Job Searching: Frequently Asked Questions

Job seeking certainly isn’t easy, and even the smallest of details can be confusing at times. Though it may seem like a straightforward process, picking a position to apply for and actually applying appropriately is often easier said than done. So in order to help you avoid any errors during your job search, we have compiled a list of frequently asked job searching questions.

What should I name my resume and cover letter?

When sending out your resume and cover letter, it’s important to never label these crucial documents generically, so sending your resume out as “resume.doc” is a definite don’t. Instead, personalize the files with your name, such as “JillSmithResume.” Since hiring managers are constantly inundated with applications, personalizing your file names makes it much easier for hiring managers to find your resume instead of letting it get lost in the shuffle.

Is it okay to apply to several positions at one company?

Depending on the company, applying to several positions may be acceptable, especially if the employer is a large corporate firm. However, when applying for multiple jobs at one organization, make sure to tailor your applicant materials to each position. If your background and qualifications really do make you a good fit for all those positions, don’t miss out on highlighting your most relevant skills accordingly for each application.  You don’t want it to look like you just quickly sent a generic resume without paying attention to the required skills for each position.

How long should you wait to follow up on a job application?

Most employers won’t take kindly to being harangued by potential candidates regarding the status of their job application. However, it’s perfectly appropriate for job applicants to send a short email a few days later to underscore their interest in the position. For example, you might say “I just recently submitted my application for ___ position, and I just wanted to be sure that my materials were accepted. I also want to reiterate my interest in the role, for which I feel I might be a great match, and would love to sit down and talk to you about it.”

How do I gather references?

Great question! Since you never know what the hiring manager might request, it’s a good idea to come to the interview prepared with a list of references you’ve hand selected and briefed about the position. To pick the most winning assortment of references, start by thinking about prior experiences in which you worked alongside others to accomplish a goal. Next, you’ll want to organize your pool of possibilities in an Excel document. When making the spreadsheet, be sure to add columns for the title of each individual, their relationship to you, their contact information, and the projects you worked on together. Seeing all your potential references in one document will allow you to easily choose the most relevant references for each job you are applying for.

With all the ins and outs of the hiring process, it can be hard to discern what’s acceptable and what’s not. With these answers to FAQs, we hope you can kick-start your job hunt with a fresh perspective.