Archive for the ‘Job Search Tips’ Category
The part of the hiring process known as the interview is something that scares most people to death. It doesn’t have to if you have thought of prospective questions before hand and prepared yourself accordingly and also thought of some questions you may have for the interviewer.
Here is a brief list. We kept it brief because the list could be four pages long if we so desired, however you would not read it and it would be very frightening. So we pared it down to the most likely ones:
- How would you describe yourself?
- To be successful in this career, what do you think it takes?
- Do you have the qualifications and personal characteristics necessary for success in your chosen career?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your long-term goals and objectives?
- What major problem have you handled recently? Did you resolve it? How?
- What characteristics do you think make a manager successful?
- Why did you apply to our company?
- How do you approach critical assignments?
- If you had to think on your feet to solve a difficult situation, what would you do?
- Why were you fired?
- What steps do you take before making an important decision?
- Name the most difficult assignment you had and how you finished it.
- What kind of supervisor do you prefer?
As you can see, the questions are open-ended, not allowing for a simple yes or no answer. The more you talk, the more the hiring authority learns about you. That’s why you need to be prepared before you utter one word. Each answer must be crafted carefully to maximize your chances of being hired. You can become more prepared for interview questions and answers by looking online there are several great interview resources like Resumeindex.com and Monster.com
A friend of mine who was looking to change careers asked me last week for some ideas of tailoring his resume to expedite his search. Here’s what I told him, and this advice is for you too. Here are two examples but there are many; always keep in mind whether you are in sales or management this applies; “sales are sales”; if you know how to sell the product is incidental. Same is true of management. A personal friend of mine worked in management in six or seven different companies, all different products. If you understand people, “management is management”, only the product changes. If you are a machinist and run a lathe; you can be easily trained to run a mill or drill-press.
If you are seeking a job in a new area, you should first identify and describe any previous work experience in the best light possible while identifying the most relevant duties performed. Job descriptions are no longer seen as helpful ways for employers to evaluate potential employers, and many of them are looking for accomplishment-focused phrases and results-oriented statements. So tailor your resumes toward this.
Using Action Verbs in Resumes
Use action verbs. These are words that are used specifically in resumes to accurately and succinctly indicate what a job applicant accomplished in their last position. These phrases begin with an action word such as designed, sold or instructed and leave out unnecessary words such as the, a and also. The phrases sound crisp and leave the distinct impression that you have been active.
The best action verbs depend on the specific job duties you performed, but some example action verbs could include: billed, wrote, supervised, managed, analyzed, directed, trained, planned, taught, developed, maintained, organized, initiated or produced. When you write your resume you should pick one verb for each line and then elaborate.
Accomplishments to Mention on a Resume
If you haven’t had to look for a job for several years – you may have a difficult time figuring out which of their past accomplishments are best to focus on when choosing the action words for their resumes.
These questions may help when trying to determine which verbs are best to describe the results of each pertinent job duty:
- Did I improve efficiency – how?
- How did I perform the job better than expected?
- Did I implement anything new that benefited the organization?
- Did I receive any awards or special recognition as a result of past performance?
Tips When Changing Careers
Researching the new field or profiling the specific job the applicant is looking for is the most important aspect of changing careers. The more knowledge you have about the company the better your chance to market your existing skills. By using the Internet, research has never been easier. Employers are impressed by applicants who have taken the time to find out about their businesses.
Be sure to avoid major pitfalls by following these resume do’s and don’ts:
- Poor or inappropriate formatting: The first impression a resume makes is generally the most lasting. Large blocks of uninterrupted text; small margins; text that is very small; or an abundance of bolding, italics, and “designer” fonts make documents difficult to read.
- Lack of focus: An effective resume should indicate to the reader within seven seconds or less the candidate’s targeted position and qualifications that match the opening.
- Use of self-serving objective statements: In today’s economy, hiring managers are not interested in what a candidate wants. Rather, they seek candidates that clearly state what they can do for the targeted company in terms of cutting costs, increasing profits, and enhancing productivity.
- Poor data prioritization: A resume should reveal the candidate’s professional and academic background as it applies to the targeted position or program being sought, and in reverse-chronological order (the last job worked or school attended is listed first within that section).
- Failure to showcase and quantify accomplishments: Hiring managers will not read every line of a resume to determine what a candidate has to offer, especially if it’s buried within dense blocks of text. Applicants must provide special sections indicating professional or academic achievements, and these must be quantified.
- Including non-relevant data: Hobbies and interests should never be included unless directly related to the current job search.
- Inappropriate length: There is no one correct length for a resume. The document is as long as it needs to be in order to provide a clear and effective picture of the candidate.
- Personalizing the document and using casual language: Modern resumes are business documents and should never be personalized with use of “I,” “my,” “we,” or other personal pronouns.
- Redundancy of data: Once information has been provided in a resume, do not repeat it elsewhere.
- Spelling or grammatical errors and incorrect verb tense: Once a spelling or grammatical error is detected by an admissions director or hiring manager, they will stop reading the resume.