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Career Advice

 

Resume Tips

You need to be able to catch your reader’s attention in 10 seconds or less.

1. Burying or not including pertinent information. If possible, the best scenario is to customize each resume sent out and tailor it to the specific position that you are applying for. Many times pertinent information may be confused with wordiness. Your resume needs to be concise, positive, and confident.

2. Gaps in employment. In poor economies companies are more understanding because of many corporate layoffs. However, employers will still ask, so be prepared with a confident response. Try to make a positive out of a negative.

3. Pictures or Graphics. Interviews are scheduled based on skills, education and work history. Pictures and graphics take longer to download. SAVE YOUR 10 SECONDS.

4. Resumes sent as unopenable attachments. MS Word .doc or .pdf files are the standard in business correspondence. Most companies will delete resumes sent in ZIP files, because they may contain viruses that cannot be detected in the email body.

5. Poor Font & Size Choices. Keep your font simple & easy to read on a computer screen. 10 Point Arial or 11-12 point Times Roman are ideal for the body. For the heading 12-point bolded is the best choice.

6. Objectives or meaningless introductions. Tell them who you are and what you do immediately. Come up with one powerful sentence or phrase to “grab” your reader or omit entirely.

7. Lying or misleading information. Never include inaccurate Dates, half Finished or inflated Education, Inflated Accomplishments, Lies in Regards to specific roles and duties.

8. Employer information not included and not telling what industry or product you worked with. Do not write a generic resume. Specific employer information is key to the readers of your resume.

9. Long paragraphs. You need to offer quick access to information and experience, not drawn out sentences to describe job responsibility. Use blunt, paraphrased bullet-points. Use appropriate amounts of “white-space” to help guide your reader. Note: Your resume is to get you in the door.

10. Personal information not relevant to the job. Your resume is your selling tool and should be clear of any and all non-related material.

11. Functional Resumes. Do not write about your duties and then name the companies that you worked for afterward. Your resume should be in chronological order.

12. Poor Formatting, Spelling errors, typos, and poor grammar. Red and Green Squiggly Lines are seen in emails – These are distracting and say to the reader, “I don’t know how to use Word!” Bullets should be aligned cleanly on the page and not indented all over the place. Not only does this make for tough reading, it will also cause huge problems when your resume is downloaded onto a job board or HRIS recruiting system. There is no reason to have more than 3 or 4 tab stops in your resume. Use spell check but check grammar also.

13. Headers and Footers – Many candidates use this MS Word feature to present their address and contact info. Guess what? This is one the worst things you can do! The chances that your contact info will be converted are slim to none. You could be the perfect candidate for the position, but your saved resume offers no way for you to be contacted!

14. Incomplete contact information. It is imperative that your complete contact details are easy to read and at the top of your page. Including – Full name, phone # (cell, home), email and general address. Email addresse”s should be professional. Your name or initials will be suitable, not sexy-kitten@aol.com. Your complete mailing address is not necessary and can be a security risk; you only need to indicate the city, state and zip code you live in. (If you live in Queens, please specify where i.e. Forest Hills, NY 11375).

Interview Tips

Do’s

1. Arrive on time & establish rapport to be called back for a second interview.

2. Project a professional image. Dress appropriately. It is best to dress conservatively, at least for the first interview. No perfume or cologne, light make up, short clean nails.

3. Go in prepared. Do your background research, including Internet, newspaper, etc. about the company, products, services and the person you are meeting with.

4. Reflect on ways you could contribute to the company. Be concrete and use examples based on past history and contributions to current/previous company.

5. Be engaging. Let your enthusiasm and interest for the job shine through. Clients do not hire wooden boxes.

6. Part of a Team. Acknowledge the team’s contribution. If your achievement was your contribution, let the interviewer know (without bragging).

7. Have fun & relax. If you are tense, you will be seen as rigid and uncomfortable. Breathe deeply before you start the interview and center yourself.

8. Debrief immediately with your recruiter (if you are being represented). Your thoughts and feedback will be helpful to the recruiter in his/her communications with the client, and can help influence decisions.

9. Send a thank you letter within 24 hours. This demonstrates your interest, attention to detail and another opportunity to market yourself. Reference key points covered during the interview and why you would be the perfect fit.

Don’ts

1. Oversell yourself. There’s a time to sell yourself and your credentials. The conversation should shift to then discussing the job opening and its challenges/opportunities.

2. Undersell yourself. This is not the place to be modest. Make sure you can draw attention to specific accomplishments, and quantify and qualify them.

3. Go to an interview hungry. You will not be as alert. Make sure you eat beforehand. Likewise, eat “lite.” You don’t want to appear sluggish avoid garlic, onions or tuna. Use breath freshner strips/mints while in the waiting area.

4. Use jest or humor to joke about your potential employer’s products, services or employees. The hiring manager is an extension of the company’s brand. He/she is proud to work for the company. Why take pot shots? In addition, no swearing or off color jokes. You want to rise to the top, not stoop to the lowest denominator.

5. Be arrogant or haughty.

6. Talk badly of previous employers, employees or companies. It will come back to haunt you.

7. Tell lies. Be honest. It’s the best policy. If you have something to hide, the future employer will find out.

8. Interview in a monotone voice. It’s boring and puts people to sleep. Modulate your voice, use inflection. Smiling helps too. Practice in front of a mirror. Would you want to interview yourself?

9. Take anything for granted or make assumptions. You have to earn the trust of the interviewer to be asked back.
 

Interview Preparation