No, my loyal readers, this is not a pornographic post! Your cover letter should be no more than 3 paragraphs. 3 short paragraphs! You really don't want to lose your audience before he/she opens your resume.
And speaking of resumes, there is various discussion of whether a resume should span 1 or 2 pages. Based on your level of experience, I am fine with a resume spanning 2 pages, going back no longer than 10 years. Please, any longer than that, and you are not going to captivate your audience in the 20 seconds or less it takes to scan said resume. A full CV is not required for most positions, but is helpful to have on your hard drive to discuss talking points which may be over 10 years old but remain relevant.
When to follow up after an interview? More than a day is too long! A brief thank you email, including an opening to have the interviewer contact you with questions should be in his/her inbox no later than the morning after you interviewed. Too much time goes by, and your follow up skills may be questioned, especially if a competing candidate emailed sooner!
Good luck and happy hunting!
The hardest thing to manage is the wait time between the interview and the next conversation, hopefully the one with the job offer. You feel that the interview went well, and are on pins and needles, when the manager said he/she would call you by Friday to let you know. It's 4:48 on Friday afternoon and you are climbing out of your skin! What happened??? Here are a few possibilities to ease your mind and give you the ability to get through the weekend without obsessing over the call.
1. There was an issue in the department to which the manager needed to focus direct attention. Besides hiring, the manager is responsible for tending to the needs of his/her department, and many times there are end-of-day or end-of week issues which divert attention from hiring.
2. While the position needs to be filled, there are other priorities within the organization and filling the position is not the primary focus at this time. Perhaps the department is working cohesively right now and there isn't a rush.
3. The manager may have left due to a family or personal emergency. It happens. Managers are people too!
4. The hiring person or group has not yet rendered a decision on who to hire. Perhaps they are still thinking about it, or perhaps they are checking references.
5. Maybe you are a second choice candidate and the first person has not decided whether they are accepting the position.
Regardless, stay calm and positive. It's also possible that the person simply forgot the time to call you. We've all said something in passing where the other person fixated on the specifics that we forgot. Give the person an extra 3-4 days, and then follow up with a call or email asking if there is any information you may provide to make the decision making process easier. Being helpful is always better than being needy and desperate!