An interview represents an important milestone in the job search process. It’s critical to make the most of your time with hiring managers and decision makers. While it’s natural to feel some pressure, interviews do not have to be stressful.
1. Customize Your Resume
Let’s face it, job hunting is hard work. Going through job boards, company career websites, attending interviews and career networking can take up a large amount of time. So is one expected to do all of these things and still rewrite and tailor their resume every time they apply for a job? Well, the simple answer is, unequivocally yes. It is imperative because if you are not taking this extra step, the competition is. Generic resumes impress absolutely zero Hiring Managers or HR Personnel and more importantly won’t land you a job.
The good news is, a fully re-written resume is not required every time your resume is sent out. The key to minimizing time and being efficient with each resume update is to edit and rearrange existing content to appeal to the specific description and hiring manager. A full top to bottom rewrite is not needed at all.
A great tip is to read the job posting carefully. Many job seekers believe that filling out the application and sending a resume is enough and the hiring manager is happy just to have someone apply. But the truth is that hiring employees is only a small percentage of what the hiring manager does. Therefor, they don’t have time to read through 30, 40, or even 50 plus resumes. First, the hiring manager will scan all the applicants and narrow it down to a handful of resume that they really want to read from top to bottom. The manager needs the resume to be straight forward and to the point in regards to the specific needs on that position. Hiring managers don’t want to hire just anyone; they want to hire the perfect fit. By taking the time to read and understand the job duties fully, the resume can be tailored specifically to highlight the applicant’s experience as it relates to what the manager is looking for. In doing this, it will greatly increase an applicant’s chances of being on the manager’s short list and landing an interview.
Since job seekers are most likely applying to multiple open positions simultaneously, being organized is going to be of utmost importance. Each time an altered version of your resume is sent out it is going to need to be saved as a different file. Also, the saved file will need to correspond with the particular job it was submitted to. As you apply to more positions, there will be various versions of your resume. As new job postings become available, you should have enough resumes saved on file, thus requiring minimal edits. This leads to very minor adjustments needing to be made to future openings.
Although changing the resume to fit each job description can by time consuming, frustrating and maybe even boring, it is a vital and necessary step in getting the interview and ultimately landing the job you actually want!
We spend a large portion of our waking hours at work. Isn’t it worth putting a little extra effort that could pay off big time in finding a job we enjoy?
2. Dress For Success
Men should wear a suit, dress shirt and tie (unless otherwise specified). Women should wear a dress with a jacket or professional pantsuit (unless otherwise specified). Best practice is to opt for neutral colors such as black, navy, gray or brown. Any tattoos should be covered and jewelry should be kept to a minimum.
3. Be Prepared
Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail
Take several copies of you resume with you to the interview. Also prepare three to five questions, at minimum, for your interviewers. You can come with the questions written down in a portfolio. It is also acceptable to jot down a few notes as the interviewer answers your questions.