Landing the opportunity

So you’ve researched your next career move, reviewed the postings on a variety of websites and feel ready to apply for your next opportunity. How do you put your best foot forward and land the position? Start with the following steps.

Prepare a professional resume

A resume serves as a marketing tool that highlights the skills and experiences most relevant to the opportunity you are applying for. Your resume and cover letter lay the groundwork to help you get an interview, where you will impress the hiring manager or search committee and land the position.

Resumes are dynamic documents. Your experiences and skills are always changing, so your resume should always be changing too. Explore tools in the career pathways to build a professional resume that fits you and is flexible enough to develop as you do.

Prepare a curriculum vitae

Often referred to as the academic resume, the curriculum vitae is typically used for medical, academic, teaching and research positions. The focus of a CV is on academic preparation, research and publications.

Draft your cover letter

A cover letter accompanies the resume and tells the employer which position you’re seeking, why you are interested in the organization/employer and exactly how you are qualified for that position. Do not simply repeat your resume. Your cover letter serves to draw out themes from your resume. Outline the strongest and most relevant skills and qualifications you have to contribute.

Refine your interviewing skills

Whether on the phone, via Skype or in person, the interview is your opportunity to seal the deal and land the opportunity of your dreams. The first impression you make is essential to your being chosen to fill the open position. Interview preparation and practice are the most important steps you can take to ensure a positive interview experience. Take advantage of InterviewStream, a Web-based interview-practice resource that offers free, unlimited usage of a virtual mock interview program and our behavioral interviewing guide while you prepare!

Learn job-search etiquette

Throughout the search process, maintaining a high level of professionalism is essential to putting your best foot forward and getting the job. From the email address you use for your preferred contact to the voicemail message your future supervisor may encounter on your phone to the photos and links viewable to the public through your social media accounts, details matter and make an impression on the people reviewing you as a candidate.

Virginia Commonwealth University
Division of Student Success
907 Floyd Avenue, Room 143
Box 842007
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2007

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