The purpose of the resume is to describe
your life-work experience to best advantage for the
prospective employer. It should be a precise
description about accomplishments, skills, and
experience so tltit employers will want to know
more in an interview. You may need more than one
version for different jobs.
THE RESUME SHOULD INDICATE:
• Contact information- your name, address, phone
number, fax and email.
• Background information in a summary or brief
• Education, training, employers, and dates of
• Specific accomplishments related to performance on
the job and leadership activities in professional, civic,
or community affairs.
• List employment experience and education, in reverse
order (highest degree or most recent job).
1. Names and addresses of references. These can
be supplied at the interview. Listing
"References available on request" is not
required; it is assumed.
Salary information. If requested, include in
3. Personal data, such as age, marital status, height,
weight, etc. Prospective employers must consider
you solely on the basis of your qualifications. It is
illegal to request pictures or information related
to race, r~ligion or national origin.
5. Objectives narrow your options. Your
objective is to get an offer from the company.
I. A generally stated professional summary. It is
an overview of what you have done and how
you fit the needs of a company. Includes
business environment experience, personal
characteristics and industry key words.
2. Unpaid experiences, as well as paid
employment, if it is significant, professional,
pertinent to the industry.
Resumes placed on Internet sites must follow
company format. Avoid bullets, italics,
underlines. Use HTML format.
4. Careful editing to check for typos and
grammatical errors. These may suggest to
prospective employers your work is careless.
5. May be more than one page with experience,
The following .guideline~ are important. Translate
skills and achIevements mto actIOn statements.
• Express skills with action verbs and industry key
words to show benefits or results of the work you have
performed. Express problems you have solved that
lend punch and add variety to your resume.
• Quantify and qualify, using statistics, percentages and
numbers whenever possible.
• Include key words or nouns that specify areas of
experience, e.g.: Team Leader, Manager, Strategic
Planning. MIS. Bilingual. Computer Software
Skills. Systems Analyst.
• Begin statements with actions that are followed by
results: Increased company market niche and
profitability by designing customer preference
survey and focus groups. Supervised 10 focus
interview teams to conduct focus groups of more
than 350 people and 2.000 surveys. Analyzed data
and presented results of 2.000 interviews to senior
• Omit personal pronouns, "I," and articles, "the" and "a."
RESUMES DOs & DO NOTs
There are three basic styles of resumes:
Chronological, Functional and Combination.
Each format organizes information differently and
has distinct advantages and disadvantages. The
following descriptions will help you determine
which format is most appropriate for you.
1. Write brief phrases. Full sentences not
2. Start with a first draft. Expect to do several
3. Begin with a summary statement that describes
the functional area of your work .
4. Use present tense in describing current job. All
previous positions are described in past ten se. 4
5. Support all activities and responsibilities with
results and accomplishments.
6. Describe specific responsibilities .
7. Summarize early employment by briefly
describing your functions at the end of the
8. Pick a resume format and be consistent. Dates
appear on the right side of the page.
9. Write out all numerals up to and including the
number "nine." Use the numerical form for 10
10. Layout resume so that a job description or a
sentence on the first page does not run over to
II. Proofread final product for correct spelling,
punctuation, grammatical, and typographical
errors. Have independent, "critical" person
proofread for errors you may have missed.
12. Omit information or dates that may be used to
screen you out.
This type of resume lists work experience in
reverse chronological order. it is best for the
person who has had extensive experience in a
chosen career field.
• Allows for different formatting to include key words
and career highlights.
• Human Resources interviewers, recruiters, and
employers seem to prefer this format.
• Easiest to prepare, since it is arranged by titles,
companies and dates.
• Steady employment record is highlighted.
• Provides interviewers with a guide.
• Reveals employment gaps. (It is recommended that
any gaps include reasons, e.g.: job search, family
responsibilities, travel, or educational opportunity in
• May not emphasize areas that you want to maximize.
• Skills and achievements at last position must match
current position search.
Generally not recommended because it raises too
many red flags.
• Organizes work experience into skill clusters.
• Dates and places of employment are left out.
• Re-entry people and recent graduates may find this
• A special section, Analysis of Experience, is written
instead of listing employment history. Usually three to
four areas are emphasized, showing results and
• Sections may be arranged in any order.
• Stresses selected skills and experience areas that are
marketable or in demand.
• Attempts to camouflage a spotty employment record.
• Allows the applicant to emphasize professional
• Positions not related to current career goals can be
• Employers are suspicious and need to see additional
work history information.
• It does not allow you to highlight companies or
organizations for whom you have worked.
This type of resume combines the skills and
achievement section from the functional format
with the employment history listing from the
• Provides opportunity to emphasize the applicant's
most relevant skills and abilities.
• Order of sections on the combination resume can be
changed to market yourself in the best possible light.
• Good tool for almost anyone; however, re-entry
people, recent college graduates and career changers
find it particularly useful.
• Provides opportunity to highlight skills, while
showing evidence of employment.
• Employers can lose interest, unless it is very well
written and attractively laid out.
RESUME DO NOTs
1. Do not use ita lics, dashes, or underlining to
emphasize items and make them stand out.
They confuse scanners and electronic mail
2. Do not use abbreviations. Use professional and
technical information when it is relevant.
3. Do not use odd-sized, bordered, or colored paper
- anything that may be considered eccentric.
4. Do not include your picture with the resume.
5. Do not list references; reserve them for the
interview or follow-up activities.
6. Do not include personal data, marita l status,
number of children, or "excellent health."
7. Do not devote more space to earlier jobs than to
more recent employment. Employers are
interested in most recent, relevant experi ence.
8. Do not list grade point average or college
honors unless you are a recent graduate.
9. Do not leave gaps between employment dates.
List jobs by years rather than by mon th and
year. Briefly state a good rcason for the gap,
e.g.: returned to school full-time, worked on
temporary jobs, or left career for family
Always include a cover letter explaining your
reason for submitting the resume. It serves as an
introduction, highlights specific qualifications or
objectives you may have for this job, and exhibits
written communication skills. Do not use standard
letters from books. Create your own business
letter. Every resume, whether faxed, emai1ed, or
hand-delivered, must include a cover letter. The
cover letter can also include additions to the
resume that specifically match the job description.
Other Uses for Letters
• To initiate networking.
• As follow-ups after interviews to thank interviewers,
emphasize skills, and summarize your fit for the
• To cover any omissions or errors during the interview.
CD JAKE KEST GOODMAN
2600 Scott Road,Adams City, Ohio 419-882-5100 email email@example.com
1. Use of word "resume" as heading
unnecessary. Good use of space for
the information employer needs
about you. Uses only two lines
instead of three or four. Email and/or
fax numbers are helpful. Omit cell
phone number. You don't want an
employer calling you when you are
busy with something else.
2. Profi Ie
background related to employer or
industry needs. Includes business
environments, skill areas, and
general accomplishments. The use
of nouns is important for detection
by scanners looking for a good fit.
Uses both hard and soft skills that
are more detailed in body of resume.
This should be a good general
statement. It may be explained in
detail , or with examples in an
interview, or with follow-up
activities. May also be used as 30·
second sound bite in response to
"What do you do?" or "Tell me
Account Executive with sales and management experience in a variety of financial
services and business environments. Dynamic leader with vision, organizational skills
and a record of accomplishments built on ability to create relationships, produce results
and bottom-line growth. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with
capacity to handle projects and corporate clients on an international basis. Bilingual in
Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
• Business Development
• Strong Negotiator
• International Experience
• Research and Product Development
• Strategic Planning
• Forecasting and Budgeting
@ Vice President Sales, Loren Jeffrey Corporation, Toledo, Ohio
XXXX - Present
129-year-old financial services company with sales in excess of $170 million.
Promoted three times based on leadership and goal achievements.
• Reported directly to president of company. Developed and implemented short- and long
® term strategic plan resulting in company becoming Number One Leader in the industry.
• Developed and maintained strong business relationships with customers, resulting in
approximately $5 million in sales over a two-year period.
• Trained and coordinated 100 territory managers in North America, the Caribbean, Central
and South America, resulting in increased sales and positive feedback from customers.
• Initiated business plans, marketing strategies, projections and forecasts, resulting in
new growth for regional offices.
• Provided leadership in developing goals, implementing processes and policies for
management, resulting in increased efficiency and profitability.
3. Strcngths that have been developed
accomplishments. Key words for
elcctronic scanning or passes reader's
five-to-15-second glance test.
4. Use titles at beginning before
company name to emphasize level of
position. Dates are included in right
margin. Company name, short
description of the company if not
generally known, with some
indication of size or sales volume, is
helpful. Do not include street address.
Previous experiences include Controller, Stuart Mitchel Corporation, Himmelville,
Ohio for six years. @
5. Progression in a company and
promotion titles with different dates
may be confusing. Use a general
statement and be prepared to discuss
at the interview or on an appl ication.
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS AND LEADERSHfP @
achievement with actual experience
associated with college majors will
not always be paid work. Can be
2. Computer and technical skills are a
major part of job search focus.
Integral part of industry needs.
Make ccrtain they are updated to
include latest software skills.
3. Special skills are included. Thcy
employability skills sets are
important factors and that set you
apart from other entry-level persons.
Interpersonal and communications
skills are hi ghly desirable traits, as
are leadership, teamwork, etc.
4. This heading indicates you are
accomplishments related to your
search. Each highlight should be
placed according to importance of
employer needs, as well as skill levels
and time spent using these skills.
5. Begi n with strong action verbs.
Indicate your role in the action. For
example, "supported" the executive
director is more effective than
Fund Advisor, Ellen Allan Foundation, Inc. Sylvania, Ohio
XXXX - XXXX
• Doubled the investment of the foundation and initiated new accounting procedures
compatible with MIS system.
• Capitalized on research information to develop liaisons within the community, resulting
in the major agreements to expand funding and investment base through planned giving.
MBA, Finance, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
BS, Business Administration, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
Continuing Education Courses and Seminars in Executive Development, Sales
Management, and Finance @
Chairman of the Board of Ilene Barry Children's Shelter
Ethics Committee Co-Chair, Financial Services, National Association of American
Treasurer, Hunter Foundation for Protection of the Environment
6. Bullets can be used to set off each
major accomplishment. Remember,
electronic scanning or the Internet
listing may change formatting. Use
spacing between e·ach to make
certain that it can be read in all
whenever possible. Never
Be able to
substantiate with documentation that
does not compromise confidentiality
of previous employer.
7. Position somewhat unrelated to
present career focus but must be
used for chronological order. Not
necessary to go into great detail.
professional history IS summarized
If it has been more than 10-15 years.
Do include names of companies and
length of time for credibility.
Interviewer can ask you more
questions if needed.
9. Education is at the end of the resume,
unless applying for an academic
position. Degree followed by major,
If related, name of institutIon, city
and state. Date of graduation not
included, unless it is recent. Do not
indicate that you have been out of
school for more than 10 years - a red
flag of age or that you may not be
current. Omit GPAs. Dean's lists, etc.
to. Add additional continuing education
and training to indicate keeping
development. Continuous learning is
important in a changing business
community atliliations replace
hobbies and interests that arc
SYDNEY RACHEL MATTHEW
1630 Justin Avenue, Grayson Park, FL 33454 (561) 555-4521 email firstname.lastname@example.org
6. College-related activity impresses
employer and substantiates claims.
Recent graduate with Communications/Marketing degree. Academic background
blended with hands-on marketing, event planning, and communications experience in a
not-for-profit environment. Successful record in working with collateral materials,
including designing brochures and writing newsletters. Work well on multiple projects,
meeting time pressures and budget limits. Excellent organizational, leadership and
presentation skills. Computer literate; Microsoft Office 2000, Print Shop and Press
Special Skills GD
• News Releases and Media Relations
• Event and Volunteer Coordination
• Promotional Materials
• Customer Relations
• Provided administrative support for marketing and communications department of a
not-for-profit agency. Supported Director in all activities related to writing, editing and
distribution of news releases. Developed~ iances with the media to promote activities
and increase visibility of agency events. \§J
• Developed and designed brochures and other promotional materials, resulting in
increase of volunteer activities, resulting in expanded client direct services.
• Published author of feature articles for college new spa er. Won second place III
Advertising class project, national student ad competition. 6
• Served in leadership role for student organizations developlllg liaisons with local and
national professional associations. (J)
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE, FULL AND PART-TIME, WHILE A
Staff Assistant, Nathaniel Marks Center, Boynton Beach, Florida XXXX - Present
Receptionist, Berke Durant & Associates, Inc. , Boca Raton, Florida XXXX- XXXX
Previous Part-Time Employment Includes Summer Camp Counselor and Retail Sales
BA, Marketing and Communications Major, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton,
Graduated With Honors XXXX.
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS AND VOLUNTEER WORK @
President, Student Association, Marketing Club, Florida Atlantic University
Public Relations Committee Co-Chair, Crossroads Project
Student Liaison, Board of Directors, Executive Women of the Palm Beaches
7. Demonstrated leadership working
with persons outside of academic
and ability to shorten learning curve
in a new situation.
8. Heading of professional experience;
while a student indicates that.
although the work history may be
spotty, irregular, or inconsi stent.
there was a good reason for it. as
opposed to someone who couldn't
keep a job. It also explains why the
positions may not be directly rel ated
to ncw career focus. Emphasizing
that you worked and went to school
at the samc time indicates that you
manage time well. can handle stress.
deadlines and can prioritizc.
9. Education is at the end of thi s
resume when there is related work
experience that can be hi ghlighted.
Degree first, followed by major area
of study, name of acadcmic or
training institution. followed
by year of graduation or
expected date of graduation.
10. Leadership activities indicate well
rounded individual with additional
skills ' and abiliti es.
hobbies and interests that are not
relevant to job performancc.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
Interviewers often make decisions about an
applicant during the first f ew minutes and spend the
interviewing time justifYing that decision. Be ready
to take advantage of that small amount of time to
make the right impression. The following tips
will assist you in creating a positive image of
credibility and likability. Personal chemistry
is as important as job qualifications.
• Arrive early with extra resumes, research about the
company, questions you want to ask, contact numbers
of references, and work samples.
• Be friendly to the receptionist and others you meet.
Show appreciation for any help or information given.
Observe the work areas and how employees relate to
one another, to customers or vendors. These are clues
to the company culture.
• Review your notes to instill confidence in the expert
on your skills and experience - YOU!
• Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and a
smile. Repeat his or her name along with your
appreciation for the opportunity to interview.
Complete the entire application, even if the
infonnation duplicates the resume. This form often
is an indication of how well you follow instructions.
The consistency of information provided may be
necessary for the final hiring records.
• Read through the application first. Determine what
they are asking. Follow all directions explicitly. If the
application states " print," do so.
• Never leave blanks or say "see resume." Be
specific; use notes and resume to be accurate.
• Read disclaimers at the end of the application.
They refer to references, employment requirements
and other information. Sign the application and be
prepared to follow the rules.
• Inconsistent or incomplete information can result
in dismissal after hire.
If in doubt, visit the location to see how
current employees dress . A telephone call
requesting information about dress codes
WILL WORK FOR YOU. Avoid "casual
Friday looks." Clothing, hairstyles and
accessories must fit the company image and the
job. Conservatism is always in good ta ste. Your
image is a sign of your credibility, and they expect
you at your very best.
• Wear a suit, skirt and tailored jacket, dress with
sleeves, or dress with jacket in conservative style,
color and fabric. Be feminine, but busin ess-like.
Avoid very short skirts. Clothing must be appropriate
to the position YOll are seeking and the season of th e
yeCll: Theji,//owing are general rules:
• Keep makeup and accessories to a minimum. Less is
more when it comes to jewelry; avoid jangly bracelets
and more than one pair of small earrings. Avoid
fragrances - some people have allergies.
• Hair should be worn in a conservative style; nails
manicured, short to mid-length, with clear coat or
light color polish.
• Shoes should be suitable in color and style to your
clothing, polished and repaired. Consider Iower
heeled shoes; sometimes, an extended tour of the
facility is part of the interview.
• Hosiery is a must in colors that complement your
outfit. Never wear hose darker than your shoes. Carry
an extra pair in case of emergency.
• Use a purse or a briefcase. Portfolios of your work are
acceptable. Either should be of good quality and
purses should match outfit. You need a hand free to
greet people, open doors, etc.
Consider the position you are applying for, the
time of the year; styles, and the rules in
Wear a suit, preferably in blue or gray, in a
conservative style (pinstripe pattern is allowable).
Blazers, slacks and a shirt with a collar but without a
tie are acceptable in a few instances. Consider the
image you want to project. Make certain the outfit is
tailored to your body weight, height, and is freshly
• Shirts should be a solid color; ties should also be
NETWORKING & DEVELOPING
Best way to research a company or industry and
to make a positive first impression:
• Attempt to get a referral from someone who knows
someone in the company or the hiring manager.
Research the name of the hiring manager to ask
questions about the company. This can be done by
telephone calls or found on Web pages. Dispel
expectations that you are seeking a job. You are
seeking information, resources and referrals. Be on
your toes; it is still a first impression.
• Organize questions to take a minimum amount of time.
If time runs out, request another appointment or the
name of another contact for additional information.
• Send a follow-up letter. Thank them for their time
and information. Ask for additional referrals or leads
that may be avai lable. Find out if you can leave your
resume with someone in the company.
• Keep your contacts informed of your progress.
SAMPLE NETWORKING QUESTIONS
• What skills or training are needed for this work?
• Are there special qualities or attributes that enhance
entry-level job seekers')
• What are the career paths or advancement
• What advice do you generally give someone
interested in this company?
• How do my skills and experience fit into this industry?
TYPES OF INTERVIEWS
Interviewers are not always trained and may not
always ask the right questions. Your answers
should help them j()CUS on your accomplishments,
skills, qualifications and the research you
conducted. Pay attention to the interviewer s
formal or informal interviewing style. Reading
books about interviewing can be helpful. When
appropriate, clarifY your answers with a probing
question ofyour own.
WHEN YOU KNOW THE INTERVIEWER
Do not assume you have the job. The interviewer
must hire the best person for the job. His/her
reputation is on the line. Stay on task; cover your
experience and skills.
WHEN IT IS YOUR TURN TO ASK
Your questions indicate that you have researched
and that you understand the employer's needs.
This is a very important part of the interview.
1. What are the plans ofthe company for the future?
2. How would someone with my background fit
into the plan?
3. Is there a career path?
4. How would you describe the company culture?
5. What are some of the challenges and priorities
of the company?
I. Is this a new or replacement job?
2. Is there a formal training program?
3. How would the responsibilities of this position
fit into the overall goals of the company?
4. To whom does this position report?
5. What qualifications does your ideal candidate
need? (This is your opportunity to match your
experience and skills to their needs.)
conservative (small pattern or stripe to coordinate
with the suit and shirt).
• Keep accessories to a minimum. Eliminate earrings,
flashy jewelry or strong aftershave. Some scents are
unpleasant to others' tastes or allergies.
• Wear hair in a conservative style. Facial hair can be a
• Wear shoes with a dress style suitable in color and
style to your suit (no sport or evening styles),
polished and repaired.
• If you do not have a quality leather briefcase,
consider one of canvas or microfiber.
Follow-up is critical. It is an opportunity to build upon
your/irs! impression. Many companies wait/or your
.follow-up, and eliminate anyone who/ails to do so.
DURING THE INTERVIEW:
Collect business cards; give them your card. If you
are not employed, have a generic card printed with
your contact information. Take notes related to job
duties and major points discussed.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW:
Critique your performance immediately after the interview.
Make additional notes on important points and answers
requiring strengthened explanations. Write the interviewer
within the fIrst 24 hours. You may fax or email if
appropriate, but also mail a hard copy on quality paper.
One typed page expressing appreciation lor their time
and restating your interest in the job, with a brief
recap of how your qualifications meet the needs of the
company. Close with another statement of your
strengths, your belief that you can perform the job
successfully and a statement that you will call at a
specific time to follow up on the process. Asking for
the job is not only appropriate, it is a must.
FOLLOW-UP FAX, EMAIL, OR
• Must be done within 24 hours of the interview, but
others may follow at appropriate intervals to
• Phone calls must be planned and organized just like
a letter or an interview. Write a script and keep it
short and business-like.
• When you have sent a follow-up and have not heard
back for a week or two, a follow-up fax or brief note
may generate some interest or an answer about
whether you are still a candidate.
• When you have received another job offer, and a
company you have not heard from is your number one
choice, a call will let them know ofanother pending offer.
• If something affecting your application has changed,
and you want to make the company aware, a
telephone call or brief note should be sent.
• List your priorities related to responsibilities, salary,
location, working conditions, benefits, and how the
position fits into your career goals. Match the ofTer with
your list. Examine advantages and di sadva ntages
separately. You may want to assign a numerical ranking
system to make your deci sion easier.
• If you have had a firm offer, it is OK to contact other
pending compan ies to find out their time frumes for acti on.
• Contact all the people who havc hclped you in your search.
Tell them about your new job and thank them far their help.
Never ask about salary. The company will discllss
salary with you when appropriate. Usuallv reserved
for the second interview or when there is a firm
offer. You are in a betler position to negotiate. Be
realistic and flexible. Know their salary budgets
and the market range.~. Companies wallt people
who are interested in doing a good job .lor the
company. When the offer is made, the jollowing l1'ill
help you negotiate a good compensation package:
I. Is there a sign-on bonus or commission in
addition to the sa lary?
2. How often are reviews?
3. Is the salary at or above what others are getting
for the same or similar jobs and experience')
Company benefits are often worth fi'Om 25% to
50%, or more, 0/ the cash salary offe red and are
important to consider:
I. When am I eligible for each plan?
2. Do I have a choice of the benefits available?
Everything can be negotiated after you have
received an offer. Know the market and request their
consideration in terms of sa lary, benefits and perks.
Salaries may stay consistent, but sign-on bonuses,
temporary housing, tuition reimbursement, persona l
time off, etc. can be added to a package. Never
demand. It will show an unpl easant side of your
personality that could rescind an offer.
Visualize and rehearse the entire interview.
Writing your answers in a practice session before
you verbalize them is a powerful technique to
make you more comfortable and effective.
• Determine marketable skills and be clear about your
• Research the company and the industry.
• Make a trial trip getting to the interview, if possible, to
anticipate traffic or parking problems. If you are
taking public transportation, allow time for delays.
• Be prepared for answering questions. Have short,
summary-type answers for questions that begin with
words like "Summarize for me ... " or "Give me a
brief recap of ... ", as well as specific details to add
to questions like "Give me an example of a problem
you've had and how you handled it." Or, 'Tell me
some specific details about ... " Be concise, but not
so brief that important information is omitted.
• Rehearse with others. Ask a mentor, member of your
network, friend or family to ask you questions and
actually go through several interviews. The more you
tell your story, the more relaxed and adaptable you
are. A tape or video recorder can give you valuable
• Facts about the company. Find information about the
company and decide how you will use it in the
interview. Include how your achievements fit the
• Questions you will ask. Asking questions shows your
interest. The best questions are about the job, the
company, expectations and other related areas.
Sample questions can be found within this guide.
What to take to the interview: extra copies of
resumes, references, letters of recommendations,
portfolios or work samples.
• Handshake: Always otfer your hand; use firm, but not
• Eye contact: Be natural as with any conversation.
Avoiding contact is a sign of deception, disinterest, or
lack of confidence.
• Sitting: If a place to sit is not indicated, choose the
chair closest to the interviewer; sit relaxed, but do not
slouch. Leaning slightly forward shows interest, but
never lean on the desk.
• Gestures: Use hands naturally to emphasize a point.
Do not cover your mouth, hold your head or twist your
COCKTAILS OR MEALS
They may be held to see how you handle a social
situation. If there is a spill or other problem, stay
calm and on track.
• Order a non-alcoholic drink. You need to be in control.
• Order a meal in the middle-price range or follow the
lead of the interviewer. Order something easy to cut,
chew and swallow. You will be doing a lot of talking
and may not even have time to eat.
• Do not smoke.
Toby Chabon-Berger, M.Ed, is a Nationally Certified Career
Coullselor and was the first professional in the state of
Florida to cam a Fellow designatioll from the International
Association of Career Management and Outplacement
Professionals. Listed in Bolles, "What Color is Your
Parachute," as a resource , Chabon-Berger is also a
published author, columnist, and media contact in her field.
She can be contacted at Tobycareer@aol.com.
PRICE: U.S. $4.95 CAN $7.50
Author: Toby Chabon·Berger, IAOP, Human Resources!
Org anizational Deve!opment Consultant
Layout & Design: Andre D. Brisson
Conducted by the Human Resources department
or an outside firm to eliminate persons who do not
meet the basic requirements of the company. They
will usually compare your qualifications against a
job description or thejob requirements.
• Treat screeners as if they were making the final decision
- they are deciding if you will go to the next step.
• Use information from this interview to your
• Your main purpose is to make a good impression.
Most often used.
• Informal: Interviewer has a general idea of what will
be asked, but after the first question, the interview
follows the trend of a conversation rather than any
pre-set pattern or list of questions.
• Structured: Questions will be written out, based on the
job requirements, and will be asked of every
applicant. This is often a longer interview, since all
questions must be asked of all candidates and then
• Unstructured: Can be interpreted as a type of stress
interview if you are not prepared. After one or two
questions, the interviewer may sit back and wait for
you to make the next move. Ask questions about the
job or the company and, after an answer, respond with
how your strengths and interests match.
• Sequential: Interviewing with several people, one at a
time. Handle this as though each one was the only
one, even if it means many things will be repeated.
You may meet with more than one person at a time.
• Teamwork is important to the company. They want to
see how effective you are as part of a group.
• Take it one question at a time. Focus intently on the
• Answer the person who asked the question. Follow up
with a statement or summary to include the group.
When you look around, see if anyone seems to need
• Do not assume the questioner is the decision-maker.
Try to figure out the power structure within the group,
but do not let it distract you.
• Make eye contact with each member of the group.
• You will be called on to act as you would in a real-life
situation. An example would be a sales presentation.
If you have a choice of selling anything in the room,
• You will be asked questions that describe how you
would do things under certain circumstances or how
you have done things in the past.
Designed to screen out less-qualified applicants.
Initial screening can also be done by faxes and
• Expect a call outside of normal business hours.
• Eliminate background noises.
• Have all information by the phone.
• Stand while you speak. Your voice will sound stronger
and more confident.
Conducted either to see howyou handle pressure, or, may
be an untmined interviewer on a power trip. Interviewer
stares, lets long silences go by, fires questions, interrupts
answers, uses sarcasm, etc.
When you recognize this:
• Take a deep breath and keep calm.
• Answer as much as possible before the next
• Do not let silences rattle you.
• Do not be defensive or argumentative.
Companies ofien use pre-employment testing tools.
• Drugs/Alcohol. Includes questionnaires and blood,
urine or hair analysis testing. If you arc turned down
because of a positive drug test, ask if a validation test
was done. If you are taking prescription or over-the
counter medication, indicate it prior to the test. It
often will point to positive results. Make certain
that the employer is consistent in testing
• Psychological. Includes personality and career
interest tests. Do not try to outwit the test. Be honest
and truthful. Some questions may be culturally biased.
If you find many of these questions, discuss them
openly with the recruiter. You may inquire if this lest
is constructed to reflect job success in the position you
• Skills. Includes keyboard, mathematics and dexterity
• Honesty Reliability/Dependability. Includes questionnaires
and background checks.
• Assessment Centers. Various exercises simulate day
to-day (usually management) activities, including
teamwork, conflict managemcnt, dccision-making
and writing skills.
• "In" Basket. Type of skills test. Tip: Go through the
entire basket first and set priorities. You may find a
later direction that cancels a prior onc.
Do not rely solely on these sources. They work f or
the companies they represent. They will only use
ij'youfit thejob description exactly.
Critical fa ctors are those necessmy fiJ r the right
person/job fit. This fit will sati.llY y our career
interests, use your skills and experience,
focus on strengths, achievements, and deal
with job market realities.
• First step to a successful search is to complete a
self-assessment so you are clear on your skills, value
systems, needs and goals.
• Priority-based networking sk ill s are responsibl e for
finding the best jobs. Use all your resources and
everyone you know who knows someone. Everyone
has at least 250 contacts. A good job is only three to
four peoplc away.
• Use all the resources on the Internet; you can post
your resume and find career listings.
• Never rely solely on classified ads and the Internet.
You are responsible for creating your own opportun ity
and for your own career management.
• Find a verb action list to cover all of your sk ill areas.
Create achievement statements and use key industry
• Set aside a workspace for your search where all
information is kept up-to-date and organized.
• Follow-ups are critical. Use the fax and send new
industry research as an alternative to constant
telephoning. Be creative, but not a pest.
• Close the sale by asking for the job.
• Reference lists should include names , titl es,
addresses, and phone numbers. Also, include your
relationship to this person and the information they
• After you have supplied an intervi ewer with your
references, call and tell them the type of position for
which you interviewed.
• Attitude and persistence make a difference. If you are
feeling stalled or not getting anywhere, get
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