Posts Tagged ‘professional 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.
When applying for a specific position, it’s essential that you include keywords on your resume:
- Keywords that reflect your field of expertise
- Keywords that were used in the job posting, as many companies use software to evaluate how well a person’s skills match with those listed in the job posting
Companies are receiving thousands of resumes each day, so yours needs to stand out among all the others. Here’s how:
- Be a match. If you are interested in applying for a specific position, be sure to research the company and thoroughly go over the job description and position requirements. If they list specific requirements and you have experience that fits what they are looking for, highlight this information clearly on your resume so the reader can quickly see that you “match” the position. Use caution that you aren’t repeating the exact phrasing from the advertisement—use the keywords that will identify you as a match. Also, don’t rule yourself out even if you feel you’re not a close match. Send the resume and let the employer decide.
- Be concise. In addition to your duties with current and past employers, it is important to include contributions and achievements, as well as your educational background—but don’t overdo it. A resume is basically an advertisement, and your goal is to create enough interest that the organization will want to learn more about you by telephone or in a face-to-face interview. When a resume contains too many heavy details, you run the risk of overloading the reader, which can result in him or her missing important accomplishments you have achieved during your career. A prospective employer isn’t going to take the time to read a resume that is too lengthy.
- Be active and persistent. Finally, if you have been part of a reduction in workforce, be assured that you will eventually successfully land a job. Treat your job search like you treated your full-time job—dedicate your time to it every day. Many times when someone is no longer working, they feel lost and unsure, but the key to triumphing over this situation is to commit to beginning the search process and moving forward from there. Get out there and make things happen!
Hiring managers routinely receive hundreds, perhaps thousands, of responses from applicants for any given job. To avoid having your resume sink into this sea of paper, it’s imperative to stand out from the crowd and make a good first impression. A compelling cover letter that meets five essential requirements will convince a hiring manager to read an applicant’s resume.
Rule #1: Create appealing appearance
The resume and cover letter must be aesthetically pleasing and consistent in appearance. This includes using the same heading and fonts for each.
Rule #2: Target your audience
Always use the hiring manager’s name in the salutation. If the contact’s name isn’t provided in the job posting, a bit of Internet research or a well-structured phone call can produce results.
Rule #3: Produce a strong opening
A dynamic opening paragraph is essential to capture and retain a hiring manager’s interest. Pared down to essentials for a quick and effective read, it should reference the position you are seeking and include a brief statement as to why you believe you are qualified to fill the job.
Rule #4: Showcase accomplishments
Include a bulleted area to emphasize accomplishments pertinent to the targeted job.
Rule #5: Close with a proactive statement
Always initiate further action at the end of a cover letter. A proactive closing indicates that you will call within a few days to see if a time might be scheduled to meet. Then, be sure to follow through on the action you include in your letter.