Month: June 2017

Job Interview Advice

Say what you mean

 

You’ve thought a lot about your leadership skills, attitudes and results produced. This means you will be able to express yourself well. This is even easier if you have written your ideas and statements down. You won’t be reading from your notes, of course, but what you say will come out with more authority and make a better impression.

Mean what you say

 

When you say that you’ll follow up in a week or send a resume, do so. This gives you credibility. People learn you can be counted on. That’s the kind of employees that employers want.

 

Talking about yourself

 

When you research the company and job, it’s easy to figure out which of your skills, attitudes and results produced are most important. Here are ways to describe yourself:

 

Describing Skills:

 

The employer says: “We’re looking for someone who can not only type, file, and answer phones. We want someone who can do all three at the same time while smiling and greeting walk-in customers.

 

The worker says: “As a receptionist at Jim’s Quick Print, I typed invoices, maintained numerical and alphabetical files, worked a five-line phone, and handled a very busy front counter. That sounds very much like what you need.”

 

Describing Attitudes:

 

The employer says: “I need someone who will give 110% whenever it’s needed. Our business comes in spurts, and you’ve got to give great service to all our customers regardless of when they need it.”

 

The worker says: “At Charlie’s Automotive we often had times during the day that were busy. Many times, I’d take my lunch break late or skip a break so that I could help with a rush. I know that this kind of service brought customers back.

 

Describing results:

 

The employer says: “This is a production job. We need someone who can keep up with our 100-units-a-day production. Ideally we would like a person who could even help increase that.

 

The worker says: At BestCo Machine Shop I filled job orders that called for 1,000 of the same item. I saw a way of doing this that could save time. I presented this idea to my boss. She adopted it and it increased production by 10%.

 

In each case the worker had a story ready to back up what he or she said. When you know beforehand what a company produces and a job requires, you can be really ready. Notice also the way to talk about yourself:

 

  •         Use action words.
  •        Use brief statements to answer questions. (none of these examples are more than four sentences long.)
  •         Give short examples that clearly make your point.
  •         Gear what you say toward the employer’s needs, not yours.

Learning How to Write a Resume

Knowing how to write a resume is a crucial and invaluable skill to have.  More importantly, however, you need to know how to make a resume that is both factual, beneficial to you, and has the “wow” factor needed to guarantee that you will grab any potential employer’s decision.  Nowadays, a lot of people lack that skill, not because they are lacking in any way but simply because they have not mastered it.

Recent college graduates, in particular, can greatly benefit from learning how to write a resume.  More and more students are focusing on their educations rather than simultaneously working.  Speaking as a student who went that route, your humble author can attest to the fact that graduating and then finding that you have know idea how to write a really fantastic resume can be problematic.  Going any length of time without having a job, or having gaps in your employment history, can also make the whole process overwhelming.  Getting a job these days, in any number of fields, can be a classic case of Catch-22: potential employers will not hire you if you do not have sufficient work experience – but they will not hire you so that you can get that experience, leaving you to wonder how on earth you are ever going to gain any experience if no employers will give you a break and a chance.  It just so happens that there are a few great resume tips which can help you get around that.

The first step in learning how to write a resume is to make a list detailing all of your accomplishments.  Understand, however, that you may have to pare this down.  Your CV is where the details can go; a resume needs to be significantly shorter.  Still, you can and should include any jobs, awards, degrees, skills, or personal projects, especially those that show you will be ideal for any particular position to which you are applying.  Which brings us to the second thing you need to do, which is tailor that list to the individual jobs you are trying to get.  Relevance is key here, so choose very carefully.  You also need to think very carefully about your objective for each individual position.

When you get to the point where you will be listing your past work experience, stop and think.  Are there gaps in your employment history?  Just be up front about them; be honest about why they occurred.  You can mention this briefly in your resume – or in more detail, depending on what kind of resume format you use.  Otherwise, you can explain yourself more in your CV.  Keep in mind that no matter what format that may be – functional, chronological, et cetera – it should not be more than two pages.

Looking at appropriate examples is the best way to learn how to write a resume.  That way, you get a clearer picture concerning what goes where.  Furthermore, it can really help to see firsthand how you can best manage to be concise, while still making yourself shine for prospective employers.  Remember, when you have a fantastic resume, an excellent CV, and a high-quality cover letter, you are going to catch the employer’s attention and keep it, making it much easier to get called back for an interview.