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Finding a new job in the middle of a pandemic recession may seem daunting, but there are a variety of employers hiring for remote positions all over the country. The hiring process looks quite different than it did a year ago, with interviews now happening over video chats instead of in conference rooms. Use this guide to help you prepare to dazzle hiring managers with an amazing resume and to get ready for your online job interview.
Perfect your resume
Before you get too deep into job listings, get your application materials ready. It’s important to have a resume that stands out to hiring managers, so consider ways to make it land at the top of the stack of applications.
While it’s important to have a great resume, hiring managers often don’t spend more than a minute or so scanning it to determine your work history. Regardless, you need to craft it carefully and grab their attention in those precious seconds. Your resume should be consolidated onto one page, with work experience detailed succinctly and answering the following questions in bullet-points: what did you do, why did you do it, and what was the result?
Be sure to choose a font that’s easy to read and format your resume in a simple manner. Highlight job titles and list experiences in reverse chronological order. Remember to include your contact information, plus hyperlinks to your LinkedIn profile and/or personal website.
If you need more guidance, consider hiring a freelance resume writer to help. By having another set of eyes on your resume, you’ll be more likely to stand out to hiring teams and get you that much closer to the coveted interview.
Craft your cover letter
Along with a resume, many job listings will ask for a cover letter. This should be specific to the job you’re applying for, so while a template may help, be sure to customize the letter to be applicable to the position you’re seeking.
Avoid repeating information that’s already in your resume. Rather, pick a few skills you want to highlight, and offer examples of times you used or demonstrated those skills. Be sure to add evidence of your success in previous jobs: cite data that can show how you added value to your previous employer.
Prepare for your interview
If you’ve been invited to an interview, congratulations! On average, only 2 percent of applicants land an interview. While this is great for your chances of getting hired, it’s not a done deal until you pass the interview stage and potential aptitude testing.
Many of us have had Zoom meetings before, but if you haven’t, it’s important to practice before your interview. Get the right equipment first: a laptop with an internet connection is usually enough to get started. Depending on the quality of your laptop or computer’s built-in camera, you might want to obtain a webcam for the interview.
Test the lighting and sound quality in the room where you plan to do the interview, and pick out an outfit that’s appropriate as business attire. Even though you won’t be doing your interview in person, your interviewers will want to see that you’re taking the interview seriously and dressing accordingly.
To prepare for the actual interview, learn as much about the company as possible beforehand. Arrive armed with well-researched questions about the company and job position. If you’re prone to getting nervous during questioning, consider drinking less caffeine before your interview, and remember to breathe deeply during your conversation.
By using this guide, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in your job search. Spend time in making your resume and cover letter stand out to hiring teams, and consider finding a freelance resume writer to help you polish it up before you send out applications. When you land an interview, do your research and come with questions to wow your interviewers.
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