Thursday, August 4, 2011

Helpful Resume and Interview Tips and Pointers

Both of these are listed on my facebook page, and are about a year old each... however as we embark upon the hiring journey, I felt it appropriate to share again, and as a single post.
Resume Pointers:
1. If you claim to be a perfectionist, that you always pay close attention to detail, and will do whatever it takes to make sure you get the job done right the first time, PLEASE remember to hit the spell check button on your word processing program. Also make sure your grammar is at least passable, I'm not an English teacher, but when your sentence structure is so poor that it makes it difficult to read your cover letter, I probably won't even print your application and turn it into our hiring manager. Plus simple mistakes like these prove that you are not in fact a perfectionist, and that you do not pay close attention to detail, that in truth you are just using the buzz words that EVERYONE puts on their resumes to make them sparkle. I want diamonds people, not glitter.
2. Your resume is much easier to read/print/pass along to the hiring manager if you attach it as a PDF file or a word document instead of embedding it in the email.

3. If the job posting specifically states that the job requires that you have nights and weekend availability, please do not submit an application if you do not have those hours available.

4. If the posting specifically states that you email your resume and cover letter to an email address required, please do not respond to the email:

       "I do not wish to submit my resume via email, I'd much rather come in and apply in person and give you my resume then, please contact me as to when and where this would be most convenient, and I'll try to work it into my schedule"

Please remember that you are applying for a job to work for me, not the other way around, and if you cannot follow simple instructions as to how to apply to the job, I'm guessing you will not follow instructions when it comes to actually doing the job (and I will not respond to your email, nor will I forward this message on).

5. Please do not use fancy fonts, this will not make your resume stand out in a good way; it will just make it annoying and hard to read.

6. Please keep your resume to one page, two only if you are including a cover page or references. I don't need to know about jobs you had 10 years ago on your resume. I do not appreciate 5 page resumes.

7. If your resume is going to have an "Objective" section, please make sure it applies to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a job as a Part-Time Car Rental Counter Agent, it doesn't make sense for your objective section to say you are looking for a "Full-Time Child Care Provider" position.
Helpful Interview Hints:
Over time I have come across a few things that I think might be helpful for those out in the job market. Just remember you start getting judged when you turn in your resume, not just when your interview is scheduled to start.

Make sure you dress appropriately, first impressions are important and if you look like a slob then your potential employers are going to assume that you are not serious about the job you are applying for. Here are a few fashion faux pas...

1. Sneakers (especially brightly colored keds that would be more appropriate roaming the grounds of a High School Musical) are not professional work wear, leave them at home.

2. Jeans are too casual for an interview for an office position.

3. Sandals are not appropriate office shoes (and we're talking beachy sandals, not dressy ones)

4. Overbearing perfume/cologne is not appreciated, it makes me want to vomit. Just be clean because I'm pretty sure that body odor would technically be worse.

5. Brush your hair. Just because Justin Bieber looks "cute" with shaggy hair doesn't mean that you do.

Make sure you are prepared for the interview

1. Punctuality is important, know where you are going and how to get there. You shouldn't have to call the office where you interview is being held MULTIPLE times to confirm your interview time (unless it has been rescheduled MULTIPLE times).

2. Leave your starting point with enough time to get there, and a couple of minutes to spare in case you miss your exit.  Google Map your destination so you don't get lost if you are unfamiliar with the area you are going to.

3. If you can't drive/walk/bicycle etc yourself to the interview and have to bring a friend, it is not appropriate to bring them into the office with you and have them hang out in the lobby for moral support. They take up valuable space that an actual customer could use. Make them wait in the car or go run an errand, but you don't need to use the buddy system when it comes to job interviews. Trust me, it just makes you look pathetic.

4. While we're on the subject of pathetic... Don't kiss my ass. I'm not going to put in a good word for you just because you are nice to me. Don't fail on the above mentioned items and I'll be much more impressed.