Put Your Best Foot Forward
Your resume is your first contact with a prospective employer. Make the most of this opportunity to make a positive first impression. Your InstiTech recruiter is always available to offer any suggestions regarding your resume. Prompting the hiring manager to schedule an interview with you is what the resume should accomplish. Follow these key rules to ensure that your resume takes you to that next level:
Presentation: Visual appearance is critical. When emailing or uploading your resume online, use a PDF to preserve formatting. Any file type from a word processing program, like Microsoft Word, may show up differently on the hiring manager’s screen. For any printed copies, be sure your resume stands out with a sharp-looking, distinctive typeface on conservative paper. Use a quality printer. Attempt to keep the resume to one page in length.
Format: Decide on format after you have written your text. Keep paragraphs short or use bullets, don’t overdo bold / italic types, and avoid clutter.
Spelling: Make sure there are no spelling, grammar or syntax errors.
Content: Avoid generalizations. Be specific. Highlight your strengths and write strong, results-driven summaries.
Dates: Be sure your dates are accurate and list the months as well as the years.
Tailoring: Write your resume to fit the job you want. Point out that you meet five of the six requirements for the position. Have two or more core resumes that each focus on a key skill.
Focus: Use clear language and be direct when stating what your experience and goals are. Avoid unnecessary details. For example, omit the objective and instead write an attention-grabbing career profile.
Selling: Make your resume more than a list of jobs. Use it as a tool to sell yourself to the prospective employer. Take credit for your accomplishments. Describe them in a way that sells your achievements versus listing your responsibilities.
It is normal to feel anxious about interviewing. Keep in mind that your InstiTech recruiter has been through the interviewing process and knows the client companies well. We can answer your questions regarding dress code, required testing, and the timetable for decisions. Follow this approach for a stress-free interview:
Expectations: Keep a realistic grasp of the process and participate fully in each stage of that process. Don’t expect an offer after the first interview.
Goals: Be specific and emphasize your past accomplishments. Hopefully you thought these through while writing your resume. This is your opportunity to elaborate.
Research: Learn about the company (website), know their trends and products. Talk to your InstiTech recruiter for insight.
Questions: Have a list of questions prepared that demonstrate your interest in the position you are interviewing for as well as in the company.
Worth: Have a clear idea of the salary level for the position as compared to the value of your skills. InstiTech can assist you with negotiations.
Resume: Know what is on your resume and be ready to discuss it. Have an extra copy with you.
Applications: It is not unusual for a company to ask that you fill out their application before the interview. Be sure that the dates you list on the application match those on your resume.
Communicate: Be ready to answer questions. Practice answering difficult questions beforehand, especially if you have quit or been fired from a previous position. In addition, be sure to ask your questions in a concise manner. Remember you also communicate with your appearance, by listening, and with body language. Be positive and avoid negativity.
The Basics: Get a good night’s sleep, have a snack beforehand, select comfortable clothes that make you feel confident, and arrive early. Practice smiling and showing enthusiasm about yourself and the position for which you are interviewing.
Follow-up: Send a thank you note or email.
It is important to perform a focused job search. A well-thought-out plan of action carries through to your resume and interview. When you find the right position, you want to be able to communicate to the employer why you are the right fit. Here are some things to consider as you begin your search.
Professionalism: Be prepared for calls from prospective employers at any time. Make sure the message on your voicemail is professional.
Ideal Position: Know what you would like to be doing and focus your search accordingly. What did you like best / least about past positions and employers?
Skills: Consider your current skills and how they relate to the type of position in which you want to be employed. Research the industry or position to find out which skills you need to enhance. Be willing to take classes to advance these skills.
Employers: Research prospective employers based on growth, location, flexibility, employee retention and training offered. Compile a wish list of companies where you would like to work.
Network: Get out and talk to people – family, friends, past employers, recruiters. You never know where that great lead is going to come from. Make use of on-line resources including sites like LinkedIn.
Options: Give yourself time to consider options and offers. Realize that you might like to try a contract position first especially if you are switching careers. Make sure it is the right move for you. Contract-to-direct positions also offer an opportunity to “test” a company before you become their direct employee.