The Best Interview and Resume Tips for Landing a Job
Unemployment is low these days, but that doesn’t mean competition for a new job isn’t fierce. There is no reason to get complacent about your approach to job-hunting, which is why it’s always good to review best practices for resumes and the interview process. You never know what will tip the scale in your favor, so prepare for everything, hope for the best, and plan for the worst.
Your resume should be reviewed by at least two other people, even if you have been using it for applications already. Why? Because you’ve read it so many times that you’re likely to overlook tiny mistakes. Perhaps Microsoft Word didn’t pick up on a spelling error (remember, “Marry hat hey lid tell lam” is still technically correct).
Keep the design clean and easy to read; don’t be tempted to use graphics or unusual colors to “stand out.” Elle Woods’ idea in Legally Blonde to spray her pink resume with perfume was not a good idea. Remember, the eye is attractive to negative space (IE, white). Consider finding a graphic designer on Upwork or Fiverr to review your resume and suggest artistic changes.
Make sure to include keywords relevant to your job posting. This sounds obvious, but many job-seekers don’t think to work backwards, meaning reviewing the posting first and then using those keywords. Very often the first round of resumes is read by computers, and their algorithms will determine whether the keywords in your resume reflect the posting. While tailoring your resume to each specific application is beyond tedious, it is also one of the best ways to be noticed.
In terms of verbiage, use strong words. You didn’t work for X Company. You implemented X project and conducted Y studies. Be as specific as you can.
Let’s say your redesigned resume gets you noticed. Your foot is in the door. What should you do then?
Research the history of the company and find out who’s interviewing you. Nothing flatters an interviewer more than knowing an applicant has read up on their history. This allows you to ask intelligent questions and find out about the company culture. Prepare for the obvious questions (“What’s your greatest weakness?” “What personality type are you?”) and come up with questions of your own. Why did the interviewer choose to work at this company? Did their work at ABC Company help them transition to their current position? Is there the possibility of advancement? What specific projects would you work on?
This also sounds obvious, but dress for the culture. This doesn’t mean just to dress your best; it means to dress your best for that company. If you’re interviewing for a video game company in Silicon Valley, you wouldn’t wear a suit to the interview because nobody in video game development wears suits. Conversely, if you’re interviewing for a personal injury law firm as a paralegal, you should absolutely wear a suit.
Don’t forget the importance of body language. Be open, friendly, and approachable. Don’t cross your arms or tap your finger against the table.
Here’s the kicker that most people forget: Write a thank-you letter. Even an email is enough these days, and it will make the interviewer remember you. Thank them for the opportunity, wish them luck in their decision, and reiterate how much you want to work there.
If you need help in your job search, contact SuitsOn Staffing today.