A potential employer's assessment of you begins the moment you request an application. Put your best foot forward and make a great first impression by following these suggestions.
Step 1: Dress professionally Present a professional appearance. Ditch the jeans and flip flops -- the point is to look as if you're ready to start work immediately.
TIP: Leave your phone in the car. Nothing makes you seem more unprofessional than talking on your cell phone or mindlessly texting.
Step 2: Be friendly Be courteous to the front office staff. The receptionist may inform the hiring managers if you're rude or arrogant.
Step 3: Ask politely Use a polite tone of voice when requesting the application. If the employees are busy, wait patiently and don't complain. Thank them after receiving the application.
Step 4: Complete the application Fill out the application completely with a blue or black ink pen. Use your resume as a blueprint when filling in the spaces. Answer neatly and honestly, use correct spelling, and sign and date the application correctly.
TIP: Be sure to explain any gaps in your work history. If you were attending school or on leave, make note of it on the application.
Step 5: Follow up Wait a week after you've submitted your application and then follow up with the company. Call and ask to speak to the hiring manager, reiterate your interest in the position, and ask for an interview. Be polite, yet determined. It pays to persevere!
FACT: In 2009, a contest for the "Best Job in the World" -- serving 6 months as the caretaker of a tropical island in Australia -- drew more than 34,000 applications worldwide.