How should you organize a letter when the company has not announced openings? (LO 28-2)
Is it ethical for someone who isn’t a good writer to hire someone to “ghostwrite” the letter for him or her? (LO 28-1 to LO 28-
Why should you not ask for a job in the first paragraph of a prospecting letter? (LO 28-3)
How do you use your interview strategy during an interview? (LO 29-2)
How do successful interviewees communicate? (LO 29-4)
What are your greatest strengths? How can you demon- strate them during an interview? (LO 29-3, LO 29-4)
Is it unethical to practice answering interview questions, so that you come across as very poised at an interview? (LO 29-3, LO 29-4)
Summary of Learning Objectives
Develop an overall strategy based on your answers to these
three questions: (LO 29-1)
1. What two to five facts about yourself do you want the inter-
viewer to know?
2. What disadvantages or weaknesses do you need to over-
come or minimize?
3. What do you need to know about the job and the organiza-
tion to decide whether or not you want to accept this job if it
is offered to you?
Wear a conservative business suit to the interview. (LO 29-2)
Bring an extra copy of your résumé, something to write on
and write with, and copies of your work to the interview.
Record the name of the interviewer, what the interviewer liked
about you, any negative points that came up, answers to your
questions about the company, and when you’ll hear from the
company. (LO 29-2)
Rehearse in advance everything you can. Ask a friend to inter-
view you. If your campus has videotaping facilities, watch
yourself on tape so you can evaluate and modify your interview
behavior. (LO 29-3)
Be your best self at the interview. (LO 29-3)
Successful applicants know what they want to do, use the com-
pany name in the interview, have researched the company in
advance, back up claims with specifics, use technical jargon,
ask specific questions, and talk more of the time. (LO 29-4)
As you practice answers to questions you may be asked, choose
answers that fit your qualifications and your interview strategy.
The best time to negotiate for salary and benefits is after you
have the offer. (LO 29-5)
Prepare for salary negotiations by finding out what the going
rate is for the work you hope to do. (LO 29-5)
Useful websites for salary information include www.wageweb
.com, www.salary.com, and www.datamasters.com. (LO 29-5)
Behavioral interviews ask the applicant to describe actual
behaviors, rather than plans or general principles. (LO 29-6)
To answer a behavioral question, describe the situation, tell
what you did, describe the outcome, and show that you under-
stand the implications of what you did and how you might mod-
ify that action in other situations. (LO 29-6)
Situational interviews put you in a situation that allows the
interviewer to see whether you have the qualities the company
is seeking. (LO 29-6)
For a phone interview, give short answers. Then ask, “Would
you like more information?” (LO 29-7)
If you answer questions on videotape, retape as many times as
necessary to show your best self. (LO 29-7)●
Show a knowledge of the company and the position.
Refer to your résumé (which you would enclose with the letter).
Ask for an interview.
To target your letter to a specific company, check for facts about
the company, check news releases and speeches, and check the
corporate culture. (LO 28-4)
Use a T-letter if the employer prefers it. List the job requirements
and your qualifications in a two-column format. (LO 28-5)
A short letter throws away the opportunity to be persuasive; it
may also suggest that you have little to say for yourself or that
you aren’t very interested in the job. (LO 28-6)
Tighten your writing, but if you need more than one page, use
it. (LO 28-6)
Use you-attitude by supporting general claims with specific
examples and by relating what you’ve done to what the employer
needs. Use positive emphasis to sound confident. (LO 28-7)
When a company wants an e-mail letter, make the document as
easy to access as possible. To do so, you should (LO 28-8)
Compose a document in a word-processing program and
then paste it into your e-mail screen.
Tell what word-processing program your scannable résumé
is saved in.
Put the job number or title for which you’re applying in your
subject line and in the first paragraph.
Avoid all capital letters and emoticons.
Put your name and e-mail address at the end of the message.
●When you know that a company is hiring, send a solicited
job letter. When you want a job with a company that has not
announced openings, send a prospecting job letter. (LO 28-1)
Organize a solicited letter in this way: (LO 28-2)
1. State that you’re applying for the job and tell where you
learned about the job (ad, referral, etc.). Briefly show that
you have the major qualifications required by the ad. Sum-
marize your qualifications in the order in which you plan to
discuss them in the letter.
2. Develop your major qualifications in detail.
3. Develop your other qualifications. Show what separates you
from the other applicants who will also answer the ad. Dem-
onstrate your knowledge of the organization.
4. Ask for an interview; tell when you’ll be available to be
interviewed and to begin work. End on a positive, forward-
Summary of Learning Objectives
Organize a prospecting letter in this way: (LO 28-2)
1. Catch the reader’s interest.
2. Create a bridge between the attention-getter and your quali-
fications. Summarize your qualifications in the order in
which you plan to discuss them in the letter.
3. Develop your strong points in detail. Relate what you’ve
done in the past to what you could do for this company.
Show that you know something about the company. Identify
the specific niche you want to fill.
4. Ask for an interview and tell when you’ll be available for
interviews. End on a positive, forward-looking note.
In both letters, you should (LO 28-3)
• Address the letter to a specific person.
• Indicate the specific position for which you’re applying.
Be specific about your qualifications.
Show what separates you from other applicants.
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