Monday, January 25, 2021

Tips for Job Seekers

Resume Tips

Think of your resume as a picture of yourself. It is the first impression that you will be making to your new employer and the tool that will get you in the door. Remember, we only get one chance to make a FIRST impression. Below are some tips to creating a clear, concise and attractive resume.

Name: Center your name with any relevant certifications (MBA, PMP, etc.), address and phone number at the top of the page in bold. Keep it one or two sizes bigger than the body of your resume.

Skills Summary: Make a short summary of your expertise. List all the skills that you would like to emphasize. Do not include any skills that you cannot back up during an interview. Many HR people will select resumes based on the buzz words in the summary, so be careful to include as many as possible.

Employment History: Create a Job Experience section in chronological order with your last job first. Employers prefer to see a chronological listing of jobs. Spend more time and space on your more recent jobs, as most employers really only look at what you have been doing for the past 3 years. Make sure you include your technical skills including all key words which will attract the attention of the person reviewing your resume with an explanation of how you used these skills in your job. Keep this section concise by speaking to your accomplishments without going into a lot of non-essential detail regarding the company. Make sure you include all operating systems, software and programming languages that you or your team used to complete your projects. Make sure to fill any gaps, even if you were doing non-relevant jobs or stayed home to care for children/parents.

Education: List your educational background from your most recent degree backwards. Include any additional coursework that you have completed. List Schools attended and year of completion.

Certifications: List all certifications with the most recent first. Make sure you include the year you received the certification.

Citizenship: Include your citizenship status and any additional languages spoken. Many companies are looking for bi-lingual employees in our Global economy.

Quantify your experience: Include number of people managed, dollar amounts of budgets you are responsible for, money saved, number of lines of code written or computers supported.

Be Proactive: Use active verbs such as manage, develop, support or analyze to describe your accomplishments. Check your grammar to ensure consistency throughout the resume. It is usually recommended to use the past tense such as "supported, managed, or analyzed" throughout the resume.

Focus: Make sure to emphasize your strengths without overstating your position. Keep the resume focused on the skills that will interest the potential employer. Make sure that you are able to back up your stated skills and accomplishments in an interview.

Keep the Resume on Point: Limit it to no more than 2 pages. It is generally accepted that resumes need to go back no more than 10 years. Do not include references, personal information, hobbies, etc. If the employer requires additional information, it can be provided at the interview.

Spell check your Resume: Review your resume for any spelling or grammatical errors. Have a friend proofread and critique the resume before submitting it to a potential employer.

Keep it Simple: A clean, concise, well-written resume will attract more interviews that fancy paper or logos.

Interview Tips

Interviewing for a new job is a learned skill. It is similar to playing tennis. The more you prepare and practice, the better you will perform. Below are a few general tips to get you focused on a successful interview:

  1. Do Your Homework: Research the company and position that you have targeted. Be ready to support your skills and experience and how they match with the job you are applying for.
  2. Role Play: Before the interview, practice what you would like to say. Pay attention to your body language, ability to express your ideas, and remember to maintain eye contact and smile!
  3. Dress Appropriately: Your first impression will set the mood for the interview. Make sure that you are well groomed and dressed appropriately for the environment where you will be working. Call ahead to check out the dress code for the company. A 3 piece suit might not be appropriate in a company where everyone else is dressed in khakis and polos. Conversely, tattoos, rings and extra long nails as well as club or weekend clothes should be saved for your time away from the office. Employers usually hire people who they see as fitting into the team.
  4. Be On Time: Give yourself extra time to arrive at the interview in case of parking or locating the correct office for the interview. A late arrival sets off a red flag to most potential employers.
  5. Be Positive: Keep an upbeat attitude toward past employers and job experiences. Avoid any negative comments regarding environments or people in previous jobs. The employer is always thinking "what is he/she going to say about me or my company if he/she leaves?"
  6. Make the Interview a Conversation: Interviews are like first dates. Keep the flow of conversation going both ways. Avoid yes or no answers, yet stay focused on the questions. Your goal is to be interesting without being boastful or too longwinded. Let the employer set the tone of the interview. Answer questions concisely, but try to engage them with questions or positive comments. Focus on your accomplishments and experience that would be relevant to the position. Encourage the interviewer to discuss his role in the company and emphasize how you could help him achieve his goals.
  7. Send A Thank You: Email or write a short note to the employer after the interview. Make sure to thank him/her for taking the time to interview you. State your interest in the job, as well as how you could be an asset to the company. End with the hope that you will hear back from them soon.

Sigman & Summerfield Associates, Inc.
300 E. Joppa Rd., Suite 1101
Towson, Maryland 21286
Tel: 410-828-0777
Fax: 410-828-0958
designed by: mos creative