- Have strong questions to ask about the organization after having thoroughly researched the firm: it’s products/competitors/recent events/areas of growth for the future.
- Plan to wear a professional business outfit that you have already purchased and tried on, etc.
- Plan to visit the company prior to your interview, so that you have already mapped out the most efficient travel route and won’t get lost or be late for the upcoming interview.
- Bring something to write with, and a small pad to take notes.
- Confirm with the employer 24 hours prior to your interview. Request floor number/suite number if not provided to you to show you are thorough and detail oriented/accurate.