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Posted by in The Career Connection

Get Yourself a Job

Get Yourself a Job

I make my living in the field of Human Resources and I recently just hired 140 people for a new store opening. Talk about excitement!

But some of the filtering of applications was made quite easy for me. Why? Because when I have an applicant with the email address sexykitten@ or 69sassy@ … well, it makes it quite easy to “filter.”

I was completely surprised at the email addresses and poorly written resumes received. Maybe it was so apparent because of the mass amount of applications received (literally hundreds) but I was overwhelmed by the lack of knowledge of the part of the applicants on just the bare minimum to get oneself through the door.

Last year, Monique Reidy and I, co-founders of this site, wrote the book “Working World 101: The New Grad’s Guide to Getting a Job,” after attending graduate school together as older students; we wanted to help the next generation start off on the right foot.

But, I think the tips are for everyone. I haven’t written a first person account for the book since it was published, however, this experience of hiring for 140 jobs, made me want to sing from the rooftops that help is so easy to find.

Now, I’m not saying any of our beloved readers are guilty of these sins, but if you know of someone who may be … pass along the name of our book, which includes many ideas and these tips:

  • Resumes full of grammatical errors won’t even get you an initial call. Make your resume easy to read and really define what kind of job for which you are looking. (It is okay to have more than one version to send whichever one is appropriate for a given field.) If at all possible, arrange your resume by skill sets — it is easier to read and will open more doors for you.
  • Long rambling voicemails are often immediately deleted. Voicemails demanding I call them back were calls I never returned.
  • Miscellaneous speech blunders and qualifiers such as “like” and “do you know what I mean” and ending every sentence as a question diminish your credibility. (Think about this last one … you may not even realize you do this. When you say an affirmative statement, see if your voice inflection trails up. Does it sound as though you’re asking a question, even though you’re stating a fact?)
  • The interview questions that you ask are almost as important as how you answer the ones you are asked. Be prepared when asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” (The books has a whole page of suggested questions.)
  • Be prepared to communicate to others that you are strong, confident, capable, and ready to take this next step in your life’s journey.

In order to be different, you have to first show the employer that you have what it takes to get your foot in the door. From making contact (formal email address) to dressing the part (err on the side of conservative) to saying the right thing, making yourself stand out is what is most important.

Here are a few tips, courtesy of HR Manager Deb Kintigh, about sending a thank you note after an interview, as noted in the book:

  • If the interviewer does not offer you his/her business card, ask for one. If a card is not available, write down the person’s name (check for correct spelling), title, and phone number.
  • Be sure you have this information for everyone you’d like to thank.
  • In the age of the Internet, immediate thank-you notes are welcome and show a genuine sign of interest.
  • The note should be concise, thoughtful, and sincere when thanking the interviewer for his/her time and the opportunity to learn more about the company and the position. Take a few sentences to restate your interest in the position and brie_y recap your most relevant and impressive skills. When closing the letter, “Sincerely” is appropriate.
  • Proofread your letter to ensure there are no mistakes or typos.

“Working World 101: The New Grad’s Guide to Getting a Job,” is available in’s store. Bridget Graham has more than 12 years in Human Resources and both Graham and Monique Reidy have masters degrees in communication.