Resumes and Job Interviews
10 Steps in Creating a Good Resume
- Choose a target job (also called a "job objective"). An actual job title works best.
- Find out what skills, knowledge, and experience are needed to do that target job.
- Make a list of your 2, 3, or 4 strongest skills or abilities or knowledge that make you a good candidate for the target job.
- For each key skill, think of several accomplishments from your past work history that illustrate that skill.
- Describe each accomplishment in a simple, powerful, action statement that emphasizes the results that benefited your employer.
- Make a list of the primary jobs you've held, in chronological order. Include any unpaid work that fills a gap or that shows you have the skills for the job.
- Make a list of your training and education that's related to the new job you want.
- Choose a resume format that fits your situation - either chronological or functional. (Functional works best if you're changing fields; chronological works well if you're moving up in the same field.)
- Arrange your action statements according to the format you choose.
- Summarize your key points at the top of your resume.
Additional resume resources: Resume Edge and Resume Rabbit
Job Interview Do's and Don'ts
- DO arrive on time or a few minutes early.
- DO fill out an application neatly and completely, if you are presented with one. (Don't attach your resume unless you're told to do so.)
- DO greet the interviewer by last name if you are sure of the pronunciation. If not, ask the employer to repeat it.
- DO project energy and enthusiasm. Smile and shake hands firmly.
- DO wait until you're offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright, look alert and interested at all times. Listen carefully and respond succinctly and articulately.
- DO look the hiring manager in the eye while speaking.
- DO try to get the interviewer to describe the
job and the duties to yo early in the meeting, so you can focus your responses on your background,
skills and accomplishments that relate to the position.
- DO be sincere and truthful while focusing on communicating your specific professional achievements that relate to the accounting or finance job opening.
- DON'T answer with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible.
- DON'T pretend to know something or someone when you don't. If you don't understand a question – or need a moment to think about it - say so.
- DON'T rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. Interviewers will want you to be convincing.
- DON'T make negative remarks about present or former employers. When explaining your reasons for leaving, communicate your rationale professionally.
- DON'T over-answer questions. If the interviewer steers the conversation
into controversial – or even illegal – topics, try to do more
listening than speaking. Keep your responses non-committal.
- DON'T inquire about salary, vacations, benefits, bonuses or retirement
on the initial interview unless you are sure the employer is interested in
hiring you. If the interviewer asks what salary you want, give a range based
on your research of the job market, but indicate that you're more interested
in the opportunity for continued learning and professional development than
in a specific salary.
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