Posts Tagged ‘entry level resume’
Too many candidates mistakenly believe that being called in for an interview is being guaranteed a position — nothing could be further from the truth!
You might be the last person on a short list of candidates. Your skills, knowledge, and abilities are good, but perhaps not a perfect match for the company. However, the hiring manager is interested enough to meet with you and allow you to sell yourself to the company.
How do you do that? Preparation – preparation – preparation.
- Know how to dress. If you’re not familiar with the company culture, visit its website or offices during work hours to see how staff dress. No matter how casual they may be, the key is for you to look professional—you’re not on staff yet.
- Do extensive research about the company. Know what they’re about. Nothing’s worse for a hiring manager than to interview someone who hasn’t a clue what their company offers.
- Compose a list of questions about the company that indicates your interest in its products and services, the position itself, and the company and department culture. No more than 3 or 4 questions. Any more than that and your prospective employer might think you’re going to be “high maintenance” always coming to them with questions.
- Prepare a list of answers to the most frequently asked interview questions. For example: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
- Practice, practice, practice. Make certain your voice and body language don’t give away your anxiety.
- Calculate travel time. Know how long it will take to get to your interview so you arrive on time.
All too often data in resumes is presented quite vaguely, leaving the hiring manager to wonder what the candidate really knows and what skills s/he actually has. This is especially true regarding computer skills, whether the applicant is an office worker or an IT professional.
For example, an office worker may feel it’s enough to list skills in this manner: Technically proficient in Microsoft Office and other software.
After reading the above, the hiring manager may very well wonder what other software? What part of Microsoft Office—all or only Word and Excel? And, what version?
When your data raises more questions than it answers, it’s no longer effective. To maximize your information, be specific. For example, the previous statement should say this:
Technically proficient in Microsoft Office (Premium 2000), including Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, Access, PowerPoint, Front Page, and Photo Draw. Additional expertise in Word Perfect, Quicken, Peachtree Accounting, Lexis-Nexus, and Westlaw.
At a glance, the above provides instant and specific data to a hiring manager. However, a candidate—especially in the IT field—should go one step further by providing years or months of experience.
In today’s competitive job market, hiring managers demand that information on resumes be well-prioritized and specific. It’s not enough to state that you have proficiency in Microsoft Word. You must state how many months or years of experience you have or your level of expertise, whether it’s beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Hiring managers will not call you for an interview, nor will they test your skills unless they are first provided this essential data.
The nature of IT is ever-evolving. Therefore, an IT professional should showcase relevant skills as specifically and completely as possible.
Organize technical data into subheadings such as:
- Operating Systems
- Programming Languages
- Software Packages
- Any other technical proficiencies
One way to present this data would be a simple listing. For example:
- LAN Administration: Windows 2000 Server, Windows NT 3.51/4.0, Novell 3.12/4.1
- Operating Systems: Windows 2000/NT/XP, Windows 98/95, Macintosh OS
- Software: Microsoft SQL, SNA, SMS , Site Server & IIS, CA XCOM, SAS, Microsoft Visual Studio, Source Safe, Cognos Enterprise Server, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, AS/400-Windows Connectivity Applications, cc:Mail , Multiple Windows Communications Applications
- Productivity Software: Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Project
- Hardware: PCs, Compaq Servers, HP NetServers, IBM NetFinity Servers, AS400 20, SCO Unix OpenServer, Macintosh
- Certifications: Candidate for MCDBA, Candidate for CCNA/CCDA, Candidate for MCSE, Microsoft Certified System Administrator, Novell Certified Administrator, Novell Certified Engineer
An even more effective way to maximize technical data is to provide specific information in an easy-to-read format. For example:
Oracle 8/8i/9i, 4 years
SQL Server 6.5/7.0/2000, 6 years
Microsoft Access, 6 years
MySQL, 6 months
UNIX , 4 years
LINUX, 4 years
Windows Operating Systems, 12 years
DOS, 12 years
Macintosh, 4 years
ShellScript, 3 years
PL/SQL, 4 years
ASP, 5 years
JAVA/JSP, 1 year
DHTML, 3 years
SQL Navigator, 4 years
TOAD, 2 years
Oracle *Net, 4 years
Import/Export, 3 years
SQL *Loader, 3 years
Enterprise Manager, 3 years
Performance Manager, 2 years
The above example is specific yet easy to read and understand quickly and enhances an applicant’s candidacy for an IT position.
Everyone knows that resumes serve as the quantification of who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and what expertise you can bring to your next employer. So, in this competitive job-seeking environment, a professionally written resume is a necessity to help you stand out from other applicants—but it’s not the only tool that should showcase your talents and experience. Today’s business people also need actively managed profiles on the social media sites that recruiters and others are using to find and learn more about potential hires.
LinkedIn is the most popular of these sites from a professional standpoint. While many people think of it as a Web-based contact management system, it’s so much more. In fact, it’s really a 24/7 personal branding machine. Here are a few ways you can use LinkedIn to help sell yourself to a hiring manager:
- Position yourself accurately. The first step to fully leveraging LinkedIn is to think about your “positioning.” Since most people will not remember a lot about you, you want to give them one or two nuggets of information to associate with your personal brand. Let’s say you’re a salesperson who specializes in selling widgets to emerging biotech companies. Your profile should be constructed around reinforcing that role so anyone reading it knows that’s your area of expertise.
- Use keywords. You’ll want to populate your profile with keywords that someone looking for a person with your experience would use when they search LinkedIn for job candidates. This helps LinkedIn serve your profile to them as an option.
- Join groups. Once your profile is configured, you’ll want to proactively cultivate your image as an expert by joining LinkedIn Groups where people with similar interests congregate. Resist the temptation to jump into the conversations you find posted there. Rather, sit back and observe for a week or so, getting a feel for the ways people communicate, and then start participating in discussions. Eventually you will want to begin new discussions for others to join too.