A cover letter is the way you introduce yourself to the prospective employer. It is their first glimpse of your personality. Your cover letter demonstrates your level of professionalism and attention to detail.
When composing a cover letter for our use, remember that we may send them to several prospective employers. Keep the greeting rather generic: Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Board Member, Dear Search Committee are some examples. Make sure you sign it before sending it to us.
- Limit your resume to two pages. Remember, the purpose of the resume and cover letter is to get the interview. The interview is the time and place to sell yourself, expand on your experience, and your qualifications.THE BASICS
- The resume should be clear and easy to read.
- Headings should be bold and compatible with the rest of the text.
- Avoid any font style that is swirly and hard to read.
- Make sure the text of the resume is neither too small nor too big.
- Start your resume with a brief statement, five lines or less, stating your purpose in creating and submitting your resume.
- Name what type of position you are seeking.
- Consider briefly answering these questions:
- “Why I am seeking this position?”
- “How am I qualified for this position?”
- The next section of the resume should be your summary of qualifications.
- Concisely list areas of experience. (ex. Landscaping, Concrete Restoration, Office Administration, etc. . . )
PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE
- Start with current or most recent position.
- Give the name of the company or association, the location, your position and title and the time period of your employment.
- Summarize your job duties and any projects you completed or outstanding achievements.
- Relate past experience to the position you are applying for.
- List any college degree you have, what your major was and where you graduated.
- Include any additional certificates or licenses you have acquired that are related to the position.
When sending condojobs.com your resume and additional information, send us a copy of your references and any letters of recommendation or certificates you may have. We won’t normally send that information initially with your resume, it is more impressive if you bring the original copies with you to the interview. However, we would like to have it on file so that we can have a more complete profile about you and be able to use the supporting information as needed.
- Dress to impress. A suit is never a bad idea! Your manner of dress, displays the importance you place on the interview.
- Find out how many people will be conducting the interview and bring original copies of your resume, references, letters of recommendation and anything else you wish to share. However, be selective in what you bring as most of the interviewers will have limited time to read.
- Know the specific job you are interviewing for. Know who you are interviewing with and express your interest in working for them. Never use the “I just need a job” response.
- Make eye contact.
- Be courteous and pleasant.
- Don’t chew gum, or have any foreign objects in your mouth.
- Be aware of ‘nervous twitching’. Don’t play with your hair, tug your clothes, click a pen or tap your foot. RELAX!
- Think about the questions before you answer.
- Be prepared to answer questions such as:
- “If ‘such and such’ problem occurred, how would you handle it?”
- “Why did you leave your last position?”
- “How do you think you can benefit our organization?”
- A good interviewer will ask open-ended questions. Don’t give yes or no answers. This is the time to display your communication skills.
- Be careful not to talk bad about past employers, no matter how awful they were.
- Express to the board members your interest in a tour of the property. This will signify your sincerity in seeking a position with them.
- Be honest.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your own.
- “Ask about the expectations, salary, benefits, retirement program, etc. . . “
- “Whom will you answer to?”
- “How is success measured?”
- Remember, the real you is the person that will report for work the first day!
A follow-up letter after the interview is highly recommended. It demonstrates the high level of professionalism and attention to detail mentioned earlier. It also shows that you will take the extra time and effort to get the job done right. Send it out within 24 hours of the interview. Address it to the head of the committee, but mention everyone’s name you met. Thank them for their time. Tell them you would enjoy meeting with them again. This small step in the process will elevate you above the majority and might be the small advantage you need to land the job!