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resume and interview tips

There is no set format for the perfect resume. Ideally the most concise and easiest to read is the reverse chronological resume. Simple guidelines to follow are (a) describe the job you would like to have, (b) note accomplishments and successes, (c) outline where and how you have worked and (d) summarize your accomplishments in each role. Use quantifiable numbers and statistics for substantiation where possible.

Including an objective in your resume may give the hiring executive guidance, however, it may also limit your options for other possible positions in a company. If you decide to put an objective on your resume, be sure it is specific and fully encompassing of your skills. Hiring executives need to know how to route your resume, so do not be vague in your objectives. You may change your objective for different markets if necessary.

Keep a list of pre-notified references, which would be available upon request. Always attach a cover letter specifically referencing the company. This is your introduction into a company; it can open or close the door for you. Your initial goal is to get the interview.

Prior to submitting your correspondence to any company, thoroughly proof read for proper grammar, syntax and any typing errors.  Make sure your phone numbers are clearly identifiable and dates of positions are in the proper chronological order and that all information is verifiable (e.g., college degree and employment history).

In preparing for an interview, whether face-to-face or by phone, it is important you know about the company and individual with whom you are interviewing. Company information is easily obtainable on the company's information website. There are also many other sources if the company is publicly held.

Knowing yourself, your skills, accomplishments, and goals can play a big part in your interviewing success. You should be prepared to give the hiring official the information they ask for at the time of the interview. Below are a few questions to help you know yourself. There are many good interviewing books on the market to help you in the process. You can never be too prepared.

Can you tell me about a time when you...

  • Worked effectively under pressure?
  • Had to adapt to a difficult situation?
  • Had to deal with an irate customer or tenant?
  • Made the wrong hiring decision?
  • Had to fire an employee?

General Questions:

  • What is your most significant learning experience from your present/last job?
  • Which job in your career did you like most and why?
  • Describe your personality.
  • How do you handle criticism?
  • What would your boss say about you?
  • What is the hardest thing you've ever had to do in your job?
  • If you could change anything about your present/last company, what would it be?
  • What type of people do you not like to work with?
  • What is your biggest accomplishment in your career?
  • Do you consider yourself to be a team player? In what way?

The information on your resume should be factual, positive, quantitative and concise. It should list education, accomplishment and work history. The accomplishments seem to be more effective when built into the body of the resume under each position. The information should also support your objective or goal. Leave out any information not pertinent to the position.

Be aware of any time gaps in your employment history. Time gaps are unaccountable periods of time that may result in the rejection of your resume. Use strong action verbs and descriptive phrases for emphasis. Accurate phrases are more effective than lengthy sentences. Also, do not use a font size that is small or difficult to read. It is better to have your resume expand to another page if necessary.