Here are 6 reasons for why you may not be landing an island interview and what you can do to reverse the trend.
Your résumé and cover letter.
If your application materials contain typos, grammatical errors and irrelevant or inconsistent information, employers will take notice -- in a bad way. Once you've looked over your résumé and cover letter multiple times, have three people review your résumé and cover letter before you send it.
Your cover letter is generic
. Make it personal by tailoring it to the particular island job and addressing it to a person, not "To Whom It May Concern." And include a sentence or two about how you are the right fit for that particular island job. If no contact is listed, take the initiative to find out who the hiring manager is by searching the company's Web site or calling the reference desk. You can also contact me to see who I might know.
Your cover letter is just another version of your résumé.
Instead of simply restating what's on your résumé, include new information like how you found out about the summer island job, why you want to work on Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket and what you can do for that island business. Finally, close with something that will encourage a response, such as a request for an interview.
Your Facebook post is about how much you drank last night.
Don't post anything on a publicly accessible Web site that you wouldn't want a potential employer to see. Google yourself to see what comes up, because employers will see the same results. Employers on Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are looking for serious summer employees who will show up to work, not call out when they are hung-over from too much partying!
You assume e-mail is enough.
Hitting the send button on an online application is only the first step in landing an interview. For one thing, not every e-mail is received or read. Try following up your application by sending a paper résumé and cover letter via snail mail (indicating you've already applied online). After that, call the hiring manager to see that they've received your application and check on the status of the job in question.
You give up.
Remember that looking for a job on Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket for 2010 or 2011 is a full-time job. If you're not hearing back from employers, considering changing your strategy. Experiment with different cover letters, pick up the phone a follow-up with employers or contact me. I might have some ideas you could consider using to land that perfect summer island job!
Now start that summer job search!