Job Search: Proven Ways to Get More Interviews (Resume, Cover Letter, LinkedIn, Branding & a Lot...) | Vicky Fung | Skillshare

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Job Search: Proven Ways to Get More Interviews (Resume, Cover Letter, LinkedIn, Branding & a Lot...)

teacher avatar Vicky Fung, Senior Finance Executive, CPA

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

24 Lessons (2h 15m)
    • 1. Proven Ways to Get More Interviews

    • 2. Understand What You Want

    • 3. Be Honest with Yourself

    • 4. 3 Items You Must Look For in Every Job Description

    • 5. Extend Your Research

    • 6. Develop Your Personal Brand

    • 7. A Must-Learn Model Before Job Application

    • 8. The Primary Objective of a Resume

    • 9. Craft Your Advertisement to Your Target Customer

    • 10. Mind Your Words

    • 11. Fill Your Loopholes

    • 12. Save Your Resume Space

    • 13. Ensure Your Resume is Easy to Read

    • 14. Don't Let Your Careless Spoil Your Interview Chance

    • 15. Cover Letter vs Resume

    • 16. Craft a Winning Cover Letter

    • 17. 3 Things You Should Do When You Send Out Your Application

    • 18. Follow up the Application

    • 19. Polish Your Social Media Profile

    • 20. The Reliable Means to Boost Your Interview Chance

    • 21. The Most Effective Method - Go Extra Mile (Part 1)

    • 22. The Most Effective Method - Go Extra Mile (Part 2)

    • 23. A Test to Assess Your Grit

    • 24. Let's Recap

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About This Class

If you are finding jobs,

  • Are you struggling with interview calls? 
  • Are you frustrated with no one called you? 
  • Do you want to get more job interviews? 

If any of your answer is yes, this course will help you.

I am Vicky Fung, a senior finance executive with 20 years of work experience.  I have worked in many large companies with operations over the world.  I have got over 10 years of recruitment experience.  Meanwhile, I am also a job seeker and have gone through the frustrating experience of job hunting. I made this course to help you to stand out from the thousands of applicants and get more interviews.

By the end of the course, you will learn:

  • what the hiring managers are looking for,
  • how to present yourself well in resume and cover letter,
  • how to develop your personal brand,
  • understand the tactics and various means to get more job interviews,
  • how to use the social media to boost interview chances,
  • how to arouse potential employer’s interests by using methods that 99% of people don’t use,
  • how to fix your loopholes in your career
  • and many other useful tips for your job application. 

All these will help you to present better images to your potential employers and get more interviews. If you want to learn all these, let’s start and watch my course now!

Meet Your Teacher

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Vicky Fung

Senior Finance Executive, CPA


Hi!  I am Vicky Fung, a senior Finance Executive with 20 years of experience in finance and accounting.  I have worked in many large companies with operations over the world.  I got 10 years of experience in recruiting and onboarding new staff, as I have actively involved in recruitment for my team and other positions for my ex-employers.  I would like to share my knowledge and experience with you.  Please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance. 

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1. Proven Ways to Get More Interviews: Job Search: Proven Ways to Get More interviews Are you struggling with job hunting? I believe all people agree that job hunting is a tedious process which requires a lot of effort. If we conduct a survey, what is the biggest problem during the job hunting? I believe most people would say, to land an interview. You have sent lots and lots of job applications, perhaps over a hundred, or some even a few hundreds, for one year or even longer, but still there is no call or email asking you for an interview. You wonder perhaps there is something wrong with your phone, your internet network or your mail box but none of them seems getting anything wrong. The reality, though you don’t want to accept, is no news from any of the companies you have applied to. If you find yourself in this situation over and over again, you want to figure out whatever is holding you back, so you can address it ASAP. But in reality, it is hard to know the precise reasons why you are not getting called in for interviews. At most you may only receive an email from the employers that they have identified better persons than you and so thanks for your time and interest in their company. No employers will tell you why you were not shortlisted. It is especially tough when you apply for a job that seems like a perfect fit for your skills and experience but you were not picked. You really wonder, why haven’t you heard from the employer after you spent so much time and effort writing a perfect cover letter with a well-written resume? The truth is if you keep on applying the jobs but without fixing the underlying problem, the situation will go on. Even you are qualified for the position, if you don’t know the tactics in job application, given that there are always hundreds of application for a particular job post, you will likely be overlooked. If you want to get rid of this vicious cycle and to boost your interview chances, this course is for you. I am Vicky Fung, a senior finance executive with 20 years of experience. I have worked in many large companies with operations over the world. I have been recruiting new staff for 10 years. Meanwhile, I am also a job seeker and have gone through the frustrating experience of job hunting. I know how difficult it is to get a job, particularly in landing an interview. I will share my experience and knowledge with you on how to get more interviews. I will tell you all the tips involved during the process of job application. I will go through the early homework preparation, background research, drafting a winning resume and cover letter, sending out your application as well as following up. I will talk about how to fix your potential loopholes in your resume and cover letter, so as to minimize the concerns of hiring managers. I will tell you how to address issues that often knocked most applicants out of consideration. Most importantly, I will share the powerful technique that 99% of people will not use, to help you to stand out from the keen competition. All these aims to present a better image of you to your potential employers, so that they will call you for interviews. So right now, do you want to learn all these? Do you want to get more interviews? If yes, let’s start now. I also have a Facebook group to support you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will be glad to help you. Thank you and see you in the next lecture. 2. Understand What You Want: Understand What You Want - Effective job hunting does not begin with writing resume and cover letter but start with a very important process. This process determines if you can win the interview or not. What’s this? This is the self-check. Before you apply for any positions, you need to think about some big picture questions or what I call them as the motivational questions. The aim of these motivational questions is to identify what drive you for your job search and what you really want for your career. If you don’t have a job currently, I know you will tell me no matter what kinds of jobs, as long as they give you an income, you will say yes. Even the situation is like that, there are still tons of different jobs and different industries available in the market. You still need to answer yourself, “What kinds of jobs do you want?” In fact, this is one of the most common asked questions when I do recruitment. I need to ensure that the job I provided can match with the expectations of the applicants, as well as their likes and preferences. This is very important for the employee to stay long at the Company. So usually before telling them the details of the job, I ask them these questions. “What kinds of jobs do you want?”, “What kinds of job are you seeking for?”. “What is your career plan?” or “What do you want to do for your next job role?” or other similar questions. Then the next question I normally ask, is “why?” and I let the interviewees to explain their preferences. In this way, I can find out what drives them or their motives behind the job search. Similarly, to start the job search process, you need to clarify what you want in your mind. This will help you in the subsequent job application and the interview. It also helps you to evaluate if the job opportunities match your expectation or preference, so as to land your ideal job. So these questions are: • What do you want to do, and why? • Apart from money, are there other deepest reasons? • How do you see yourself in future, say in short term and long term? • What kinds of jobs are you aiming at? A couple of months ago, I interviewed several candidates and asked them similar questions, what they want for their next job and why? 2 young ladies who were currently working as an auditor gave me similar answers: “Any job which can give them work-life balance.” They could not tell me the specific nature of the jobs or tasks they wanted to do. They simply wanted to move out from the auditing field with long-working hours and haven’t thought much details. I tried to guide them, there are lots of jobs that they can switch to, say accounting, internal audit, compliance, financial analysis, credit control and many others. Unfortunately, they could not tell me and finally I dropped them. Not knowing what you want to do and your direction, even if you find a job, it will not be your ideal job and you may end up leaving the Company shortly. Also, without clearly understand yourself, you cannot target your application and convince your hiring managers you got passion at the job. You need to find out the reasons why you want to find such jobs. While salary is one of the biggest concern, I believe there are also many other motivations that drive you for your job hunting. Before you move to the next lecture, take some time to write down the answers for the 4 questions that I mentioned earlier. These questions are very important to help you to land your ideal job. Now please pause the video and think. 3. Be Honest with Yourself: Be Honest With Yourself In my last lecture, I mentioned the importance of uncovering your true motives in job search. Now there is another set of self-awareness questions that you should ask yourself before proceeding job application. I call these questions as the skill-set self-assessment. Be honest with yourself and take some time to answer the following questions: 1. What skills, qualifications, talents and achievements do you have? And how good are they? 2. What makes you unique and set you apart? 3. What kinds of personalities do you have? 4. With your skills, what kinds of jobs are you fit for? 5. What kinds of companies will best suit you? Regardless of what kinds of jobs you are applying, the golden winning rule is that you find an opening that matches with your specific skills set and your motivation. The aim of these skill-set self-assessment and the motivational questions in the previous lecture aims at helping you to get focused in your job search. If your job application is not targeted and focused, you are applying for any or all the jobs that remotely match your skills and your motivation, very likely, you will end up getting nothing in return. In addition, these questions also set the basis of how you should prepare for your resume and your cover letter. If you don't think your skills and experience are impressive, chances are no one else will do. To land more interviews, you need to show hiring manager why they should hire you over anyone else. Your resume is not a listing of the job duties of your career but is your advertising material to sell your skills and experience. Your resume should list down your achievements that stand you out from the competition. Some people will say, they don’t have any achievements at all. You may think about what projects have you done? Have you ever made any suggestions to improve the Company in any aspects? Have you ever did something that you got recognition and good feedback from your colleagues? Achievements are something where you did well, you enjoyed doing and you felt good about what you have accomplished. This is in fact, the main part that attracts your potential employer. Spend time to think what you did to contribute to the success of your company. It may not be a very big thing, even helping your team to streamline the operation is an achievement. Get specific and look for quantitative evidence of your achievements that can be used to demonstrate your value to your current or future employers. It is important as well that you ask yourself how you measured your success on these jobs. If you are shifting positions or you want to start in a new industry or have different job nature, and you found yourself that you may not be competitive, then you need to answer the following questions honestly: 1. What transferrable skills and talents do you have? And how good are they? 2. Are you willing to start from the bottom and working from there? 3. Are you willing to take additional necessary training or education? And could you afford the time, money and effort involved? 4. Do you have a strong motivation to overcome the necessary challenges? If your answers are negative, I highly suggest you to think very seriously for this career move. I am sorry to say that such a career move may not be a smart and good decision for you. Even if you find such a job, you may end up unhappy. An ideal job is a job that you love, match with what drive you and your skillset. The job market is there is no prefect job, but no matter how, the positives it brings to you, should outweigh the negatives. Let me sum up these 2 lectures. Questions on motivation and skill set allow you to have a clear mindset on what kinds of jobs you should target and focus on. These questions also allow you to have the materials to write in the resume and cover letter, and later elaborate in your interview. Again, before you move to the next lecture, please take some time and think about these questions in details. Write down all your thought and these will become the content to be put in your resume and your cover letter, as well as your interview. 4. 3 Items You Must Look For in Every Job Description : 3 Items You Must Look For in Every Job Description Obviously, for any job hunting, job description is the starting place to understand your potential employer. It is the most critical piece of information that communicates what the Company wants. You should read the job description very carefully and think over it seriously. However, you may be surprised that many people may just take 1 or 2 minute to read this. Then they clicked the button and sent their standard application out. They wonder why there was no response from those applications. They wondered why there was no response from those applications. There are many reasons for having no response but if you are doing this, the most obvious reason is, it is you to give up this golden opportunity. If you are interested in a particular job, there are 3 things that you should look for in any job description. Make sure you can tell these points very clearly before you send out your job application. These 3 items are very critical for landing your ideal job. They are: 1) What precisely is the employer looking for Ask yourself, the below questions: • Exactly what skills, experience and qualification do they look for? • What relevant competencies do they want? • What specific keywords they used? Read the job description in details and stand from the employer’s point of view, think about their needs and their requirements. Highlight or write down all the specific keywords for the knowledge, skills, abilities, qualifications, experience and education that the hiring manager is looking for. These key words should be appeared in your resume, otherwise, your resume may likely be eliminated. If you are really serious about this job, you must look beyond the job description. Go deeper inside the employer’s mindset and see what they really want. This step is extremely important in your successful job hunting. Do spend your time on it. 2) What requirements and instructions they have Many job description also list down a set of dos and don’ts, such as who to address to, what keywords should be put in the title of application email, what info to be included in resume and so on. It is very important to follow these. Say, during my recruitment, , I often write down very clearly that cover letter is a must. Those applicants who did not send a cover letter, obviously, would be rejected. This is because following instruction is the basic expectation for every employer, no matter for what positions. Ignoring the instructions shows a disregard for detail and acts as an immediate strike against you. So you should follow the steps and provide any requests exactly as written. It seems obvious but based on my experience, over half of the applicants ignore the instructions! 3) How the Company described itself Compared with other Company’s materials and documents a job description is usually much shorter. While you want to sell yourself to the potential employers, the Companies also want to attract bright applicants for their companies. For companies, the job description is the document to give the first impression to the potential applicants. So notice how the Companies described themselves and what are the selling points. In your marketing documents such as resume and cover letter, you should mirror these points and tell them how these key points impress you. Make them feel you are already a part of them or a future member of their family. One of the most important process during resume screening is matching yours with with the job requirement. Therefore, identifying what they want and use their key words, mirror what they like and follow their instructions are the keys to succeed. 5. Extend Your Research: Extend Your Research - To increase your successful chance of landing an interview, purely analyzing the job description is not enough. You need to extend your research to 3 areas: (1) The Company; (2) The Decision-makers; (3) The Company’s competitors and industry. Understanding these 3 areas before applying to an opening is crucial. This can increase your chances of getting an invitation for interview significantly. Purely simply based on your job description analysis is not enough. Think about now you are selling yourself to your potential employers, or in other words, your customers. You need to know your customers well before designing the sales strategies to them. So what should you do here? The solution is to study the Company’s website, LinkedIn and other social media profiles in details. Read everything you can about the company to which you are applying. These social media can provide you with a lot of useful information about how the company operates. There are several things you should look for: 1) The Company’s culture Every Company and team is different. Some follow a hierarchy structure with strong emphasis on authority, others are more democratic. Some urge for innovation and changes while some stick to compliance and the traditional values. It doesn’t necessarily mean one is better than the other but it does mean that different culture suits for different types of people. You need to know what types of work environment and culture that you best fit in. Cultural fit is an important element to determine if you will receive the offer or not. 2) The Company’s vision and mission Find out what is the Company’s vision and mission. Employers want to find employee who aligns with their vision and mission. Mark that down in your notes and whenever possible, mention these items in your objective statement (if you have) in your resume and also in your cover letter. Show your potential employer that you are a part of them. For instance, some companies stress for social responsibility and community service, if you are an active volunteer in community work, including some bullet points about your voluntary service in your resume will help you. 3) The Company’s future development Check what the Company is developing in the future, its undergoing project and the development direction. These are the opportunities for you to highlight as your values and your contribution to the Company. Also, you can assess if these future business developments will match with your career aspirations. 4) The Company’s potential pain points These are the areas where the Company needs improvement. Try to understand their current and future challenges. If you can showcase you have the abilities to add value to the Company, particularly helping them to solve these pain points, you will have a high chance to get employed. Actually as compared to other points, this finding is the most important. Everyone wants to have their problems eliminated. If your qualification and experience do not perfectly match with the job requirement, but you can show them you have the abilities to solve their problems, you will end up being the winner. 5) The Company’s specific keywords - Take note about what the Company used most frequently in their websites, social media and annual reports. For example, many companies show the values they embraced, such as “motivated”, “can-do attitude”, “right first time” and “committed” and so on. Write down these keywords and make sure that these wordings appear in your resume and cover letter. Resume and cover letters are a matching game. You need to identify what they desire and then you match with yours. All these 5 points are about the Company. As important as the Company, you should also do research on the decision-makers for this position. So who are they? The hiring manager and the HR. The hiring manager is usually the Department Head. Nowadays most people have LinkedIn profiles. Go to the LinkedIn and check all their profiles. Focus on checking their backgrounds, preferences, likes and dislikes. You can get hints by reading their activities, such as what kinds of articles they read, shared and liked. You can incorporate all these findings in your resume, cover letter and the later stage of interview. As I mentioned in the early beginning of this lecture, you should also extend your research to your competitors and the industry. Take note on the recent happenings, trend and development of the industry. Identify the skill sets, areas of expertise and culture most frequently used in this industry. Usually every Company is well aware of what happened in its rivals. So if you can provide suggestions on how they can can drive more sales and get ahead of their competitors, you will also have a higher successful chance. Again, the keywords and all these related findings should be used throughout your personal marketing content, including your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. In short, doing all these research well, you will know better what content to sell to your potential employer, to arouse their curiosity on you and give you a call for interview. 6. Develop Your Personal Brand: Develop Your Personal Brand In the last 2 lectures, I talked about your preparation work before job application. These includes: (1) detail analysis on job description; (2) research on Company, decision makers, competitors and industry. Based on these researches, I think you understand more or less what the Company is looking for, the Company’s background and the general industry environment. Before your job application, it’s time to do your self-assessment and develop your personal brand. You need to link your motivation, preferences, skills, experience, qualification, values, competencies, characters and key personal attributes to the job opening. Use your finding during preparation work and do it one by one. This helps you to identify and develop your unique value proposition and best-fit qualities for your target employers. Take some time and think very seriously for several questions: • What do you like this about this job? • What don’t you like about this job? • What attracts you in this organization? • What are the things you worry about this organization? • How much passion do you have for this job? • Based on the keywords and requirements you identified, how well are you matched to these items? • What made you unique and stand out from other applicants? Do a self-assessment on yourself honestly. Have self-confidence on yourself but don’t exaggerate. Determine a decision maker's perception of how qualified you are and how much you match with the job requirements as well as their desired key competencies, knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal qualities. Ask yourself honestly if you are a good fit for the position and if the job is something that you would be happy doing. Meeting all requirements is not as a must, however, make sure you meet the most important ones before submitting your application; or you can convince your employer that there are some unique points that you can overcome those unmatched but important requirements. In the previous lecture, you have also identified your achievements in your career life. Match your achievements to the key items that the Company is looking for. Make sure that you have concrete examples to back up each keyword that you have previously identified. For example, if the job requires someone to be adaptable to different culture, you may highlight your achievement in working an overseas project with colleagues from other countries. Now take a paper and write down all your thoughts. Put all these findings in your resume and cover letter to convince the resume screeners to call you for an interview. Showcase how you fit them. For resume and cover letter, I will further elaborate these 2 important materials in the subsequent lectures. Always remember, the most qualified or skilled people don’t often get the job, may not because they do not have the necessary skills and experience, but because they didn’t show their match with the job requirements enough. In summary, “matching as many as you can” is the critical successful factor in developing your personal brand to sell yourself to the Company. The more you can match the company, department and job description in terms of your values and personality, the better your chances are of actually landing the job. 7. A Must-Learn Model Before Job Application: A Must-Learn Model Before Job Application In my last lecture, I talked about “the matching principle” which is the winning formula for an interview. You need to show how well you fit into the job post in order to convince your potential employers to call you for an interview. So first of all, do you know what the hiring managers are really looking for? Let me introduce to you the 5-fit model: Motivational, Technical, Soft Skills, Personality and the Cultural Fit. Personality and the Cultural Fit. will certainly be the right fit for the job post. will certainly be the right fit for the job post. 5 fits in great details and perhaps need one hour to go through all these concepts but as you are the job seekers, what you need to know is the main concept. So let me just spend a few minutes to explain here. 1) Motivational fit means how the job offer align with the individual’s preference. The hiring managers try to find what motivate you and then do the matching with their job posting. They want someone who can perform the job but also want to make sure that the person really wants that job. This is because it is the passion that motivates us to move forward and achieve great things. Even if you don’t fulfill their other job requirements, you passion can impress them to give you an opportunity. 2) Technical fit means if you have the adequate knowledge, specific hard skills and experience to perform the required job duties. Technical skills can be learnt but many employers hope that they don’t need to train you. Say, if you are applying for IT software engineer, obviously, you need to have certain levels of programming skills. 3) Soft skills fit means if you have the required key competencies to do the job well. Common soft skills include communication, decision-making, problem-solving, emotion handling, conflicts handling and adaptability. These skills can be trained but it takes time since somehow it relates to your personality. So it would be better that you can show to your potential employers you already got them. 4) Personality fit means you got the desired personalities of the hiring manager. This is important to ensure that you fit the team and the job role well. You can get the insights from the job description and by studying the LinkedIn profiles of the hiring manager and the team. You need to show them how you align with their desired personalities. 5) Cultural fit means you share the values, beliefs, attitudes and principles that drive work, behaviors and relations in the organization. Individuals with cultural fit tend to perform better, are more productive, stay longer and have greater job satisfaction. You should get insights on how you match with the potential employer when you do the research. As you can see, these 5 fits actually talk about 3 criteria: 1. Your desire to do the job – motivation fit 2. Your ability to do the job - technical and soft skill fit 3. Your fit in terms of the company and team culture – personality and cultural fit These 3 criteria or the 5-fit model is the method that the hiring managers determine if you are the right fit or not. If you want to get an interview call or get your job offer, you need to highlight these 5 fits to your potential employers. Even if you don’t have the required job or industry experience, it does not mean that you have no opportunity. There are something called transferrable skills. For instance, no one has even been a Manager before they were promoted to this position. If you can demonstrate your ability to lead, manage, organize and control, then you showcase your potential to do this job well. That means as long as you can present yourself that you can match with these 5 fits, you are a right fit for the job. Before I end this lecture, I would like to bring out one more important point. You will significantly enhance your chance of getting your ideal job if you can clearly show this to your potential employers, no matter during job application or interview. That is, the benefit you can bring to the potential employers. It may be difficult to proof your future value but you can use your past achievements to impress them. For example, you may say, as a direct result of your promotion strategy, your current company increased the turnover by 20% and was able to win a specific industry award. Achievement is the key content in selling you to your potential employers. Therefore, I have repeatedly emphasized this item in my various lectures. With all the detail analysis and preparation work you have done, now you got the content of what you should sell to your potential employer to get your interview. You should put them on your resume and cover letter. I will elaborate these 2 important documents in details in the coming lectures. 8. The Primary Objective of a Resume: The Primary Objective of A Resume Your resume is your business card or your personal marketing material presenting you. I believe all of you will agree this is the most important thing in your job search. If your resume passes review, you will move on to the interview stage. If it doesn’t, you will be eliminated from the start. This means a resume has one primary purpose, that is, to convince an organization to invite you in for an interview or at least for a phone interview. If that happens, you have an effective resume. A resume is more than a few pieces of paper. It is the first impression your hiring manager and your potential employer will have on you. Although it cannot tell your personality, it shows your experience, skill set, qualification and certain competencies as well as highlights your key career achievements to date. It makes the difference between getting a job interview or not. Don’t forget that recruiters or hiring managers are often flooded with hundreds or even thousands of applications for one position. So they spend on an average less than 1 minute scanning a resume before deciding if they should continue to read it or delete it in the trash bin. When you are trying to beat out hundreds or thousands of people for the job, it is a must that you need to put time and effort to create a really effective resume. You should make sure it looks neat, easy to read and relevant, and most importantly, can attract the attention of the hiring managers or the recruiters. To achieve this, the first thing you need to do is to figure out what makes you stand out from the keen competition and why you would be a good fit for the job. If you can’t even answer these questions yourself, you will have a difficult time convincing a potential employer that you are the one they should hire. Therefore, before you start preparing for your resume, you need to analyze the job description in details. You need to figure out not only why you can fulfill the job, but also what makes you special for this position. This is why the previous lectures on “Be Honest to yourself” and “Job Description Analysis” are extremely important. These 2 lectures guide you to find out what content you should put in your resume. As you are now watching this video, I believe you have already finished the steps of doing self-assessment and job description analysis. Now you are ready to move on to the next step and put your content into the resume. In the following lectures, I will share with you the important tips that you should pay close attention when you are crafting your winning resume. My aim is to help you to make your resume as easy as possible for your potential employer to find the key information about you that will lead them to schedule an interview with you. 9. Craft Your Advertisement to Your Target Customer: Craft Your Advertisement to Your Target Customer Many people mistakenly think of a resume as a summary of their entire career. When they write their resume they stick in every bit of information about themselves. That is an unfortunate mistake. It produces generic resumes that fail to target the potential employer and often ends up in the trash bin. A resume is a marketing material presenting you. It is an advertisement to sell you to your potential customer. Effective advertisements appeal to a specific target customer. So does a resume. It needs to target to a specific customer, namely, your potential employer, or more precisely, to the resume screener and the hiring manager. Therefore, instead of thinking about yourself, your needs and your wants, try to stand from the perspective of your potential employer. It will help you to stand out from the competition. That means you should tailor your resume to the job you apply to. Customization does not mean you need to re-write the whole resume for each position you apply to but you should make minor edits to better align your resume with the job description. In particular, changing the key words and the order of your job duties to better match with the job description. Or at a minimum, if you include an objective or a summary statement in your resume, make sure what you wrote matches the job title. Don’t state your goal is to be a marketing professional when you are applying for an office administrative job. Only include those information which is relevant for the position. Different jobs have different requirements, even for the same job nature or the same job title. There is no one-size-fit-all formula as the job tasks vary from one to the other. You should customize the content for each job. For instance, if you are now applying for 2 jobs, one is a customer-facing IT job to solve the technical issues of the customers, and other one is an internal software programmer, then for the customer-facing job, you will need to highlight more customer-service experience in your resume. Or say, you are applying for a job which requires coordination across countries, you need to highlight your relevant experience in this area and perhaps also your language abilities. Always make sure you are using different versions of your resume, particularly if you are applying for different natures of job, say marketing and administration. The years of work experience also affects the presentation of the resume. The resume of an executive with 10+ years of experience obviously is longer than that of a young-entry-level junior. Do make sure that your resume reflects your particular experience level and the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a Managerial position, don’t put your typing speed per minute in your resume. This will give the hiring manager an impression that you are a clerk or a typist but not someone in the management level. but not someone in the management level. the higher the chance to land the interview. How you should tailor-made your resume, depends on your research, that is: 1. Your analysis on job description 2. Your research on the Company 3. Your research on the decision makers including the hiring managers and the HR 4. Your research on the Company’s competitors and the industry Make sure you have applied your research findings in the resume. Also, do follow the 5-fit model that I introduced in the previous lecture. These 5 fits are motivational, technical, soft skills, personality and cultural fit. It is essential that you can present how well you can fit into these 5 areas. If some areas such as personality and cultural fit, may not be able to present well in the resume, in this case, you can leave them to the cover letter. When you think your resume is ready, then assume you are the hiring manager, do a 2-level self-assessment on your resume: Level 1 – 15 seconds test Just by reading the resume for 15 seconds, can you easily tell if the applicant meet the job requirement? If you find that you fail to do this, please re-work and highlight those particular skills and experience you have that match the job posting. Remember, employers often just spend a few seconds and less than 1 minute reading each resume, so your job is to help them searching for the specific key words as quickly as possible. • Level 2 – what impression did you got from reading this resume? In the preparation work, I mentioned that you should identify the core competencies and specific key things in the job description. By doing your research well, you should know what kinds of persons would be more preferable and best suit to your potential employers. Now match your impression with these key requirements. If they don’t align, then re-work your resume. Remember your resume is a piece of advertisement to sell you. If the advertisement does not interest your audience, then you will fail and lose this opportunity. For these 2 tests, you may also seek for your friends’ advice. See if they will give you an objective and honest comment. If you pass these 2 assessments, then congratulations and you can go to the next step. So to recap this lesson, resume is not a catalog of your job history but a well-written advertisement to create interest and to convince the hiring company to call you for an interview. Always tailor-made your resume to the job and minimize the matching time and effort of your hiring manager or resume screener. Do clearly and concisely demonstrate that you have the potential to help the hiring organization be successful. 10. Mind Your Words: Mind Your Words - To move your resume to the top of the applicant pile and land an interview, your resume should be appealing to the hiring manager and this depends on the use of words. There are 5 things you can do to enhance the effectiveness of your resume: 1) Play match games You should make sure your resume is a role match. Focus your resume on the specific things desired by the potential employers. You should use their specific keywords in your resume. These key words can be found in the job description, your job analysis as well as your research on the Company and the hiring manager. For example, an employer may specify an accountant must know a specific accounting software, such as QuickBooks. Please note that just mention the key words once is not enough. The key words should appear in the top of your resume as part of your profile and also in the body of your resume. This is because because many companies now use the Application Tracking System for resume screening. Maximize the use of these key words will increase the chance of being screening in by the machines. If you have missed any key words, add them to your resume. You can also use the specific industry terms or buzzwords used by the hiring company. This will make them feel you are a right fit to their culture and industry. However, this does not mean you should abbreviate, including the commonly used term such as “MBA” and “CFA”. Whatever it is, spell it out, otherwise, your reader, maybe the HR or the applicant tracking system, will have no idea what these are. 2) Start every sentence with active voice and different action verbs - Good action words provide energy. They make it easier for someone skimming your resume to quickly determine what you know how to do. Manage, budget, design, convert, customize, remodel, transform, facilitate, motivate, navigate and negotiate, are all actions of value to an organization. In contrast, was responsible for, communicates very little. These powerful action words also make you sound like an achiever rather than a doer. Don’t use passive voice as it sounds boring, complicated and less powerful. Start every sentence with distinct action verbs is a very effective way to improve the likelihood of getting an interview. 3) Use enthusiastic vocabulary Similar to action word, try to use enthusiastic vocabulary that will better reflect your personality and motivation. For instance, consider “It’s my job” compared to “It’s my career” or “It’s my mission.” All these words have the same meaning, but show different levels of enthusiasm. “Being a civil engineer is what I do” versus “Being a civil engineer is who I am”. Similarly, how do you view issues, as “problems” or “challenges”? I hope you get my point. Employers always want positive people with passion and energy. 4) Highlight your achievements Typical resumes often look like catalogues of job descriptions. They do little more than list job duties. For many jobs, the duties are more or less the same. Thus to make yourself stand out from the competition, you should highlight your achievement. One way to do this is to turn your job duties into positive accomplishments and convey those accomplishments to your potential employer. For every key competence required by the position, use specific examples to support your experience and include the specific details. Highlight these items as achievements but be sure they are relevant to the opening. This will prove your credibility and show you actually have experience with outstanding performance in a particular area. 5) Quantify whenever possible - Use numbers to quantify your achievements whenever possible. . Use numbers to quantify your achievements whenever possible. Eliminate words like various and numerous and use actual numbers instead. It is better to round off numbers and percentages than to use words like approximately or around. For example, instead of just “increased sales”, write “increased sales by 150%” would sound much more impressive. Similarly, instead of “worked with many clients.”, say, “work with 7 clients per day on a weekly rotation schedule” would be much better. Lastly, a reminder, always make sure the information in your resume is relevant to the position you are applying to. Make sure you put an emphasis on the past job tasks and experiences that are most relevant. Exclude everything that is not relevant. 11. Fill Your Loopholes: Fill Your Loopholes Sometimes you have already customized your resume to your hiring company and also be careful for the selection of words to be used in the resume, but you are not still not called in for interviews. Honestly, it is difficult to know the precise reasons. There may be many situations, such as the vacancy being on hold, your salary is too high, the vacancy is being filled internally, changes in job requirements or even that may be a phantom job. However, there are some common career issues that may have knocked you out of consideration. If it seems like any of these apply to your situation, be sure to address these items in your resume to minimize the concerns of hiring managers: 1) Your current job title Every company has different organization structure. Same titles in different companies can differ significantly in terms of job scope and responsibilities. For example, Financial Controller in some companies are the head of the Finance Department, whereas in some companies, it is purely a controller role assisting managers. Hiring managers may not have time to look into your job duties to differentiate the differences. To fix this issue, I highly suggest you adding 2 things for your current and past jobs: (1) who you report to, say managing director, vice president, department manager; (2) team structure. This will facilitate your reader to understand more clearly how important you are and what roles you are playing. 2) Job-hopping If you have a jumpy resume, be sure to include the resignation reasons for each job in your resume. Make sure that you quitted the jobs was not because of money concern as no employers want to employ a staff who will jump to another boat shortly because of salary issue. Your reasons should sound reasonable. 3) Employment gaps For every employment gap longer than 4 months, I suggest you putting reasons for such employment gaps and stating what you were doing at that time. If you were unemployed for a long period, you may jot down that you were doing a part-time job, studying, doing voluntary jobs and so on. Try to show people that you were also motivated and always kept yourself competitive even you did not have a full time job. 4) Lack of required educational qualification Many jobs have a required level of education or qualification. If you don’t meet these requirements, you are very likely not considered for the position. If you are serious at the job, you may put down your current or future study plan, for example, write, “accounting exam to be applied in June” or “Bachelor degree to be completed by year 2022.” And so on. This will give your hiring manager an impression that you are willing to learn and are serious at working in this industry. 5) Short of experience If the position asks for 7 years of experience and you only have 5, highlight your accomplishments in your resume and emphasis your ability to handle the job in your cover letter. 6) No experience in that industry You don’t have relevant work experience within that role or industry. If you don’t have the right experience, you probably won’t get an interview. In this case, make sure in your resume that you show (1) your transferrable skills; (2) your passion; (3) your willingness to learn. You should highlight these 3 important items in both your resume and also your cover letter. A good way to demonstrate your transferable skills is presenting your achievements with specifics and measurable results Your passion and your willingness to learn can be shown in your current or future study plan. If you have any part-time or voluntary experience in this area, it will also help. 7) You are over-qualified. There is a perception by the employer that you are overqualified. Being overqualified can hurt you as much as being underqualified for a position. Use your cover letter to explain why you are applying, your enthusiasm for the role, and what you can offer for the organization. The key is you need to convince your hiring managers 3 important points: 1) You will stay long at this position and will not easily quit the job. 2) You are willing to do every assignment and can be very hands-on. You will not consider certain tasks are too junior for your experience and qualification. 3) You are manageable and can be supervised by others who may be less experience and qualified than you. Actually this is an extremely important point. Many hiring managers prefer not to hire someone who is more qualified and experienced than them, worrying that they are very difficult to be managed or coordinated with others. Even though you may bring additional insights, they worry you will create additional troubles at the same time. It will be better to show you are humble without a high ego. 8) Too expensive - Your salary expectations exceed the available resources. If the company thinks you will be too expensive to hire, they may choose not to interview you. In fact, this is one of the top reasons why I screened out applicants. Say, when I was recruiting for an accountant position, some applicants requested salaries, same as the level of the Managers or even a senior executive position, which is nearly 2 or 3 times of the job posting. To understand the market rate of the salary levels, do your research well. You may also contact recruitment firms to ask for the latest salary levels for different jobs and make your expected salary reasonable. The more flexibility you are, the higher the chance you will land an interview. Remember, if any of these situations apply to you, be sure to address these items in your resume and in cover letter. Removing these roadblocks will enhance your successful chance of getting an interview. Good luck. 12. Save Your Resume Space: Save Your Resume Space A winning resume should be focused to the job requirement, the potential employer and the hiring manager. Only relevant information should be included. It should be free of any irrelevant information that distracts from the attention. Let me share some of the examples of what you should not include in your resume: 1) Photo of yourself Pictures simply give your employer a reason to reject your resume. If they don't like your looks, if they think you look too young, too old, too fat, too thin, too good looking, not good looking enough, or whatever, your resume may end up in trash bin. You want to be judged on the basis of your skills and qualifications, not on your looks. So never include a picture. If your hiring managers are interested in you, they are likely look up your LinkedIn profile. So save your professional headshot in your social media platform. 2) List of references Hiring managers will ask you for references if you were invited for interviews or you were considered at the final stages of the recruitment process. It is already assumed that you will be able to give them supervisors who can confirm your skills and experience. Providing your names and titles of references will give your hiring manager another reason to reject you. If you put a reference who worked with you more than 10 years ago but not the latest supervisors, or if you only put the references like University professors but not your supervisors or coworkers, they may have doubts if you might not go along well with these supervisors at the past employers or had some issues with your interpersonal skills. There is also no need to put “references available upon request”, too. (3) Remove personal pronouns and articles The hiring manager already knows the resume is about you. So instead of “I achieved [ABC]...,” just start with “Achieved [ABC]...” Dropping personal pronouns and articles will also make for a stronger and cleaner read. 4) Keep your hobbies and interests to yourself The only time that including hobbies or personal interests in a resume is a good idea, is when your interests are relevant to the position for which you are applying. For example, you are studying Japanese and taking exams on Japanese if you are applying for a Japanese company. 5) Leave off negatives and irrelevant points Remove things that do not relate to the current role or job you are applying for. If you feel your date of graduation will subject you to age discrimination, leave the date off your resume. If you do some duties in your current job that don't support your job application, leave them off your resume. Leave off irrelevant personal information like your height and weight. Similarly, no need to mention that you are proficient in Microsoft office, except that the job description asked for an expert level, such as Marco and VBA in excel. There is also no need to mention what activities you took part in high school or what academic awards you obtained when you were studying. Employers are much more interested to know your current work achievements and qualification. 6) Objective statement Some people would recommend job seekers to include an objective statement. However, my personal advice is you can skip this. Being a hiring manager for so many years, I found that many objective statements were very general and vague. For example, if I advertise the post of “Finance Supervisor”, many applicants will write the objective statements something as “To be a Finance Supervisor at a large, listed company with good reputation.” Honestly, these kinds of statement is of little value. However, the statements always put on the top of the resume and is the first item that the hiring managers read. In other words, they increase your chance of being rejected. So save you space to something more important and skip this statement. 13. Ensure Your Resume is Easy to Read: Ensure Your Resume is Easy to Read No matter how good your content is, if your reader do not want to read this, it will be a waste of time and effort. How to prevent this? The answer is to ensure your resume is organized, look professional and formatted properly. Some job seekers think their resumes need some complicated graphic art design to make it impressive. For me, I think fancy is not really important. Make your resume clean, clear and to the point, is more than enough. Now let me share some tips that will help you. Check and make sure that your resume follow these guidelines: 1. Segregate sections on your resume with short points and clear headings, such as “Job Experience”, “Skills”, “Qualification” and “Education”. 2. Under each section, use bullet points to list the details, instead of numbers or letters. Never write a large paragraph. No one want to read this. 3. Use spaces, underlining, italics, bold and capitalization for emphasis. 4. Use font size no smaller than 10 point and 1 point line spacing. 5. Use easy to read font but avoid handwriting fonts and decorative fonts. There is no need to use drop shadows, glow fonts or other Word Art. 6. At the very top of your resume should be: Your name (big and in bold), your personal email and phone number. As your reader knows it is a resume, there is no need to put the word, “Resume”. 7. You may add a link to your LinkedIn Profile or your website. Anything else is just a waste of space. 8. List your job history starting from the most recent job first. Your job duties and accomplishments of each job should be arranged in order of importance and relevance to the job. When you complete your resume, ask yourself very frankly, if this is somebody else’s resume, and you receive it, do you want to read it? Or you may ask your friends and relatives, from their first impression, will they have any reluctance to read it? In case you, your friends and relatives, feel reluctant to read this, then definitely you will need to re-work it. Anyway, make sure your resume is simple and in a clean format. Nowadays some people turn their resumes into beautifully designed, infographic-style works of art style. I would say these resumes are attractive to the hiring managers, or for me, at least I will spend a few more seconds on it. However, if you are going to use it, you need to ensure that this kind of style is fit to your target company and the position you are applying to. Also, be careful that resume with fancy coding, such as text boxes, tables, graphics etc, are often kicked out of most Application Tracking Systems because it is unreadable to the system. For prudence, I will suggest you to stick to the traditional style. Of course, if you are applying for a marketing position or some positions which require creativity, these kinds of colorful, attractive resumes would be better than the black and white resume. As mentioned, resume is your advertising material. The design will help you to showcase your skills, personality and creativity. In relation to the formatting, many people may advise you to limit the resume to 1-2 pages and keep keep it short. The reason is as resumes are reviewed very quickly, this will help the hiring managers to scan your resume efficiently and effectively. However, my personal advice is it depends on situations. If you are a recent graduate or have only got a few years of work experience, then 1-2 pages are ok for you. On the other hand, if you have already worked for more than 10 years with several jobs, certainly 1-2 pages are not enough. Also, some jobs, like accounting, requires attention to details. If your resume is too brief, you will give the hiring managers an impression that you are not a detail-oriented person, so you will be screened out. For example, if I saw an applicant for the post of accountant and he only wrote a few lines for each of his jobs, then I would consider they were only at “clerk-level” and are not detailed-oriented nor careful person. So their resumes would end up in my computer trash bin. Nowadays, many companies use application tracking system to scan your application and match against a pre-determined set of variables and keywords. The machine only takes seconds to finish its task. That means it is no longer necessary that you need to make your resume as short as possible. However, please take note that I do not mean you should put everything in it. You can feel free to include all relevant information without worrying the length goes up but there are still many items you should avoid putting in your resume as I discussed in the last lecture. I have kept stressing the importance of matching the key words in the job positing over my lectures. If you worry your resume is too long to search for these key words, you may add a sheet with a table to show how your job history matches with the job requirements and the key words. Table format is easy to read. I often use this method during my job hunting and I find it works well, too. Remember, content sells, not the format. So always format your information in a way that your content gets highlighted. Good luck. 14. Don't Let Your Careless Spoil Your Interview Chance: Don’t let your careless spoil your interview chance A resume shows how organized and detailed the applicant is. As a hiring manager, I cannot tell if the resume is really written by the applicant or by somebody else. But for a poor resume, particularly with a lot of errors and typo mistakes, this certainly alerts me not to employ that person. Resume is the most important document during the job hunting process. If someone does not put the highest attention to his or her document, then I can tell that they will show even less attention and be even more careless at work. You won’t want your employees to bring you troubles because of their careless mistakes. So for this kinds of applicants, I will never invite them for an interview. For instance, over the year, I have received a young lady’s application for 4 times. The young lady has worked for one of my ex-employers. By reading her title and department, I can tell her job scope and her experience are certainly useful for my job opening. Also, I can easily ask my internal network how the lady performed. However, I have never invited her for an interview but just deleted her resume within seconds. Why? Because she has spelt the name of my ex-employer, that is, her current company, wrongly! Maybe this is a typo error but it is clearly that she has overlooked her error for 4 times! Just imagine, can you accept someone who spells his or her names wrongly? Company’s name is very basic but she overlooked that. No matter how good she is, I will not employ such careless person. Another common mistake in the resume is the inconsistency of tense. Usually, for the job duties in your current job, you should use present tense whereas those in your past jobs, you should use past tense. I found that quite a lot of resumes were not consistent in the use of tenses. Also, as I previously mentioned, each job duty is better to start with a different active action verb and so make sure you follow this pattern for all your jobs. Consistency is the key. Please check all the “s” in your resume. An extra “s” maybe a minor error for you but it may spoil your opportunity. My suggestion is always double-check your resume word-by-word. Check your resume again the next morning even you have already repeatedly checked it the last night. If you are not really confident or worry that you become blind to errors you would normally see, ask your friends or someone in the same industry as you to help you. Or you may also read your resume out loud. Sometimes you will find your errors and mistakes in this way. All I want to say is, it is extremely important to ensure error-free in your resume! Don’t let it spoil your golden opportunity! In addition to careless mistakes and errors, some people also overlook their personal email address. Normally people will not care for your personal email address but in terms of job hunting, every hiring manager wants professional people who are mature. So please keep your email address look professional and so not give any childish impression to others. The perfect personal email address is one include your full name. If you don’t have one now, create a new one is super easy. Before I end this lecture, there is one more thing that too many applicants ignore but is important. Right now, many people apply the jobs through job boarding and they just sent the resumes by the system. For many companies which do not use ATS machine, the resumes have to be downloaded one by one. The problem is when these resumes are downloaded, I found that most of the resumes were simply titled as “resume”. I cannot distinguish which one is the one that I preferred, unless I changed all the titles. If you want your resume to catch the attention of the hiring manager, you should pay attention to every small item, particularly the title of your resume or any document. Never purely named your file as “resume”, “CV” or “cover letter”. These documents are your personal advertising documents, so why not give them more personal name? Let me use myself as an example. I may name the documents as: • Vicky Fung for Finance Director • Vicky Fung for Finance Director • Vicky Fung - All-round Finance Professional The general rule is the more creative the position you are applying for, the more creative the resume and its headline. Even if your job do not require creativity, like accounting, it would still be much more preferable to give a better name to your documents. Lastly, always remember, before you send out your resume, always triple-check and proof-read to every small detail. Make sure it is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Give a proper name to your documents, too. 15. Cover Letter vs Resume: Cover Letter vs Resume In the last few lectures, I talked about resume and its importance in convincing your prospective employer to call you for an interview. As important as resume, is the cover letter. A cover letter can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview. I highly suggest you that even if the job description does not specify for a cover letter, you should still send one to your potential employer. The only time you should not send one is when the job description explicitly says no cover letters, which is rare. You may have a question in mind, why do you need to send a cover letter? There are 2 major reasons: 1. While a resume focuses on your career history and your achievements, a cover letter focuses on what values you will bring to your potential employer. Finding a right fit is important for every hiring manager, what they are equally concerned , is your future contribution to their company. 2. Unlike a resume, a cover letter allows you to put in some personality and explain how you fit for the position in a friendly and conversational tone. As you may recall, in the previous lecture about the 5-Fit model, I have mentioned that every hiring manager is looking for 5-fit, that is, motivational, technical, soft skills, personality and cultural fit. Some fits such as technical and soft skills fits can be shown in your resume; while some other fits, particularly the motivational, personality and cultural fit are not easily reflected in your resume. When a resume catches their attention, hiring managers and resume screeners will read the attached cover letter. The cover letter is your chance to show your personality and to tell the prospective employer exactly why you would be great in this job. Don't miss out on the opportunity. A resume is actually an advertising material that convinces your potential employers to invite you for an interview. So does the cover letter. It is another advertisement to present you to them. Therefore, every guideline applied on resume also applies on the cover letter. Same as the resume, to effectively sell yourself, it is critical to customize your cover letter for each job you apply to. That means, if your cover letter looks exactly the same before you found this role, after you have read the job description, and when you are ready to hit the submit button, you might be doing something wrong. In fact, many people don’t receive a call for interview because they either don’t send a cover letter, or neglect to write one effectively. Make sure what you write should target to the specific job. Even for several jobs with the same job title, say, Finance Manager, the job requirement is different from one and another and the keywords are certainly different. Some may require to have accounting experience for manufacturing or other specific industries, some may require to have exposure working with multinational corporations, some may need to have listing experience. That means a generic cover letter that applies to all jobs and all companies is not convincing enough to sell you. Similar to the resume, based on your research and preparation work, in your cover letter, do apply the keywords, core competencies and specific items that the hiring manager is looking for. You should show to your reader your preparation work to demonstrate how interest you are in the job. Also, tell them with examples or elaboration how you align with their values and cultures. In short, you should customize your letter to the job posting and anything else you know, or can learn, about the company and the job position. Remember, you only have one chance to make a good impression. Same as the resume, anything wrong with your cover letter will mean your application documents to be in the trash bin. Also, you have only a few seconds to connect with the person reviewing your application. Make sure your cover letter is clean, easy to read and properly formatted. Make sure that it is free of typo, grammatical and any other careless mistakes. Don’t make the classic mistake of sending a cover letter addressed to the wrong person, company or referencing the wrong job title. In brief, all the resume’s guidelines, which I discussed in the previous lectures, guys, which are discussed, snatches, are also applied for cover letter, except for one point. That exception is the length of the cover letter. For resume, I suggested you no worries of limiting your resume to only 1 to 2 pages as you should include all relevant information for the job posting. However, for cover letter, please only limit the length to 1 page and no more as you want to leave your readers wanting to know more by calling you for an interview. Meanwhile, please also be aware that your cover letter should not be too brief or too short. Otherwise, the hiring manager got the impression that you were not highly motivated to apply for this position. While you limit your cover letter to 1 page, be sure that it includes all the components of a successful cover letter, particularly with full details about what you can offer to your potential employer. So what are these successful components? I will talk about them in the next lecture. Please keep watching. Thank you. 16. Craft a Winning Cover Letter: Craft a Winning Cover Letter In the last lecture, I talked about the importance of a cover letter in getting an interview. Now let’s discuss the successful components of a cover letter. Let me use a 3-step approach to illustrate these components. Step 1 - Start Your Opening Strong You want to catch the employer’s attention and the first step to try to find out the name of the hiring manager or HR manager in the Job Description, LinkedIn profile or based on your Company’s research, and address the letter to them. Some people such as making a phone call to the Company to find out who will review the applications, for me, this is not an effective method and it sounds disturbing. No matter you can identify the right person or not, you need to make sure you start your opening strong. A good suggestion is instead of writing, “I would like to apply for this position or I am excited to apply for this post.”, you may share something specific about what motivated you to apply for this position and explain what made you to be the best applicant in a few sentences. Another way is to start your letter with an eye-catching statement or even a question, such as “How could your team benefit from a strong self-starter?”. Make sure you make some reference to the reader that shows you did your research well and you are tailor-made the letter to them. For example, if the Company is a technology company, say something that shows you are fond of their latest product development. Step 2 - Sell Your Values in the Body of Letter In the body part, elaborate and explain what makes you to be the best candidate and highlight your relevant experience. Discuss how your skills, experience, qualification and education match their needs. Try to organize your selling points into 3 – 5 points. If you are not sure how you should do this, please revisit my previous lectures, “Develop Your Personal Brand” and the lecture “The Model You Must Know before Job Application”. These 2 lectures covered how you should do your self-assessment to match with the Company’s key requirements, and explained the 5-fits model to determine a right hire for every position. You need to make use of your analysis work in these 2 lectures to write your cover letter. One point I need to clarify is, in reality, your hiring manager does not really care your skills set and experience, but instead they are much more interested in what values you can bring to them. So when you structure your selling points, you should relate your skills, experience or whatever to the value or contribution you will bring to them. If you have identified their pain points during your research and you got the solution to help them, do write a few lines about how you can help in solving these pain points. This will certainly attract to your potential employer. So please bear in mind, structure your selling points, in the format of “skill set or experience + values / contribution”. After your selling points, you may also talk about your motivation to this job and how well you fit to their culture. Mention their beliefs and values, and explain how you will align with them with examples. Some people, particularly the young graduates, often talk about what they want to learn in the job. Remember, though you will certainly have some sorts of new learning at any jobs, you are paid not because of these sorts of learning, but for your service and contribution. So you should write about what you can offer to the Company, not what you want in a job. Be specific and customize your cover letters, so they highlight your best attributes. Step 3 - End your letter strongly with a call for action After the strong introduction and then a couple of paragraphs detailing how your skills and experience will help the company, end your letter with a strong summary paragraph and a call for action, that is, to contact you for an interview. Be bold in this final paragraph, writing that you are the right person for the job and the reader can learn more by checking out your enclosed resume or giving you a call. Always thank the reader for their time and consideration. These 3 steps sound easy but in fact, an effective cover letter requires your hard work and effort in doing your preparation work, that is, your research and the analysis as discussed in the earlier lectures of my course. Make sure that you follow these concepts and go through these steps one by one. Before I end this lecture, let me remind you 3 key points in cover letter: 1. Incorporate key words - Throughout the cover letter, look to integrate the key words of the job description, the company and those you identified from your research. For example, if the job description is seeking for a proactive team player, use both words in your letter to describe how proactive or a team player you are. 2. Values matter Make sure every of your selling point are talking about your videos or contribution to the Company. You are seeking for a job, not a school. Your readers concern what you can do, how well you do and what benefits you bring to them. What you want to learn, to acquire, to get and so on, are out of their interest. 3. Triple-checking Don’t rush through a cover letter. Make sure it is personalized to the company and always read through it several times before sending it out. Ensure there is no spelling, typo and grammatical mistakes. Make sure it is easy to read and properly formatted with font size not less than 10. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Following all these points properly, you will be able to draft a winning cover letter and land more interview. 17. 3 Things You Should Do When You Send Out Your Application: 3 Things You Should Do When You Send Out Your Application Once you finished customizing your resume and cover letter, it is time to send out your application promptly. There are 3 things that you should do when you send out your application: 1. Double-check your materials again Checking for typos and grammatical mistakes are extremely important. This is one of the top 3 things that a hiring manager and a HR always look for in a resume. Such careless mistakes will give you 3 bad results: 1) They show you have poor attention of detail. 2) They make it look like you rushed to put something together and don’t really care for the job. 3) They don’t get picked up application tracking system because your keywords may not be matched. . Therefore, before sending out your application, it is important to have a final review again. It is not always easy to catch your own mistakes, so if possible, you may ask a friend to proofread all your job application documents. No matter how, do always remember this, check, check and check. (2) Act fast For every job, usually there are hundreds of applications flooding in for every hiring manager. It is understandable that hiring manager may not have adequate time, energy or interest to fully review all the applications. Usually once after the first 40 or 50 applications, they become tired, impatient and lose interest. Your application may be overlooked. That means the timing really matters. To compete with others, in general for all positions, the sooner you apply, the better. The early bird truly gets the worm. 3. Email to the hiring manager whenever possible Most of the job applications usually are sent to a generic designated email account. As every job advertisement usually attracts hundreds of applications, it is not uncommon if your application is overlooked, particularly because the email titles for every job application are nearly the same. In order to stand out from the crowd, if possible, it would be better to send it directly to the email address of the decision makers, either the hiring manager or the HR. This will show your strong passion to the job, your preparation work and your initiative. You may ask, if the job advertisement does not show, how do you know the email address of the decision maker? Right now, it is much easier than before. Do your research in LinkedIn. Find out the full name of potential hiring manager. Actually this step should be covered in your research homework. At this stage, what you need to do is to identify her Company’s email address. The common corporate email formats usually are: {firstname}.{lastname} {f}{lastname}, {firstname} Go to the “contact” page of the Company website or research the press release articles. In these areas, usually you can find the names of a few contact person. Based on this, you can then figure out what should be the company’s email format of the hiring manager. You may do some searching in google. If you want to be more accurate, you can use some web resources, such as It is a great tool to verify the Company’s email address, too. Use that corporate email address you identified as the primary recipient, and the generic job application email address, say [email protected], [email protected], as the secondary recipient. In this way, your resume can contact both the hiring manager and the resume screener. Now having done all these 3 steps, together with my previous suggested work steps, you are on the right path to land an interview. 18. Follow up the Application: Follow up on the Applications - To land more interviews, some people suggest you should follow up your applications with the potential employer but not simply wait. Some said if you do not hear any feedback within a few days, call the hiring manager and confirm if they have received your application and if there was anything you could add to it. They believed by follow up, you could demonstrate how eager and interested you are for this job, and you also force your hiring manager to take a second look at your application. However, some people hold the opposite views and argue that this approach puts you at risk of becoming the annoying applicant. It would be better not to do it. What do you think? Which side do you buy in? For me, my suggestion is you may follow up once if you can find the direct hiring manger’s email address or LinkedIn. I said once but not 2 or 3 times, otherwise, I agree that the follow up are really annoying. You may email to the hiring manger that you applied for the job on which date and politely ask for an opportunity to interview. Or you may send a LinkedIn message to the hiring manager for the same content. You can do either of this if you have not received any feedback within within 5-7 days after your application. In both cases, keep your notes or email simple. However, I do not agree with you to make a phone call to the hiring manager, as that will be much annoying than email. The reason is your hiring managers are already very busy with meetings and phone calls, or very often, got tired and emotional at the end of the day. Right now, if you give them additional phone call and urge them for a second review of your application, very likely, you will be ignored. Certainly every hiring manager is different but for me, as I used to be very busy at office, I don’t want additional calls from the applicants. If 50% of the applicants call me, it will become a heavy workload for me. Therefore, an email or a LinkedIn message is highly appreciated. I can take a look at them when I have time. However, if you just sent your application to the generic email address or just press the submit button on the job boarding website, then I would say sending a reminder note to the generic email account may not help much. The advantage of directly addressing to the hiring manager is to help you to stand out from the crowd and to increase the opportunity of your application getting read. So if you can’t do this, even if the hiring manager got your reminder message, it is unlikely that they would specially look for yours from the hundreds of applications. In addition to the follow-up, it would be better if you keep a contact log for all positions which you have applied. Make sure that your log should include a copy of the job ad for the position. Kindly do not rely on the job posting URL, as the jobs may be removed by the time you got an interview. The advantage of keeping track of the application history is when the Company calls for an interview, you know what positions you have applied and how you presented yourself in the resume and cover letter, you can then mirror this and present further. Also, based on my experience, too many applicants actually forgot which jobs they have applied. When the Company calls them for an interview, they even ask the person, which job did the Company refer to? In this case, without any interview, you would already give a bad impression to the Company that you are unorganized and not too much interested in the Company. Don’t make this mistake. 19. Polish Your Social Media Profile: Polish Your Social Media Profile Nowadays in addition to the cover letter and resume, many hiring managers and HR also perform a social media check on you, particularly LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be deemed as an online resume for you. There are several things is to pay attention to: 1. Ensure consistency between your LinkedIn profile and your resume Hiring managers are concerned if you have invented any details to your resume. If there are any inconsistencies between your online and offline documents, this will indicate them a red flag. So make sure your LinkedIn profile aligns, and for the best results, make sure it features a professional photo. 2. Follow the Company In the LinkedIn profile, it is easy to see are your interests, the groups you joined and the pages you followed. If the Company that you have applied have a LinkedIn profile, my suggestion is you should follow that Company, and if possible, like some recent posts they posted on their profile. This will not only allow you to understand more about the Company, but will also show to the hiring managers and the HR that you are interested in their Company. 3. Include the relevant keywords in your LinkedIn profile If your LinkedIn profile includes the relevant key words that you identified during your research on the job, the Company and the decision makers, then you have a higher chance to be picked up for interview. Make sure these words are included under your professional headline, summary section and job description. In addition, people generally like those people who share common interests or with common background, such as graduate from the same school, work for the same employer before, same hobbies and interests. If your profile includes the key words the job is looking for, and the common interests with the decision-makers, your interview chance will be much higher. So the key is to review and keep updating your profile. 4. Obtain recommendations One method to increase your interview chance is to obtain recommendations from people who have used your services, worked with you or supervised you in the past. This includes your supervisors, bosses, colleagues, clients, mentors and mentees. Senior-level recommenders can be particularly impressive to recruiters and hiring managers viewing your profile. When someone in a senior position takes the time to recommend you, it’s a strong sign that you were highly valued. Don’t be shy and invite people to recommend you for specific skills, knowledge, qualities or expertise. You may remind them some specific examples and occasions when you exhibited the said skills. This will facilitate them to write recommendations for you. 5. Ensure your profile are neat and professional While a well-written LinkedIn profile increase your interview chance, an inappropriate or conflicting image of you, will likely reduce your chance. Every time when you do a job application, do carefully reviewed the privacy setting and ensure everything available to the public is appropriate. Again, of course, there should be no careless typos and grammatical mistakes. 6. Create relevant content To establish your reputation and strengthen your personal brand, you may create relevant content and engage with your target audience, and connect with different users. The topic should be on something you want to be known, liked and remembered. The aim is not to be an influencer but to “be remembered and trusted” for your expertise by target companies and audience. This is a good way to extend your social network, too. In addition to LinkedIn, many companies also perform a google search on you. They simply google “your name” before deciding to invite you for an interview. Do a research yourself on your name often. If digital dirt arises, see if the content can be taken down. If not, work to build up positive search results to push down the negative ones. Do always pay attention to your social media profile and adjust your privacy setting. In short, having a personal brand is a must for every job seeker It gives you the power to stand out and connect with your hiring decision-makers in the job market. 20. The Reliable Means to Boost Your Interview Chance: The Reliable Means to Boost Your Interview Chance. Nowadays every hiring manager is flooded with hundreds or even thousands of applications. Resume screening and interview become a very important process during recruitment. However, no matter how detail an interview is, one can only spend at most 4- 6 hours to understand an individual. That means you may only see the surface of this person but not really understand him or her too much. As a result, instead of external hires through job boards, most hiring managers will place a higher priority on those applicants referred internally. As these individuals are referred by internal staff who is already familiar with the Company culture, practices and requirements, they are deemed to have a higher guarantee rate of being successful at the future jobs. It is not surprising that research shows that referred applicants are more than twice as likely to be interviewed and 40% more likely to receive a job offer, than those applying through job boards without a referral. Other research has shown that applications by referral are as much as five times more likely to result in interviews than non-referred ones! If you would like to land more interviews, you should get social with your friends, relatives, old colleagues and see if someone can pass along your resume for an opening. By far, this is the most reliable means to boost your interview chance. There are 3 things you should clearly tell them: 1. What specific kind of job you want, in which companies and industries; 2. What you want and you don’t want for the target jobs; 3. Precisely how you can help those companies you want to work for These points will help your network really help you and not waste their time referring to jobs that you would never apply for. If any of your network is working at your target companies, speak to them directly and mention your target post, instead of simply asking them to let you know if their company is hiring. In this way, they will be able to find a job that better suits you. I know you may not want to bother them, or you prefer to wait until you actually land an interview at their companies. However, it is often much easier to secure an interview when you are referred internally. Speaking up earlier will increase your chances of getting your foot in the door. Through your network, there are probably hundreds of people you can reach out to. By far, this is one of the best ways to land more interviews. Perhaps you agree with this approach but the key problem is, how can you increase the network? You may join a professional network, industry associations, going to a networking event, conferences, exhibitions, or even build your network over social media platforms like LinkedIn. For LinkedIn, you may join the LinkedIn groups to start building relationships with professional people in your industry. You may share articles and participate in their discussion to increase your online presence. You may also get to know the current and former employees of your target companies to gain insights and insiders’ knowledge about working there. The key to succeed is to allow yourself connect with a large number of relevant people at once, and get regular contact with people who you can follow up with later. By this way, your chances for an interview and securing a job will be much higher. Of course, don’t forget to reach out to appropriate recruiters. They know the industry news and will get you if they have opportunities. So stay in touch with them. In summary, building relationships and using network are highly critical a job hunting to land more interviews. always customize your resume and cover letter for each position and then use your network to increase your reach. If you follow these steps, you will see positive results. 21. The Most Effective Method - Go Extra Mile (Part 1): The Most Effective Method – Go Extra Miles (Part 1) In my previous lectures, I talked about how to write an effective resume and a cover letter as well as what you should do when you send out your application. If you are very serious to get an interview for a particular job, doing all these is not enough. You need to go extra miles and put much more effort to get a face-to-face interview. So what do you need to do? The answer is to do something that no one else or very few people will do. This is the most powerful way to stand out from others. It works for companies even for those which do not post job ads. So what is that something? Before I talk about that, let’s revisit what the hiring managers want. Hiring managers want to find the right fit to the job post. They want to ensure someone is well fit in terms of motivation, technical, soft skills, personality and cultural. They want to ensure the person has the desire and the ability to do the job well, and can be integrated to the company and the team. However, doing the job is not enough. They actually want someone who can bring value and contribution to the Company. Sell your value is the key point to get the interview. Value, is much more than purely doing the job. In most cases, this is about 2 aspects: 1. Your ability to bring new opportunities and improvement to the Company - That means adding something positive. 2. Your ability to solve the current pain points or problems of the Company – that means reducing something negative. If you really want to have the job, the most effective way is to convince your customers, i.e. your potential employers, that you have either or both of such abilities. You show them that you can deliver something extra in addition to the duties and responsibilities of the job. Apart from the traditional resumes and cover letter, you proactively provide them additional impressive materials, tips and plans for their review to proof your values. Let me call this method as “Adding Value Approach”. An adding value approach can be a project on any topics. You use it to demonstrate your value, and tie your abilities and talents to the Company’s current needs. A big downside to resumes and cover letters is that they only focus on your past. It shows the value that you have brought to other companies but what your potential employers really concern is the value you will bring to them. Although in the cover letter, you explain how you would add value to your future employer, it is just purely talking. Honestly, it is not convincing enough as there is no proof about your future values. Also, even if you are a perfectly fit applicant but you don’t position yourself well, it is highly likely that you will be overlooked and got screened out. Providing an adding value project to your potential employers shows how much thought and effort you have put into this opportunity, and that you are very serious about getting the job at their company. It addresses to their specific needs and shows the immediate value that you will bring to them. By doing this, you are not only talking about your future values but actually demonstrating this in reality. The key to going for quality over quantity. You cannot afford time and effort to prepare awesome, highly tailored, value-added projects for over 20 potential employers. So target a few selected companies or jobs that you think you are really interested and focus your efforts there. You will then be on your way to the interview. In short, if you really want to land a job, but not only an interview, “adding value approach” is the most powerful method to help you. In the next lecture, I will elaborate further its 3-step approach with examples. Competition these days is very keen, and the way we find jobs and apply for them are changing. Putting extra effort is crucial. 22. The Most Effective Method - Go Extra Mile (Part 2): The Most Effective Method – Go Extra Miles (Part 2) In the last lecture, I talked about the importance of adding value approach in job hunting. In this lecture, let me start with the 3 procedures under this approach: 1. Deep research – read everything! You should start with deep research and analysis. You need to read everything about the Company. The more information you can get, the better. You should do every means to learn their current situation, challenges, problems, pain points, objectives and strategies as much as possible. The aim of this research is you need to identify what they want currently, not for the position but for the Company or the team as a whole. You may use your network or build relationship with the staff working at your target company to gather information. 2. List down what you can do Start brainstorming different ways what you can do from your research. Address their concerns and needs. List down your solid ideas, the tailored solutions and the benefits that bring to the Company. You need to demonstrate your abilities, skills and expertise. In other words, this is the core adding value part. 3. Package your ideas into a presentation. You should package all of your ideas and analysis into a PowerPoint deck, a video or other mediums that follows a 6-step formula: 1) Hook (i.e. a compelling title that’s laser-focused on the challenge). 2) Introduce the main idea, where you got it from, and provide some evidence. 3) Overview of the concepts or case studies you are going to share. 4) Walk through all the concepts in detail. 5) End with an ‘About Me’ slide that links to your resume, LinkedIn, etc. 6) Address it to a specific person, like hiring manager or someone in a senior role who have the influential power, such as the C-suite level executives. At its core, the adding value approach converts this message to your potential employer: Let me show you why I am the best person for this job role by showing that I understand what you are trying to overcome. I understand the SWOT of your company, what challenges and issues you are facing, your XYZ initiative and action plans, and here are the ideas that I would implement if I came on board, with expected results including ABC. This is why you should employ me.” For example, if you are applying for an IT management role at a big company, you may research the Company’s future business development, strategies, current IT systems, issues and pain points. You may then evaluate if the current system can support the Company’s future business plan. After that, you can brainstorm if you can identify any improvements, ay changing to a new software, and the costs and benefit. You can prepare a proposal for the review of your potential employer. Another example is assume you are targeting for a high-level marketing position. After your detail research and analysis, you may present them a proposal showing the target segments, the marketing strategies with an action plan and a financial forecast. Maybe instead of a PowerPoint deck, you may showcase your abilities with a website or a video. You may post the video on your blog, and include the link in your resume and cover emails. Using video also allows your potential employers to see your personality. In short, no matter where your expertise lies, wow them with a specific idea that you could bring to their organization. Don’t forget that your adding value project should be delivered to a specific person, say the hiring managers or someone in a senior role who have the influential power, such as the C-suite level executives. Before sending your email, do some research on that person. Look for articles they have published or social media posts related to their businesses. You can use that information to personalize your email. If you have a network in your target company, then use your network to deliver your adding value project together with your resume and cover letter to the executives. As you can see, it is really not an easy method and it requires you to go extra miles and put into a lot of effort. So this is a unique tactic that very few people used but it is very powerful, especially for those experienced job seekers in managerial grade. Providing suggestions shows you have actually taken the time to understand what the company does and that you feel confident you can improve the organization, making it better, more efficient and profitable; or you can solve their issues and pain points, making people’s life easier with higher productivity. Delivering such an adding value project to your potential employers worth your effort and time. Remember, for every job, it is not uncommon that hundreds or even thousands of people are competing with you. If you are doing what everyone is doing, then how can you separate yourself from them? So this is why you need to go extra miles. You need to do something what the other 99% of people won’t do, even they have thought about that This adding value approach is not limited to those companies which post a job ad but also those which do not. Even if you may not be hired for the position advertised, perhaps you may be employed as a consultant or at a newly created post just tailor-made for you. Remember, great success comes from great effort, and you will be rewarded in the long run. 23. A Test to Assess Your Grit: A Test to Assess Your Grit Perhaps the most common compliant I heard from the job seekers is that, “I have applied 100 already but I haven’t even landed an interview.” I truly understand how frustrated you are, especially when you are thinking that you have done your best but still no good news are coming. No matter how disappointed you are, it is very important that you should do an honest self-review on your application process. In general, most of us think the more the jobs we apply to, the greater the chances of landing the interview. This is basically correct. However, there are hundreds of other applicants also applying for the same job. Chances of getting an interview only if your resume and cover letter are highly Chances of getting an interview only if your resume and cover letter are highly If you just send out one generic application to all kinds of jobs, ignore the job description, haven’t done much research and preparation work, ignore your image at your social media profile, very likely, no matter how many applications you sent, I am very sorry to say that you won’t really increase your chances of landing the interviews. The key for job hunting is on quality, not quantity. I understand in the job market with abundance supply of applicants, taking a far-ranging approach to apply for any position you might be a fit makes sense. Even if you are doing in this way, I highly suggest you really need to select those jobs that you really like and focus on these opportunities, target for high-quality application. Follow all my suggestions in this course. If you do all these properly, the more you apply, the better you get at the process. As you customize your resume and cover letter, speak with employers, and attend interviews, you will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. You can try different approaches to see if one yields more success than another. Practice makes perfect. Sometimes your ambition leads you to applying for positions you don't qualify for. It is fine to apply for some “stretch” positions, but these should not make up the majority of what you're going after. If everything you are aiming for would require a leap of faith from the hiring manager, you should not be entirely surprised you are not hearing back. For instance, if you only have a few years of auditing experience but you want to be a Senior Finance Executive, chances of getting an interview are small. So be realistic. Be honest with yourself. Job hunting a process of testing your grit. Those who have well-prepared and who are persistent will win the game. Out of the hundreds of applications, usually at most 20 – 30 applicants get interviews. If you are not one of them, it does not mean all hope is lost. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Keep trying. Even if you don’t land an interview this time around, when the job advertisement is posted again, you can try again. The hiring manager may remember your name and your persistence, and finally invite you. Over my career, one of my employers is a company that I love so much. I have kept applying and going through the recruitment process for one year. Finally I got that dream job. There are many reasons why an interviewer may not call you back for an interview. For some cases, it might have nothing to do with you or the other applicants. These reasons include: • The headcount was suddenly freeze or on hold due to unforeseen circumstances. • The company is rethinking the need to add an employee. • An internal candidate has filled up the vacancy as a means of promotion or job rotation. • Hiring managers or decision-makers are preoccupied with other immediate concerns and they cannot focus on the search yet. • The job ad is just for understanding the kind of candidates currently available in the market. There might not be a real opening. In any of these situations, there is nothing for us to do. Honestly, in reality, most of the employers will not tell you the truth or full story, but as long as you have done your best, please move on and keep your momentum. Remember, job hunting is a process of assessing your grit. Those score high in grit will win this game. 24. Let's Recap : Let’s Recap. Thank you for watching the whole course. I sincerely hope you find it useful and practical. Job hunting is not an easy process. To succeed, you need not only to be qualified for the job, fit for the culture but also you need to know how to present yourself well to to the potential employers and convince them to call you for an interview. To succeed, there are 3 important keys that you should always bear in mind: 1. Understand yourself really well – this includes your own SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats), your key competencies, level of skills, experience, personality, qualification and education. What more important is you need to know what you want and what you don’t want, what drive you and motivate you, what is your career goal, what kinds of work environment best suits you, what you are willing to give up and many other important questions about yourself. Understanding yourself well facilitates you to know what kinds of jobs will be most suitable for you. It increases your chance of getting more interviews and landing a job which you will satisfy. 2. Tailor everything – job hunting is a process of selling. We are all sellers who are trying hard to advertise and promote ourselves to the customers. Resumes and cover letters are the 2 most important advertising materials. No matter what products and services you are selling, the critical successful factor is to know your customers and customize to them. Customers only buy those which are of are of values to them. We, in the job market, are of no exceptions. Therefore, the key to land more interview is not to stand from our point of view, but to think from the decision-maker’s perspective. You should do detail research and analysis about the job, the company, the industry, the hiring managers and all relevant issues. The aim is to figure out their challenges, problems, opportunities, difficulties, issues and pain points. They want people who can bring values and contribution to them. So your selling approach should focus on this point, that means you either bring them additional values or reduce their current negatives. Be specific and customize everything gives you a better advantage over others. Of course, make sure there are no typo, grammatical or any kinds of mistakes or errors. Address and send your application to the hiring managers whenever possible. 3. Use social media but also be alert of it – Social media provides you the background information of your Company, polishes your profile, helps you to expand your network, and also increases your chance of getting more referred interviews. However, any improper and inappropriate online posts, or any inconsistencies between your resume and your social media profile can also take away your interview opportunity without notifying you. Therefore, use the social media smartly and be careful at the same time. Therefore, use the social media smartly and be careful at the same time. and do regular search on yourself. With these 3 keys, you will be on the right path to get more interviews. Remember, as I mentioned previously, job hunting a process of testing your grit. Those who are well-prepared and persistent will win the game. Never get discouraged and lose your self-confidence if you have not yet heard from the potential employers. Sometimes it is just not the right time. When the right time comes, you will be rewarded. Good luck and all the best. If you like my course, please feel free to recommend it to your friends. I hope it helps all the job seekers to land more interviews and get their ideal job. Thank you.