Landing the Perfect Job
While it is fun and rewarding, it is a job to seek a job. You need to put a lot of time into it. I was once told that I should plan on spending about a month for every $10,000 in salary I hoped to earn.
Systematically review a variety of public health job websites. Talk to your faculty advisor, and those working in the field. They will know of which sites to search, or they may know of just the right job!
If the qualifications are clearly spelled out and you aren’t minimally qualified for a job, don’t apply—no matter how much you want the job. (This doesn’t mean you can’t keep an eye on the company and be ready to apply as soon as a more appropriate job is listed in the future.)
If the job advertisement says “must be able to stand on your head for at least one hour” don’t say “I hold the Olympic Gold Medal for standing on my head” say “I can stand on my head for fourteen hours and, in fact received the Olympic Gold Medal."
Know everything about the organization, its role, its mission, its history. Prepare at least two questions about the organization for each member of the interview team. If you do not know the people who will be interviewing you, it is acceptable to call the contact person and ask for an agenda.
Don't ever say anything bad about a previous employer, faculty member, or anyone else. What you say about other people reveals more about yourself than it does about them.
They may have done extensive research on you, or they may not have even read your application. Be sure you have re-read your application and CV. Also, be sure you have searched yourself on the Internet to see what they might see. If there is anything inappropriate, remove it if you can. If you can’t, be prepared to discuss it.
Read the job announcement carefully.
Do your research.
Don't be negative.
Don't assume the interview team knows about you.
Be explicit in addressing the requirements of the job.
Recommendations from Dr. Randy Wykoff
Dean of the ETSU College of Public Health
Be patient and persistent.
Review multiple sources
Be prepared to give a 60-second "home run" answer to each of the following questions:
You have less than one page to explain why you are right for the job, and what you will bring to the position. Your resume should show more detail than the cover letter but tell the same story. Ask several people who read resumes often to review your documents with brutal honesty to be sure they are neat, accurate, gramatically correct, well-written, professional-looking, and appropriate for the job.
- Why do you want this job?
- How are you qualified for this job?
- What are your strengths, weaknesses and ambitions?
- Tell me about yourself.
- Where do you hope to be in 5 or 10 years?
Once you get an interview...
EVERYTHING you say, do and write must be 100% honest, complete, genuine and sincere.
The cover letter and resume are not designed to get you the job - they are designed to get you the interview.
Once you find a promising job...
Dress for success!. You should be clean, professional, well- groomed, courteous, and polite. Attention to detail does matter. If you aren’t sure, ask.
Hand-write thank you notes to every member of the interview team and everyone who helped you with the process. Be brief, express your thanks, and tell them that you are excited about the prospect of working with them, but don’t repeat everything you said in the interview.
The interview is not the time for you to decide if you do or don’t want the job. The interview is the time for you to convince your potential employer that you are the best person for the job.