The Before You Send Checklist
- I know quite a lot about the hiring organization, having researched it via the internet or friends or acquaintances. I believe my values are in keeping with the organization’s values, and I could represent this employer comfortably.
- I am not just testing the waters; I am sincerely interested in some aspect of this opportunity.
- I know enough about this job to know that I meet the core requirements. That includes, but is not limited to, any specific requirements like unusual hours, travel, physical demands, software skills, or language skills.
- The job is right for my experience level and education. I am not overqualified, in my opinion, nor am I under-qualified to a great extent. I could learn a lot in this position, and I could make a good contribution. I am curious, and I have a good many questions in mind.
- I know who the job reports to, and have researched this individual, and I think I have a sense of her point of view and voice. I’ve incorporated what I’ve learned into a well-crafted cover letter. I want to meet her.
- My cover letter is no more than three paragraphs, and its content shows that I understand the mission of the job I want (because I have done a good bit of research). Through my cover letter, you can see that I get it; I’m not taking random stabs at generalities.
- My resume includes only black font, the background is white, and I have focused on content and somewhat less on unique design elements. I have not bordered the page, used 16 point font for my name, or otherwise obscured my simple and straightforward content.
- I have exhaustively proofread my cover letter and resume, and printed out a copy of each to make sure that they look as good on paper as they look on the screen. Then I proofread again.
- I know where the job is located and I am prepared to work in that geography. I have researched the area and can speak confidently about the place, the housing and transportation available, expenses, schools (if that is relevant) and the like.
- My spouse or significant other is on board with my plans, and I know why I am applying for this opportunity and how it fits with our plans.
In other words, I’m sincere, and it shows in the way I have approached this opportunity.