(Basic stuff that if you don't already know you should)
A resume should be an outline of past and present experience. It is not a complete dissertation of everything you have ever done since birth. People do
not read nor do they want to whether it be out of lack of interest or time. Keep your resume short and to the point. Allow the prospective employer to
develop some questions (not doubts) about how you did something. That is the purpose of an interview. You have created an interest and the employer
wants to meet you to learn more.
I imagine it is human nature to embellish accomplishments a bit but never fabricate them. You will be found out sooner than you had hoped. Always, always
use the spell check that is included with every word processing program on the market. Spell check, grammar check and then give it to someone (or two
someones) to read and critique. I am constantly amazed at how many resumes get trashed by prospective employers due to simple spelling and grammar errors.
Resumes must have eye appeal. Hold it at a distance and look at it. Is it neat, clean, well structured and nicely formatted? If you are asked for a paper
copy, white or off-white paper is preferred. If you really feel a need to use a color paper try a very pastel yellow or beige. And, never ever perfume your
resume or put your glamour shot or family photo on it (yes, I have received quite a few of these over the years). When attaching your resume to an email or
electronic application do so in a Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
If you haven't been given advance notice of a phone interview then you may want to consider asking to reschedule the call at a later time (even one or
two hours later). I would hope any recruiter making the call would ask you if it is a good time to talk. If you need some time to put yourself in the
right frame of mind then feel free to say no and re-schedule for a better time. At the time of the interview, put yourself in a quiet, private environment
(your car is NOT a good spot). Have your resume in front of you and stand up or walk around during the call. Yes, stand or walk around during the call. This
puts more energy into your voice, allows you to think faster, speak in a more conversational tone, and allows for better concentration on the questions being
asked. Amazing; and it works.
The evening before your face-to-face interview should be a time of relaxation and reflection. Review your resume and questions you plan to ask. Double
check your directions to the interview place; know them well, do not guess. Eat a light, healthy dinner and, if you drink at all, have no more than one
alcoholic beverage. Decide what you will wear to the interview and have it ready (clean and ironed). Wake earlier than your normal time the next day and
try to fit in some exercise (this will manage any stress you may feel).
Appearance is almost everything. Most HR professionals and hiring managers either turn on or turn off within the first five minutes. If you are given prior
knowledge of a relaxed dress code do not interpret that to mean jeans. Jeans are never okay to wear to interview for an office environment position. For
interviewing purposes, relaxed or casual dress code means a dress shirt and khakis for men (tie optional), casual blouse, jacket or vest and khakis, black
pants or a casual skirt for women. Typically, you should dress professionally in an outfit that you feel comfortable in and know you look good. By all
means, look into a full length mirror before leaving the house. Clothing should fit properly; not stretched at the seams meaning don't wear anything form
fitting. Please, remove all facial jewelry (nose, brow, lip, cheek and tongue rings). Earrings are not necessarily a distraction on men or women, just
keep it very conservative. Same goes for necklaces and bracelets. Too much is distracting. Women, PLEASE, cover up. A professional interview is not
the place to show off the midriff, cleavage and thighs. Lacy little tank tops are not appropriate even if you wear a jacket. Flip flops should never be
worn regardless of how much you paid for them. Do not use colognes, perfumes or scented lotions before an interview; even if it was several hours before
If you have been invited to a face-to-face interview it is to sell your skills, knowledge and abilities. Being cool just doesn't matter. Showing intelligence,
being interested, having a willingness to work and learn does. Be prepared to ask your own set of questions after the interviewer is finished asking theirs. Make
a list of your questions before the interview and bring them with you. However, questions about salary, vacation time, and disability benefits should not be
asked at this time. Your final question should ask what will be the next step in the selection process. Will there be secondary interviews with hiring
managers? What will be the time frame in which you will be contacted again?
Always follow up after every interview. A hand written thank you note is a nice touch but an email is faster. Please, write your note or email as if it
was business correspondence (because it is). Punctuate, capitalize where appropriate, spell check, and grammar check. Use complete and properly structured
sentences. Keep it short but spend time on it. A simple thank you for the interviewer's time and a reiteration of your interest in pursuing the position
further will do the job. Depending on what you were told about the selection process time frame, you may want to follow up with a phone call after a week
or two to check on the progress.