STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE

Resume & Interview Helper

 

What is a resume?

A resume is a brief listing of your relevant work history, accomplishments, education, and skills.

What kind of paper should I use?

Plain white paper is your best option. Your chances of getting the job do not improve based upon the paper you choose for your resume. Also, staffing agencies often send your resume to potential employers for you, and colored paper not does copy or fax clearly.

What should I put on my resume?

Make sure to highlight your individual strengths and skills – what makes you stand out from the other applicants? Include any work history that is important to the job you are seeking, and any other work that shows a stable employment history. It is a good idea to include some of the software programs or current technology with which you are familiar, but never exaggerate your skills.

What should I not include?

Avoid getting too personal. You don’t have to include the band you play drums for on the weekends if you are applying for a receptionist position. Limit your resume to relevant work related achievements. You also should not list age, marital status, religious or ethnic affiliations, or anything else that is not job related.

How long should my resume be?

Limit your resume to one page if you can – Employers are busy and don’t have time to read a five page resume. Also, a resume that includes too many jobs can make you look like you jump from one job to the next with little stability.

What if I never worked a paid job for an employer before?

You can list the unpaid work you were doing, any self employment, or any volunteer work or community activities you may have been involved with. See below for some examples of how to list your experience.

1999-2000: Self employed: Child care

1999-2001: Self employed: owner, John’s Household Repairs

1997-2000: Volunteer work at ABC Shelter and coaching ABC town little league

Following the tips below will help you make a lasting, positive first impression on your job interview.

Preparation:

  • Learn about the organization
  • Have a specific job or jobs in mind.
  • Review your qualifications for the job.
  • Prepare answers to broad questions about yourself.
  • Review your resume.
  • Practice an interview with a friend or relative.
  • Arrive before the scheduled time of your interview.

Personal appearance:

  • Be well groomed.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Do not chew gum or smoke.

The Interview:

  • Relax and answer each question concisely.
  • Respond promptly.
  • Use good manners.
  • Learn the name of your interviewer and greet him or her with a firm handshake.
  • Use proper English – avoid slang.
  • Be cooperative and enthusiastic.
  • Use body language to show interest.
  • Ask questions about the position and the organization, but avoid questions whose answers can easily be found on the company website. Also avoid asking questions about salary and benefits unless a job offer is made.
  • Thank the interviewer when you leave and, as a follow-up, in writing.

Test (if employer gives one):

  • Listen closely to instructions.
  • Read each question carefully.
  • Write legibly and clearly.
  • Budget your time wisely and don’t dwell on one question.

Information to bring to an interview:

 

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