Resume & Interviewing Tips

Getting started with your resume

Regardless of the position you are interested in, the starting points for building your resume are the same:

Determine the job or types of jobs you are interested in and research the responsibilities and qualifications of those positions.
Think about why you can do the job and make a list of your skills that are relevant to the job.
Identify experiences and accomplishments that show your proficiency in the skills required for the job.
Summarize your abilities, accomplishments and skills to a brief, concise document.

Do's and Dont's

As you develop your resume, keep the following mind:

  • Do be brief. Resumes should be 1-2 pages in length.
  • Do be upbeat and active in your wording.
  • Do emphasize what you have done clearly and concretely.
  • Do be neat and well-organized.
  • Do have others proof-read and critique your resume. Spell-check the document. Make it error-free.
  • Do use high-quality, white or light-colored 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Use a laser printer if possible.
  • Don't be dishonest, always tell the truth about yourself in the most flattering light.
  • Don't include salary history or requirements.
  • Don't include references.
  • Don't include accomplishments that do not support your professional goals.
  • Don't include anything that isn't relevant. For example, don't mention your fondness for swimming unless you want to work on the water.
  • Don't use italics, underlining, shadows or other fancy treatments.

Preparation is the key to successful interviewing

Interviewing should not be viewed as a frightening ordeal. It is your opportunity to learn more about the position, while the interviewer learns about you.

Here are some ways to improve your success in interviews:

Arrive on time for your interview – aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview time.

Prepare thoroughly for your interview.  Research the organization and the position for which you applied – find out about the company’s history and other aspects to get a feel of the organization.

Your attire and your body language say as much about you as your resume does.  Dress professionally to create a positive first impression with your prospective employer.  Pay attention to your body language while in the interview. Sit upright, adopt an open posture and maintain eye contact with your interviewer(s).

Proper etiquette and manners are also very important in creating a positive impression with your prospective employers.  Remember to practice basic good manners.

Providing a list of quality references can add value to your application for the job. Ensure that your references are aware of your interview and the organization(s) to which you have applied, so that they may expect to be contacted by these prospective employers, to provide feedback on you professionally and personally.

It is disrespectful to use your mobile phone during an interview unless it is specifically required or requested of your interviewer.  Switch off and put away your mobile phone during your interview.   

Avoid raising the question of the salary being offered too early in the interview process.  Focus instead on the requirements for the job, the details of the role, your fit for the position, etc.  Save the discussion around compensation to when your prospective employer is ready to make an offer to you.  

Re-confirm the date, time and place of your interview before the day of the interview.

Do not engage in negative criticism about your current employer or position within an organization.  If you are asked in the interview about your reasons for wanting to leave your current job, focus on reasons that relate to your career goals and objectives, deepening and strengthening your experience, and so on, instead of any negative sentiments that you may have about your current job/place of employment.

Pay attention to your body language while in the interview. Sit upright, adopt an open posture and maintain eye contact with your interviewer(s).

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