Interview and Resume Tips

The purpose of a resume is to market yourself on paper. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. It should serve as the "advertisement" that entices the "buyer" (the hiring official) to examine and evaluate the product (you).

Resume Guidelines

Be Clear and Concise
Construct your resume in a clear, concise format, preferably condensed to one page. Set the margins at approximately 1 to 1-1/2 inches. Include your name, address and phone number at the top. If you plan to move in the near future, state this in your cover letter and include an alternate phone number.

Summarize Your Skills
You want to begin your resume by defining what you have to offer. A strong beginning would be to summarize (package) your skills, rather than begin with a career objective. This approach serves to provide opening "sizzle" relative to what you have to offer the employer, rather than what the employer can do for you.

Next, list your "Work History" or "Experience" chronologically, starting with the most recent position. Take every opportunity to emphasize your skills and accomplishments.

Summarize Your Education
Summarize your "Education" at the end of the resume, listing your highest degree first, followed by lesser degrees, certifications, and relevant coursework. The exception to these guidelines will be if you are a recent graduate with no work experience, in which case you should list your education before your work experience.

As soon as you have accumulated six months to one year of relevant work experience, place your work experience before your education.

Reference any Professional Organizations
If you belong to any professional organizations, include these at the end of your resume, but only if they are relevant and enhance your profile. If you held a position in any of these organizations, include the position title.

Spell Check!
Finally, be certain you have performed a spelling and grammar check of your resume document. Ask at least one qualified individual to read your finished product as an objective critique.

Success! You sold yourself with your resume, and now they want an interview. Be prepared to sell your skills by planning ahead.

Normally, your first contact will be over the phone. Be prepared and organized. Confirm times and places whether scheduling a face-to-face interview or phone interview.

Interview Guidelines

Be Prepared
Prepare for a personal interview as if you will be taking a test (do your homework). Obtain information from the Internet, the public library or even from the company itself.

Know Your Resume
The prospective employer will have a copy of your resume in hand. Be prepared to answer questions about the profile you presented.

Prepare For Questions
Think of possible questions you will be asked during the interview. Be prepared to discuss your strengths and how your skills and experience will contribute to their organization.

Talk Away From Distractions
It is important to prepare your environment for a phone interview. Close yourself in a room away from distractions, such as doorbells, pets and family noises.

Emphasize your Strengths
It is a good idea to reference the research you did on the company, then ask some more specific questions about the company's business philosophy and expected challenges and vision for the future. If it becomes apparent that there are specific skills required that you do not excel in, change the focus and emphasize your strengths.

Wrapping Up
As the interview approaches its conclusion, ask if your skills and abilities meet their needs. The response may provide you with the opportunity to clarify concerns or provide additional information.

If you have unanswered questions, be sure to discuss them with your Employment Specialist.