Polish up your resume with these insights
from our recruiting team.
Before you hit a single key on that laptop, pause and reflect on your professional journey. Put pen to paper and write down thoughts about who you are professionally. This should include your objective, the position you want to achieve, who you want to be and specific details of your work history including dates. Get it all down first, then organize it sequentially.
No two opportunities are exactly alike. So it’s important to customize your resume accordingly. Match your relevant skills and areas of expertise with the responsibilities of the position.
When describing your achievements, don’t just state your day-to-day duties. Use verbs to emphasize what you’ve accomplished.
Format matters. And a simple, professional design is better. Avoid fancy fonts and colors or images. Think industry standard fonts like Arial and Times New Roman in 11- or 12-point size.
Keep it professional. Hobbies and interests may show your well-roundedness as a person, but these are best shared when asked during an interview.
Use the most appropriate resume style relevant to the current stage of your career. There are four main resume styles; chronological, functional, combination and targeted.
Whenever possible, include references from former employers, teachers, colleagues, peers. Testimonials can give great insight and generally work in your favor.
Interview you. Hone your interview skills with our
do’s and don’ts. Happy job landing.
Top 10 interview blunders.
Your resume rocked and you’ve landed an interview for the perfect opportunity. What shouldn't you do? Under-prepare, under-dress, underwhelm. Learn from ten common mistakes and perfect your technique.
1. Don't prepare.
“What do you know about this company?” It’s a common interview question, so do your homework. Background information including company history, locations, divisions, and a mission statement are available in an "About Us" section on most company websites.
2. Dress inappropriately.
Company cultures vary. Dress for your interview in a way befitting that organization. In most professional settings, a suit will work. For a less corporate setting, neat, casual attire is appropriate. And if you aren't sure what to wear, visit the organization and watch employees coming in and out of the office for reference.
3. Poor communication skills.
While it’s important to communicate well with everyone along the path of your employment search, it’s especially important to positively connect with the person who might hire you. Shake hands, make eye contact, exude confidence, engage the person you are speaking with. This tells the interviewer that you are an excellent candidate for this position before you even answer an interview question.
4. Walk, talk and chew gum.
A blaring ring tone during a job interview is bad form. Answering the call is even worse. Turn off your cell phone or silence the ringer before you enter the building. Same goes for gum, coffee and food. The only things you need to bring are your resume, your job application and your list of references.
5. Ramble on and on and on.
While good communication is key when interviewing, there is such a thing as too much information. Now is not the time to share your whole life story. Stick to the questions asked and keep answers succinct, to-the-point and focused.
6. Don't talk enough.
You shouldn’t talk too much during an interview. On the other hand, brevity isn’t necessarily the best answer. Communicating with someone who gives one-word answers is like pulling teeth. Be engaged with the interviewer and open with your replies.
7. Fuzzy facts.
Even if you have submitted a resume when you applied for the job, you may also be asked to fill out a job application. Make sure you know the information you will need to complete an application including dates of prior employment, graduation dates, and employer contact information.
8. Give the wrong answer.
Being a good listener can determine the success of your interview. Make sure you really hear the question and take a moment to gather your thoughts before you respond.
9. Be a Negative Nelly (or Ned).
You get back what you put out there. So turn on your good energy and be positive. Your last boss was an idiot? Everyone in the company was a jerk? You hated your job and couldn't wait to leave? Even if it's true don't say so. Not only is negativity unbecoming, it’s a small world out there. You never know who your interviewer might know.
10. Forget to follow up.
Whether you left the interview feeling on top of the world or uncertain of the outcome, always, always follow up. Send an email reiterating your interest in the position and the company. Or, a handwritten thank you note of appreciation for someone’s time and consideration goes a long way in making a lasting impression.
Prepare to give a great interview.
The key to a successful interview is preparation. Keep in mind the following objectives when getting ready for your interview.
That means you can easily speak to what you want in a career and employer, readily identify your strengths and weaknesses, goals and objectives, and are fully prepared to discuss areas for development in a solution-oriented manner.
Know your resume.
It’s your professional highlight reel. Know exactly what’s on it and be ready to respond to any questions regarding its contents. Such as:
- Contact Information
- Career objectives
- Educational experience
- Work experience
- Extracurricular activities
Know the industry.
Search the internet, peruse industry publications. Get to know the employer and the industry before you set foot inside the lobby. Some resources:
- Company websites
- Alumni/current employees
- Corporate literature
- Newspapers and industry magazines/publications
- Office of Career Services
- Attend company information sessions and activities
Know who, what, where and when.
Plan in advance with these simple steps:
- Ensure you have accurate directions to the interview site (test them if possible).
- Submit all required documents prior to the interview, or bring them with you if requested.
- Plan the appropriate outfit to present your most professional self.
- Prepare questions about the role and company should time be given for questions.