A good resume is the tool that can get you an invitation to the interview for your dream job. If writing a good resume is part of your preparation for the job hunt, performing at the interview is an even greater part. Here are a few tips on how to write a good resume and ace interviews.
TIPS FOR WRITING RESUMES
Select A Format
A critical part of writing good resume is using the right format. Without the proper format, your resume will look like a PhD dissertation that will instantly bore the interviewer. A scattered and cluttered appearance will send the wrong signals about you. One suggestion is to use tables with light grey background for headings and to use bold font for subheadings. Details under the subheadings can be on white background and can be laid out in columns or bullets, if appropriate. You should always start with your name and contact details first. Don’t forget your email address. You want the person reviewing your resume to know that you at least have an email address! This sends the signal that you are tech-savvy.
Proofing Your Resume
A resume with lots of grammatical errors, or one that contains lots of typos drives recruiters crazy. Don’t forget that your resume is really an index of your abilities. If you can’t do this and you are applying for a proofreader’s job, you have failed miserably. More importantly, you run the risk of looking incompetent. If you can’t proofread your resume yourself, get a friend or a professional do it for you!
Presenting Your Skills As The Employers Would Like To See
This is where you can make the best possible impression, even if your education is not exactly what the employer is looking for. For example, you have applied for a job where the employer wants to know whether you can handle 1ooo payable and receivable accounts. Simply writing a bland statement that you maintained account records will not interest him. You need to make your skills match that of the job description. Put yourself in the shoes of the employer.
Use Power Words
Use power words or phrases such as “managed workflow direction” instead of “gave work assignments to staff”. Also use action-oriented words and instead of passive ones. Using high-end industry jargon also immediately creates a positive impression about you, that you are professional and knowledgeable. You want the employer to know that they are looking at a senior-level resume, not one of someone who merely takes orders.
Quantify your achievements and highlight them in bullets. But being truthful is just as important. Telling a lie now, even if you get hired, could cost you your career later if you are exposed as a fraud.
TIPS FOR INTERVIEWS
Research The Company
In brief, you need to have gathered sufficient information on the organization. This should be information that has the potential to affect your long-term employment, such as ethics, environment and culture, potential for growth for both you and the company, your potential boss and subordinates etc. You also need this information so that you can ask intelligent questions during the interview. You don’t want to come off like a robot, or worse, like you were not even interested in the company enough to do come basic research.
This sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Sadly, it isn’t always practiced by everyone. Be polite when greeting the interviewer. Shake his or her hand, and finally ask questions politely, even if the interview has lasted well over 2 hours. This is the time to take particular care to mind your manners. Never try to expose the faults of either the company or the interviewer (if any). Speak in an well-organized, structured manner. Mixing up concepts has the potential to confuse the employer and you potentially lose out if they perceive you as not having clarity of thought.
Present Your Skills
Present your skills separately - close off all other discussions. Before starting on this subject, make them understand what you are beginning to say, so that they are attentive. This is the most important factor they want to know about you after your character. Use concrete examples, and explain how they can benefit by hiring you. Speak about six sigma, justifying your expertise in this area with examples of various companies that are benefiting by implementing the methodology. Tell them that you can implement it in their company as well, or at least become a key player. Let them know that you play to win!
Any questions should be limited to your work and the company. They should never be personal unless you have a special reason.
Even if you are well prepared, employers can smell anxiety a mile away, and if you display this to the employer it will wreck your chances of getting the job. Anxiety often comes across to employers as desperation. Don’t let this happen to you. Practice, with a friend or in front of the mirror if you have to. The point to remember about the interview is to not let yourself fall prey to your own anxiety.
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Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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