- Use an easy to read Font Style – typically 12 point works well, Universal or Times New Roman.
- Avoid excessive graphics use, boxes or distracting lines and designs.
- Make sure your name is larger than anything else on the page.
- Be sure your name and address and phone number are on each page you use for job hunting.
- Check your tabs. Check your space between sections. Is everything lined up?
- Check your vocabulary. Your entire resume should be consistent in vocabulary and verb tense.
- Always include your computer skills.
- It is highly effective to use bullet points for each job duty you are describing. If someone is scanning your resume it helps to decipher one point from another.
- Do not include your previous supervisors name or your salary history.
- Drop off work experience that is more than 10 or 15 years back; it isn’t current.
- Don’t put anything personal on your resume. (i.e. birth date, marital status, height, hobbies, etc.) These items are inappropriate.
- A one page resume is best, but do not crowd your resume – shorten the margins if you need more space or if you find it necessary to do a two page resume, make sure you balance the information on each page. Don’t put just one section on the second page. Be careful about where the page break occurs.
- It is very important to keep your resume updated. Don’t have “9/92 to Present,” if you ended your job two months ago. People perceive that as misrepresentation. Do not cross out and handwrite on your resume. People perceive that as unprofessional.
- Never lie on your resume.
- Understand and remember everything written on your resume. Be able to back up all statements with specific examples.
This is the opportunity you have been waiting for!! Interviewing can be somewhat intimidating – following these guidelines can help you alleviate some of your stress.
- Do research on the company. What do they do? How large are they? What is their growth development?
- Practice answers to commonly asked questions. This will help you to answer questions without stumbling over your words.
- Get a good night’s sleep and try to relax.
- Be on time. Do not show up early or late. If you’re running late, call. Don’t walk in more than ten minutes early.
- Always dress professionally.
- Have a firm handshake. Practice it in advance. Your handshake gives people an indication of your personality.
- Know the name of the person you are interviewing with. Make sure you pronounce it correctly.
- Sit professionally. Don’t slouch.
- If you are asked to fill out an application, fill it out completely, even if you have a resume.
- Be courteous to the receptionist.
- Don’t slump back in your chair, put your foot on your knee, or dangle one arm over the back of the chair. That makes you look apathetic or arrogant.
- Don’t put anything or move anything on the interviewer’s desk.
- Be careful to use hand motions in moderation. If you use your hands excessively, the interviewer will remember your hands, not your skills.
- Be careful to match your facial expressions with your words. If you say “That’s exciting,” and look like you just woke up, you’ll be sending a mixed message.
Responding To Questions
- When answering a question, don’t wander off to another subject. Answer the specific question as completely as you can without going into unnecessary detail.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Don’t just start giving out information or telling stories.
Five Questions You Should Ask
Write out a list of at least five questions to ask at the end of an interview. If you have only thought of one or two, this becomes a problem if your questions are already answered during the interview. It is much more difficult to think of a well worded question when you are under pressure.
- Please explain what my day to day responsibilities would be.
- Can you please describe the organization of the company?
- What are the short term / long term goals for this department and how does that relate to the company as a whole?
- What are some of the abilities and skills needed to be successful in this position?
- Tell me about the company’s management style.
10 Commonly Asked Questions
You should practice answers to these commonly asked questions. This will help you to answer questions without stumbling over your words.
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What are your best accomplishments?
- Which areas do you need to develop?
- Describe your ideal position?
- Describe your ideal supervisor?
- Site some examples of your ability to be a team player?
- What did you like best / least about your previous position?
- Describe how you work under stress / pressure?
- What motivates you?
- Why should I hire you?
The majority of employers WILL check your references. For many companies this is a standard procedure and often an offer is contingent upon references checking out.
- References can make or break you. Be selective in the people you list.
- Always give a copy of your resume to each of your references.
- List a minimum of three references.
- List professional references. Employers will want to speak with people that have supervised you and your work.
- Make sure you contact all of the people you have listed BEFORE you distribute their names and phone numbers.
- Features virtual interviews, quizzes on interviewing strategies, and tips on how to prepare for different types of interviews. The site also links to Monster.com’s other career-planning sections.
- Great database of potential interview questions and sample answers. Other article topics include interview do’s and don’ts, on-site interview tips, and phone-interviewing strategies.