Your resume tells a story
Here are few tips to ensure your resume gets noticed by potential employers:
- Highlight your accomplishments
Lead with your accomplishments. Highlight your expertise in an area relevant to that role that will set you apart from other applicants.
List your education and employment in chronological order with your most recent first. Don’t forget your qualifications, including degrees, graduating year, honors, special awards, g.p.a. and practicing certificates
- Make it an easy read
Poor formatting (i.e. different fonts, text size, uneven columns, no bullet points, etc.), too much text or lack of clarity in describing your roles can easily disqualify you, especially if you’re applying for a writing intensive role.
PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD.
Ask yourself, can your resume be easily read in 2 minutes by someone who doesn’t know your industry? Is it clean and neat? Run your resume by friends who are less familiar with your career and see if they can describe what you do based on the information you provided
- Honesty is the best policy
Red flags pop up for unexplained gaps and short placements. If you took extended time off, be upfront about the reason – whether it was a career break to assist with family matters or a business venture, it’s best to tackle the issue rather than allow employers to come to their own conclusions and prematurely rule you out.
Whatever you do, don’t lie. Not only does it damage your credibility with the potential employer, it may affect your overall reputation with future employers
Interview Preparation – Mental preparation
- Company research: Review the job description so you understand everything that’s involved and formulate examples of how your experience will translate to the position you are seeking
- Learn about the company, its services, practice areas, company culture, and notable cases and achievements. Do your research using sources such as: the company website; press releases; Google; news; social media; Glassdoor; LinkedIn, etc. This information is crucial and will help you understand how you would fit and add value to the company
- If available, check the LinkedIn profile of the person interviewing you so you have an understanding of their role and position in the company
- Think about specific talking points you need to be prepared to articulate. Some examples include your career ‘story’, key capabilities, motivations, long-term career goals, achievements, what interests you about the role and how you can help the organization achieve its goal
Mastering the Interview
- First impressions are everything; this is not casual coffee with friends. Always look your best, wear proper business attire (yes, suits are still expected)
- Plan to arrive at your interview early. Late arrival creates a lasting impression
- Maintain eye contact with your interviewer at all times
- Follow the interviewer’s leads
- Be prepared with questions to elicit a description of the position and duties and then relate the answers given to your background and skills
- Body language is an important indicator of confidence; be mindful of posture
- Conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job. Never close the door on an opportunity, you never know where it will lead
Whatever You Do…
- Lie. Always answer questions truthfully and accurately as possible
- Sound rehearsed. The key to an interview is genuineness and confidence
- Answer questions with a “yes” or “no.” Show your personality and share things about yourself relating to the position
- Make negative remarks about your present or former employers, colleagues or companies
- “Over-answer” questions by feeling you need to fill in gaps or awkward pauses
- Ask about salary, bonuses or vacation during the initial interview
Leaving on a Positive Note
So you’ve secured a great job and now it’s time to move on. Here are a few tips to ensure you leave your last position on good terms.
- Don’t mentally check out too early. As long as you are receiving compensation you owe it to your company (teammates and clients) to do your best until the very last day. Organize a plan to transfer your responsibilities
Write a resignation letter
- Think of your resignation letter as a thank you note. It’s an opportunity to express your gratitude for working at the company and the help your team may have provided to you. It should also reference your last day on the job
Return work property
- Make sure you don’t leave with any keys, equipment or technology. If there is an exit interview- try and provide positive feedback and constructive criticism
- Remember you are likely to bump into former colleagues at other firms or in the neighborhood. It is a small industry and people have long memories. Try and move on without burning bridges