Many people ask me why they need to have a current resume when interviewing for a prospective job. There are many reasons to have a good resume, including passing the employer’s screening process, establishing you as a professional person with high standards and excellent writing skills, and boosting your confidence while clarifying your direction. The number one purpose of a good resume, however, is to win an interview. If your resume gets you in front of a prospective employer, then it’s an effective resume. A resume is an advertisement; nothing more, nothing less.
Just as important is what a resume isn’t. It is a mistake if you think of your resume as a personal statement, a history of your past, or as some sort of self-expression about how you feel about something. Sure, most of the content of any resume is about your job history. But if you write from the intention of creating interest, persuading the employer to call you, your final product will be very different than from many other resumes.read more
Will a thank you note really make or break my chances of getting a job? Probably not in most cases, but why take the chance? About 19 years ago, I was interviewing for a position with a Fortune 500 company. Competition was extremely heavy and the number of interviews that one day were astounding! There were 2200 people interviewing for 315 positions within the Southeast Region of Merck and Co. I had waited on the job for many months. The interviewing lasted from 8 that morning until after six that evening. I interviewed with ten different managers and executives that day. After each interview, I thanked that manager for his/her time and asked for their business card. The next day, ten different thank you cards were sent to each manager that I had talked with. The next week, I was called and offered the job. Years later after becoming friends with some of those that interviewed me, I asked what about me they liked. The answers surprised me. By in large, it was the thank you cards that each person received that put me ahead of the others.
Sadly only about 5 percent of those looking for jobs perform this simple, yet crucial ritual. Should the thank you note be typed or handwritten? Studies show it really doesn’t matter as long as you do it. What about emailing your thank you? Career experts are not in total agreement about this. Even if emailing fits the company culture, you should still follow up with a typed or handwritten note.
Finally, find a way to personalize your thank you. If you notice that the interviewer has elephant figurines in his/her office, find a note card that has an elephant picture on it. Even finding an article that the interviewer may find interesting may be a good way of personalizing your thank you note.
Never underestimate what your mother or grandmother always taught you … always say thank you!read more
One of the most important tips that I can give a prospective employee is to take time to look your best. Your appearance will make a lasting impression. I am reminded of a commercial that I saw recently where the tag line was, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” Even if you are only going to pick up forms or drop off an application at your local staffing service or prospective employer, dress in clothing that is suitable for the type of job you are seeking.
Dressing in a businesslike manner will help you make a good impression at your interview. If you do not have appropriate clothing, most communities have discount stores or resale shops that provide many choices. Your clothes do not need to be expensive, just neat and clean.
In most cases, casual wear is not appropriate for interviews unless you are interviewing for a warehouse or industrial job. Even then, you should, if possible, wear slacks and a dress shirt…no jeans. Clothes that are too dressy or revealing should not be worn either.
Once you are on the job, you will be able to judge the types of clothes that fit the work environment. Many employers have “dress down” days when wearing casual clothing is acceptable. Otherwise, you should be in “professional” clothes.
Review this checklist before interviewing for a job:
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before your interview.
- Freshen up with a shower or bath. •Shave or trim facial hair.
- Hair should be clean and well groomed.
- Brush your teeth and use mouthwash.
- Makeup and jewelry should be simple and kept to a minimum.
- Wear clean, neat clothing.
- Wear socks or stockings with shoes.
- Shine dress shoes or heels.
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