Job Seekers Resources
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Applying and interviewing for jobs can be a daunting task. Expectations of employers are constantly changing and it can be difficult for job seekers to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in resume and interview styles. Follow our tips on resumes, interviews, and social media to ensure you are prepared to compete in today’s employment market. If you need assistance writing a resume or related career document, contact us! We offer professional career writing services.
- Research. Know basic details about the company, job requirements, and hiring manager/interviewer(s) before your interview. Ask questions that cannot be found through basic research on a company website. Below is a short list of general questions you may consider asking.
– I noticed on LinkedIn that you have been with the company for X number of years. What is that you like most about working here?
– Why is this position open?
– What characteristics are common in people who successfully have filled this role?
– If this is a newly created position, what characteristics do you think are necessary for a person to be successful in this role?
– What do you anticipate being the biggest challenge for me in this role?
– What is the turnover rate for the company or this position?
– What is the next step in the interview process?
– Based on our interview, do you have any concerns about my ability to perform this job?
– What does a typical day look like for this role?
- Speak clearly. It is natural to be nervous during an interview, but try to stay calm. Speak intentionally and at a moderate pace. Mumbling or talking too fast can leave a negative impression with the interviewer. Avoid the use of slang and use proper grammar! The use of proper grammar can make or break a hiring decision.
- Have a good phone connection. If the interview is a phone interview, make sure your phone is charged, use a landline if possible, and make sure you have a quiet place to take the call. Distractions and poor connections can make phone interviews unsuccessful.
- Sit up straight. Whether you are in a face-to-face interview or on a phone interview, sitting up straight helps you articulate your speech and reduce mumbling. Sitting up straight also projects confidence, which is key in an interview.
- Answer the question. Make sure your answers actually address the questions asked. Do not get on a tangent after you have answered the question. Stay focused on delivering the information for which the interviewer is trying to obtain.
- Arrive on time. Know the location of where you are going and arrive 10-15 minutes early. Arriving too early can be just as inconvenient to the interviewer as arriving late.
- Have your resume on hand. Be able to speak to your resume and elaborate on questions related to your experience. Focus on achievements and accomplishments more than daily tasks.
- Do not panic during silence. Interviewers often need a minute to take notes, process an answer, and collect their thoughts. Sometimes the silence may be intentional to see how you react. Let the natural silence happen and stay confident. If the silence extends too long, ask a question and wait for the interviewer’s response. Example questions to break the silence may include:
– Did I answer your question or would you like additional clarification on my response?
– Do you have any additional questions for me?
– Is now a good time to ask you some general questions I have about the company and position?
- Express interest in the job. Be confident and communicate your interest in the job before the interview concludes. Hiring managers want to know that you are interested in the job, so tell them!
- BE YOURSELF. Do not try to be the person you think the interviewer wants you to be and do not try to give the answers you think the interviewer wants to hear. Be honest and let the interviewer know who you really are and what abilities you offer.
Below are our top 10 resume tips that every job applicant should follow:
- Accomplishments. List accomplishments and achievements in your job descriptions. Hiring managers want to know what you accomplished through your work, not just the tasks you completed. When possible, use specific examples that are quantifiable and verifiable.
- Gone are the days of an ‘objective’. Unless you have something unique in your objective that a hiring manager needs to know, leave this section off. Everyone’s objective is the same when applying for a job; to get the job (with a great organization that can use your skills and provide you an opportunity for professional growth, etc).
- Elevator pitch. If you have a skills summary or narrative information summary, keep it brief and do not let it be a regurgitation of the job descriptions detailed in your resume. Summaries need to be your ‘elevator pitch’ and represent only the key highlights relevant to the job for which you are applying.
- Proofread. Recruiters and hiring managers will often disregard resumes that have careless or grammatical errors. Get someone else to review your resume before you send it out. No matter how strong your writing skills are, a second set of eyes is always recommended.
- Be concise and specific. Whether you have one year of professional experience or 20 years of experience, hiring managers want to quickly review your resume and know if you fit their needs. Resumes should be between one and three pages and should have specific information about systems, tools, technologies, accomplishments, special projects, etc. Skip the generic stuff that everyone does at work and focus on the meaningful things you have accomplished that will translate to value for your potential new employer.
- Readability. Format your resume in a way that makes it easy to read. Use a font no smaller than 10 and keep the font traditional (Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, or Verdana are our recommendations). Use bullets instead of bulky paragraphs. This allows the reader to spot key words more easily and gives the resume a clean look.
- Relevancy. Make sure your resume highlights the skills for the position of which you are applying. One size does not fit all in the realm of resumes. Customize your resume to each job.
- Verifiable. Make sure that the content on your resume, especially education, certifications, and dates of employment are verifiable. Many employers will run background screens that include verification of education and dates of employment. If information cannot be verified, or does not reasonably match what is indicated on your resume, it may cost you the job.
- Unique and personal. Let a little of your personality come through on your resume, but keep it professional. This gives the hiring manager insight into who you are, not just what you do. After all, your resume is a marketing piece.
- Use a recruiter. Recruiters review hundreds of resumes per year and know how to create a resume that is easy to read, clean, and effectively highlights your skills and background.
For more resume tips, follow us on Twitter every Tuesday for #resumetips @kgworkforcesoln
Research indicates that up to 75% of hiring managers are using social media as a component of the hiring process. A presence on social media is necessary in today’s employment market. However, the wrong social media presence can actually dissuade an employer from hiring you.
Below are our top 10 social media tips that every job applicant should follow:
- Clean up. Review your existing social media accounts before you start looking for a position. Remove profanity, any posts that indicate your political alliances or views, things that indicate your age (such as high school graduation dates), and other content that you may not want a potential employer to see.
- Timing is everything. Be cautious not to post personal content on social media sites during business hours. This may give potential employers the idea that you are playing on the Internet while you should be working.
- Be positive. Keep a focus on posting positive comments. Employers like to hire people who are happy and positive since they are often more productive and contribute to positive morale in the workplace. Negativity can be contagious, so employers frequently shy away from job applicants who have a negative attitude (or the impression of one).
- Current and accurate. If your social media sites indicate your employment history, education, or other content that is also on your resume, make sure the information matches your resume.
- References. Secure a reference, if possible, to confirm your skills. Many social media sites, such as LinkedIn, will allow a reference to validate your skills on your profile. This can be a great selling feature to a prospective employer.
- Set up appropriate privacy settings. Many social media sites will allow you to make your profile private. This may be advantageous if you have concerns regarding the content of one or more of your social media sites.
- Research. Leverage social media to research companies and hiring managers of interest. Examples may include following a prospective employer on Twitter or reviewing an interviewer’s LinkedIn page to identify his/her tenure at a company.
- Proofread. Much a like a resume, hiring managers may be turned off by slang or improper grammar on your social media sites. While content on a social media site may be brief or abbreviated, it should still reflect proper spelling and basic writing fundamentals.
- Advertise. Keep in mind that social media sites are similar to advertisements. Social media advertises you and can be a marketing tool for your employment search. Review your social media accounts and ask yourself, “Is this the impression I want to give potential employers?”
- Network. Use social media to help network within your desired industry. Follow relevant user groups and companies, connect with former coworkers and managers, and follow market research relevant to your skills.
For more info, follow us on Twitter @kgworkforcesoln
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