4 Back to Basic Tips for Job Seekers

by Gabrielle Spiers, Senior Assistant, INALJ Montana
previously published 8/21/13

4 Back to Basic Tips for Job Seekers

gabrielle-spiersRecently, I got the chance to read through resumes and cover letters – the experience prompted reiterating these tips. I realize that a lot of these are really basic, and I feel like they shouldn’t have to be said, but I ran across every single one of these issues.

  1. Double check the name of the person who you are addressing the cover letter to. It does not instill confidence in me if you cannot spell my name correctly.
  2. Proofread your resume again. I took my own advice here after I found a mistake on a candidate’s resume and I found something that I had overlooked on mine. So you really can never be too careful.
  3. If the job is located in another state or country then I would mention that in the cover letter. Something like “I am looking to relocate to x area soon.” That way I know that you know that this is not a telecommuting position.
  4. Respond to emails from hiring organizations. If you get an email asking about an interview then even if you don’t want to be interviewed please take the time to write back and say so.

There you have it. Those are four things I would like to see from applicants.  I know that a lot of you probably do these things already, but I really don’t think that it hurts to get back to basics in your job search.

  8 comments for “4 Back to Basic Tips for Job Seekers

  1. LMS
    August 22, 2014 at 5:53 am

    I recently asked for feedback after I didn’t get a library job, and was told that I didn’t specifically address every skill mentioned in the ad in the cover letter. Since many jobs can have up to 12 required skills listed, I wonder how realistic it is that an individual is proficient in every one and has space to discuss how they would meet them (in one page, of course). Just saying…

    • August 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      One tip I got from someone I know who was successful was to address each requirement even if that makes your cover letter longer- of course the HR people could just be feeding you a line. You sometimes have to go with your gut and I lean towards TMI or too long a cover letter versus leaving stuff out.

    • August 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      I see that so often for library clerk jobs here – for shelvers! There will be 2 pages of requirements that an applicant is meant to address, and a lot of it has nothing to do with shelving.

  2. August 21, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I find that a lot of the time, there is no name to address it to. Usually, I’ll end up opening with “To whom this concerns,” or “To HR at Library” (replacing Library with the actual organization’s name. Is that the proper way to do it?

    • Kathryn
      August 28, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      I have found previously if you write the organization they are often willing to give you the person’s name of whom the letter should be addressed. Also doing a search on the internet can yield a result. For example I applied for a job that said in the advertisement to address the letter to the ‘Library Manager’ but didn’t give the name of the person. By doing a bit of a search online I was able to find the person’s name.

  3. August 21, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Question. How careful are HR people about doing their own proofreading and clarification of job descriptions? I see an awful lot of bad spelling and grammar out there, and one has to wonder what happens in their workplaces that causes such carelessness. Thanks.

    • August 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

      I would say that most are but boy oh boy, the ones that aren’t do stick out!

  4. August 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Also double check the name of the organization you’re applying to. If your cover letter mentions how much you’d like to work somewhere else, I wish you well with that application and move on to the next person.

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