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Prepare Your Resume & Ace Your Interview

Resume Tips

  • Use a professional email on your resume. Unprofessional emails make a bad first impression.  
  • List current contact information at the top of your resume. Make it easy for an employer to contact you!
  • Resume objectives are no longer necessary. They take up valuable real estate on your resume. Use the extra space to highlight some of your accomplishments.
  • Make your resume clear and concise; utilize bullet points. This makes your resume easy to read for employers.  
  • With the exception of a few specialized industries, keep resume to no more than 2 pages. Recruiters are typically reviewing several resumes at once.  
  • Only include relevant job history on your resume. If you have more than 10 years of experience, it is acceptable to only go back 10 years.
  • List relevant volunteer experience. 
  • Be truthful. Do not falsify your resume. You will most likely be found out and could be terminated from your job if hired.  
  • Provide only professional references on your resume. Use past supervisors, colleagues, professors, volunteer contacts.  
  • Review your resume several times for grammatical errors. Have at least one additional person review your resume. 
  • Don’t apply for a job unless you meet the qualifications. Carefully read the job description and apply only if you hit at least 85% of the requirements. This way you are not wasting your time, or the recruiter's.


Pre-Interview Tips

  • Change your voicemail to something professional and simple.
  • Answer your phone respectfully when receiving calls. It could be your future employer!
  • Ensure your social media pages are displayed appropriately, or better yet, tighten your security settings!
  • Follow directions on how to apply for the position. Recruiters appreciate when you use the correct process.  
  • Understand where you are going for the interview to be fully prepared. Map your route in advance and account for traffic and parking.  
  • Arrive 5-15 minutes early. No earlier or the interviewer will feel rushed. If you arrive too early, wait in your car or grab coffee nearby.  
  • Receive ample rest the night before your interview. 
  • Dress professionally. Err on the side of being conservative to show you take the interview seriously. 
  • Do your homework on the company you are applying with. Review their website and the job description.
  • Turn off your cell phone. 
  • Arrive alone to your interview. Do not bring along another person.  
  • Be polite and cordial to everyone you meet when coming to the company for an interview.
  • Come prepared with questions. Asking questions shows you are interested in the company and have done your research.
    • Need some ideas?
      • How does the company provide growth opportunities? 
      • What are the common attributes of your top performers?
      • How does the company measure success?
  • Be prepared for common interview questions.
  • Have an idea of specific examples you can give from a previous work history that exemplifies your strengths and what you have gained from that experience.
  • For virtual interviews, test your WIFI connection in advance and be aware of what will be visible in your background.


During Your Interview

Do’s

  • Find a quiet location if your interview is over the phone or virtual.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Shake the interviewer's hand.
  • Be yourself.
  • Show enthusiasm for the position.
  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Be honest when answering questions.
  • Sell yourself.
  • Listen.
  • Take a moment to think the questions through before answering.
  • Give specific examples to questions.
  • Show appreciation for the interviewer's time.
  • Answer the questions with confidence and humility.
  • Keep a phone interview conversational.
  • Be mindful of your body language.
  • Practice interviewing before coming in for the real thing.

Don'ts

  • Don’t talk too quickly.
  • Don’t chew gum.
  • Don’t use slang.
  • Don’t talk about your personal life.
  • Don’t badmouth previous employers.
  • Don’t digress from your answers.
  • Don’t be arrogant.
  • Don’t act nervous.


Post Interview 

  • Send a thank you note via email or card.
  • Understand next steps in the hiring process.
  • Follow up appropriately if necessary. If the interviewer tells you they will notify you, let them.
  • Be available.
  • Follow through on paperwork if applicable.
  • Reach out to references if applicable.