When you’re vying for your dream job, it’s important to make a good first impression. While this is true in any field, it is especially crucial for administrative professionals. After all, you are likely to be the face and voice of your company – the first person who comes in contact with customers and other key stakeholders.
When making your initial contact with a prospective employer, you have two key opportunities to leave them with the impression that they need you on their team. It all begins with the right resume and cover letter, which are your introduction to companies that interest you. And if you succeed at this first step, you will score an interview – which is Part Two of your successful effort at selling yourself.
If you want your resume to stand out above the competition, avoid these mistakes:
- Failure to proofread: Every company wants admin professionals who are detail oriented. Your resume cannot have typos, misspelled words or grammatical errors. Even after you have proofed it several times yourself, have a trusted friend review it, too.
- Not tailoring your resume to the job: Customize every resume that you send out. Look for keywords in the job description and incorporate them. Highlight specific aspects of your experience that are relevant to the position.
- Unprofessional formatting: When it comes to formatting your resume, less is more. Avoid multiple or quirky fonts, as well as clip art and images. Keep the reader’s attention on the content and overall polished look of both your resume and accompanying cover letter.
- Being dishonest: This applies not only to outright lying, but also to embellishing dates or other important facts. The truth will catch up to you. For instance, don’t claim to be an “experienced InDesign expert” when you’ve used the program only a limited number of times.
You can have a winning resume and feel confident that you’re the right person for the job. But your interview will make or break your chances. In one national study, executives identified these interview missteps that immediately eliminated candidates:
- Checking your phone: This implies that the job is not your top priority. Turn off your phone and put it away, even while waiting to begin. Pay attention to your surroundings. If there is a receptionist or other employees, make brief contact and be polite and professional. You never know who might make a comment about you later on, which could sway a final hiring decision.
- Showing up late: This comes across as low regard for people’s schedules and gives the impression that you tend to be tardy. Arrive 10 or 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. To avoid being late, do a test run in advance.
- Arriving empty handed: Even in today’s digital world, come prepared with extra hard copies of your resume and list of references, as well as your portfolio. Show that you are prepared to move forward should an offer be forthcoming.
- Badmouthing a past employer: You may have good reason for leaving your last job, but never bring this negative baggage into your interview. Take the high road. Simply say that it was time to move on and find an opportunity that was a better fit for your goals.
CPS Recruitment can help ensure your administrative job search success by putting you in touch with leading employers in the Syracuse market and beyond. Send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org check out our open jobs portal, or contact us today to learn more!