One of the most stressful things about job-hunting is sending out resumes. Jump-start your job search with the following tips to write better resumes and perform anxiety-free job interviews.
1. Writing a winning resume
Your resume needs to catch the eye of a prospective employer.
- Pay attention to presentation, choose a clear, easy-to-read font and keep it succinct.
- Always tailor your resume to each individual application.
- Study the job advertisement to see what strengths are required and concentrate on displaying your relevant abilities.
- Start by giving your personal details – name and contact information – and relating briefly and positively (not boastfully) what skills you possess that fit you for the job.
- Focus on your achievements.
- Bring your top selling points to the fore. And, throughout your resume, recount your successes rather than labour the responsibilities.
- Follow up with your qualifications, training, education and employment history, starting with the most recent.
- Keep it relevant.
- Don’t mention every night class or Boy Scout badge, but do include anything that might set you apart from other candidates – fluency in languages, IT skills, field trips, etc.
2. Performing succesful job interviews
Preparation is the secret of making a good impression at interview. Be sure of your facts and confident in your ability.
- Prepare yourself: Think about why you’re qualified for the job, and write down your strong points. Identify triumphs and successes from previous jobs, and be ready to talk about them succinctly and convincingly.
- Practise your interview technique: If possible, get a friend to conduct a trial interview with you, and give you honest feedback.
- Know the firm: Read up on the company that you’re applying to work with and, if possible, talk to people who already work there. Then you can hone your responses to the way the company works and ask pertinent questions.
- Sell yourself on the day: Smile, maintain eye contact, appear relaxed, be courteous and speak clearly. Remember the interviewer’s name and use it.
3. Remember some critical pitfalls
These all-too-common pitfalls could cost you the job, but are easy to avoid:
- Don’t be late. No excuse is good enough to counteract the bad impression this makes.
- Don’t dress casually. If anything, dress more smartly and formally than you would in a normal work situation.
- Don’t be overfamiliar. You won’t get the job by trying to make friends.
Remembering these tips will help you build the confidence to show a future employer what you’re made of.