On this page, we'll walk you through an example of how to apply for a professional job.
First, let's take a look at a poorly-written student resume. This example is poorly written both from a content perpsective and a style perspective.
Next, let's take a look at a well-written example of the same resume. Notice two things about this high-quality student resume. First, it's formatted to look professional. Second, the content has been written using active verbs that show concrete numerically-measured achievements of the student. Her experience and accomplishments are much more powerfully presented this way.
You can view and download an MS Word copy of the well-written student resume to use as a style template for your own resume.
Searching Job Ads
Now let's assume the imaginary student (Jane Smith) whose resume we just viewed is graduating and looking for a job. She searches on internet job websites for local jobs and she decides to look at a list of professional job ads. (These are merely samples for the purpose of illustration.)
Writing a Cover Letter
Luckily, Jane got some advice on how to write a strong cover letter, and she writes this great cover letter applying for the position as a blood drive organizer that we just saw in the list of sample job ads. Notice how Jane again describes her concrete, numerically-measured successes to demonstrate why she would be perfect for the job. She closes introduces herself and closes the cover letter using appropriate cover letter etiquette. The "Encl." at the end of the letter indicates that she has enclosed a copy of her resume with her cover letter.
Jane was also lucky to receive interview coaching. There are a practically infinite number of possible questions that might arise in an interview. The best a job applicant can do is to prepare for an interview is to practice answering as many potential questions as possible. It's also important to research the organization and the position thoroughly so as to know the right questions to ask of the interviewer in return. Finally, it's critical to be aware of interview etiquette such as professional appearance and conduct. For guidance on interviewing, view this list of interview questions, strategies, and ettiquette.
Always send a thank-you e-mail or note to your interviewer as soon as possible. Tell them something concrete that you liked about the interview (your interviewer's professionalism, the job possibilities, etc.). Also let them know you look forward to hearing a response from them. Then don't contact them again until after the time they said they would get back to you with a decision.
If you get a job offer, then depending on the situation, you might be able to negotiate for more pay or other benefits. But speak with mentors or more experienced people in that profession to see if the offer you received was fair. Most of the time, though, as an entry-level employee coming right out of college, you won't have much room to negotiate unless you have more than one job offer or other options that you can use as bargaining leverage.