Author Archives: Leanna Renne

One of the best things you can do to prepare for a job interview is to…prepare. Take some time before you go into that room to get your body, your voice, and your mind ready for what’s coming at you. It’s a stressful situation; it’s like a performance. No singer just goes on stage for her concert without warming up, and having at least a loose game plan. Neither should you. You should warm-up, loosen up, and have a rough idea of how things are going to go. You’ve got a hard copy of your resume in hand and your appropriately knock-out outfit, add to that a well-spoken and confident demeanor, and that job will be yours.
The first thing we recommend is practicing your answers. You don’t want them to sound memorized, of course; but you want to have an idea of what you want to say. You want to think about these things beforehand so that you a) don’t forget something vital, like your three years of managerial experience and b) don’t include unimportant information like how your mom always said you were the best at doing chores. There are plenty of websites that list sample questions that employers use in interviews; you can search questions that are specific to the position you’re going for as well. Answer these questions out loud. This will warm up your voice, so it doesn’t crack in the middle of your actual interview, and warm up your mind, thinking about your accomplishments and credentials. If you can do this with someone, that’s even better, because an extra set of ears will be able to let you know if what your saying sounds good and seems relevant. This practice will also boost your confidence; you’ll already have a list of what you are good at and what you’ve achieved in the past, and what your goals are running through your head; you’ll walk in confident that you deserve this job.
Next, we recommend getting specific. Think about the job you’re applying for and think about your past experience; make a list of all of the ways your experience is specifically applicable to the position you want. This is especially important if you are looking to change industries. Your previous position may not be obviously related to the one you’re hoping to get, but there are aspects of it that qualify you. If you worked with specific computer programs, that means that you are experienced learning and running software, you will be able to learn a new program quickly. If you ever held a position of leadership, that means that you can handle responsibility and multi-tasking, both of which are applicable for any job. Applying for a job you’re not sure you’re qualified for is a good risk to take, just make sure you know why you are qualified.
Finally, get moving and sell yourself. Get your blood pumping a little bit by jogging in place, stretching or taking the stairs. Of course, know your limits; you don’t want to be sweaty and out of breath for your interview. You do, however, want to disperse that nervous energy and be alive and alert when the interview starts. When you get in there, smile; believe that you know what you’re going to say and that what you have to offer is good enough for them. Tell them why they should be in the business of you. They want to see confidence, they want to see someone who believes that they can do the job they want to fill; even the most qualified people can lose out on a job if they fail to sell themselves in the interview. You got called in to interview for a reason, and this is your chance to show it!

Employers today are looking for a new kind of resume, one that is streamlined, though still comprehensive, and one that stands out. When applying for your next day-job or moving further in your career, you want a resume that shows who you are, what you do well, and what you have accomplished.
Experts advise job applicants against the antiquated “objective statement” these days. That doesn’t mean leaving that top section of your resume blank, that just means adding something else there. Giving potential employers a general overview of your resume, a summary of sorts, saves them time and energy. They can read through those initial sentences and know if you are someone worth considering. That means that that statement should stand out and show them that you are exactly who they want for the job. If you are attached to the old objective statement, which many are, remember that it shouldn’t be all about you. This can seem counterintuitive on a resume, which is a bullet-point lists of your life, essentially; but, employers would rather know what you can do for them than knowing what you want to do for yourself. Some employers do what to know your personal and professional goals, but they’ll ask in the interview if they do.
Speaking of bullet points: those are key. A resume full of dense paragraphs can seem just plain overwhelming. Just as employers want to be able to read a few sentences right off the bat to get a sense of who you are, they also don’t want to have to wade through a detailed novel about all of your work experience ever. Streamlining can make all the difference; simplifying your statements and making lists makes the resume feel more open and makes a potential employer more willing to keep reading.
This leads to the next point, which is that your resume does not have to include every scrap of work experience you’ve had. When you’re applying to certain jobs in certain fields, you want the experience on your resume to reflect your abilities for that job. It can be tempting to include everything, to show where you’ve come from, to show that you can hold down a job even if it’s not in this particular field. What employers really want to know is what applies to the job position they are looking to fill. Be brave and shorten that resume; remove the excess jobs that simply have no relevance to the position you want. Employers don’t want to wade through paragraphs of information about each job, and they also don’t want to wade through every job you’ve ever had since you were 16 years old. If you help them out and make their lives a little bit easier, they’ll be more likely to help you out.
And, finally, make it personal. Keep multiple versions of your resume on hand so that you aren’t sending the same one to employers in completely different fields. Each different copy should highlight certain qualities and experiences that apply to a specific type of job. Additionally, don’t be afraid to let your resume show your personality, whether that be through the visual presentation, or the details you include. Show them what you are proud of having accomplished and let them know what has been most fulfilling for you in the past. Without going overboard, this is a way to continue your cover letter into your resume and give it that truly unique feel.

Green, Alison. 2014. 6 Small Resume Changes That Have a Big Impact.
http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2014/02/03/6-small-resume-changes-that-have-a-big-impact
Hernandez, Jessica Holbrook. 2013. How Has Resume Writing Changed in the Last 10
Years? http://www.greatresumesfast.com/blog/2013/07/09/how-has-resume-writing-changed-in-the-last-10-years/