Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Land Your Dream Job: Beyond the Perfect Resume

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You’ve probably been told that your resume is the most important document in your job search (and it is). But if you want to stand out from the competition, you need more than a great-looking resume. In the end, only qualified candidates will get called for an interview, and only those who know how to interview will get the job.

Many factors go into the hiring process, and your success depends on these.  Some of the key components are:

  1. A relevant resume.
  2. Knowing how to interview.
  3. Overall appearance (grooming and clothes).
  4. Having relevant experience.
  5. Understanding (and reading) the job description.
  6. Knowing how to answer the questions.
  7. Asking the right questions.
  8. Knowing something about the company.
  9. Having a positive attitude.

While this is not an all-encompassing list, getting these key factors right will certainly help.

How to Interview as a Candidate

  • Research the Company: Dive into the company’s mission, culture, and recent developments. This knowledge demonstrates your interest and helps tailor your answers to show you’re a great fit.
  • Understand the Role: Thoroughly review the job description to align your skills and experiences with the role’s requirements. Highlighting relevant achievements can make you stand out as the ideal candidate.
  • Dress Appropriately: Choose an outfit that fits the company culture. Whether it’s formal or casual, dressing appropriately shows you’ve taken the time to understand the company’s environment.
  • Practice Your Answers: Rehearse answers to common interview questions. Practice helps you communicate your thoughts more clearly and confidently during the interview.
  • Prepare Your Questions: Have thoughtful questions ready for the interviewer. This shows your genuine interest in the role and the company and can give you important insights into whether it’s the right fit for you.
  • Show Confidence: Be confident in your abilities and experiences. Use positive body language, maintain eye contact, and articulate your thoughts clearly to convey your confidence.
  • Provide Examples: Use specific examples from your past to demonstrate your skills and achievements. The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) can help structure your responses effectively.
  • Express Enthusiasm: Show enthusiasm for the role and the company. A positive attitude can make a memorable impression and show that you’re eager to contribute and grow with the company.
  • Follow-up: Send a thank-you note after the interview to express your appreciation for the opportunity. This gesture can reinforce your interest in the position and leave a lasting positive impression.
  • Reflect on the Experience: After the interview, take time to reflect on your performance. Consider what went well and areas for improvement to prepare even better for future opportunities.


Someone who comes across as genuine and confident about themselves and their opinions will prove far more popular than a candidate wearing a polite mask of agreement. Building a rapport with an interviewer means that you will be more memorable, and have more chance of standing out from the crowd. And let’s face it – in a group of potential candidates, all with impressive backgrounds, the best way to get noticed is to connect with the interviewer on a more personal level.


That indescribable feeling that someone gives you – it can either put you at ease around them or do the opposite. Humans make snap judgments – it’s pure instinct – so being positive, smiling, and greeting the interviewer confidently can help them feel positive about you in return.


Long office hours and working as part of a team require the ability to interact well with several different people. Employers want someone who fits in with the team on more than just a work level. Companies are increasingly focussing on the culture and community of the workplace. Happy employees are shown to be the most efficient employees.

Focused learning Abilities

“A quick learner” might be a bit of an old cliché,  but if you can pick things up quickly this will lessen the amount of hand-holding needed in training which is a huge benefit for companies. Employers are generally worried about graduates; their lack of real work experience can mean they take more time to adapt to a work environment. Unless it’s a job that comes with training, companies will want a smooth changeover between employees.


As mentioned above, a well-groomed appearance shows you understand the level of dress that’s generally expected in professional environments. Heed the saying “it is better to be overdressed than underdressed”. At the same time don’t let worrying about your outfit make you late for the actual interview. Arrive 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time to ensure you get through building security and to the interview on time.

Body language

Interviewers register body language – crossing your legs or arms might be a subconscious move, but remember to check yourself every once in a while and think about how your body language might be coming across. And yes, constant eye contact might feel a tad awkward in a small interview room, but it looks a lot better than staring at the desk the whole time.

Do Your Homework

Doing your research on the company is essential! It means when they come to asking you tricky questions (like “Why do you want to work here?”) you will be able to respond with relevant information about the company. Showing an understanding of the company and giving your insight will tell the interviewer a great deal about your work ethic and ability. It also allows you to ask your questions and take control over the interview so it is not all one-sided, instead of making it feel more like a discussion.

So remember, a great-looking resume is imperative, especially for securing those all-important interviews. However, during the interview, it’s those little extras that help the interviewer decide which candidate to go with.

career Tip of the Day: Why Should We Hire You?

Additional Resources

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  8. Cover Letters: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

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    05/24/2024 07:07 pm GMT
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