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a Resume | Create a Winning Resume | Typical
Interview Questions | Career Planning
the Hiring Process
hiring process starts with a job becoming available followed by a "help
wanted" ad or posting with a recruitment company, a first interview,
a second and possible third interview, reference checks and, finally,
a job offer. In this sequence, the purpose of the resume is to secure
the first interview.
do not interview unless there is specific position available. Therefore,
submitting an unsolicited general resume to a company you would like
to work for most likely will result in you getting a nice rejection
letter, if you are lucky, and your resume being filed in an applicant
database where it probably will never be seen again. Concentrate on
positions for which companies are actively recruiting.
should be tailored to the specific job opening for which you are applying.
To do this, you need to know the job requirements. Normally, you can
get this from the job ad itself, but you may wish to contact the company
and ask to speak to the manager of the department where the job is located,
or to a potential co-worker in that department. Tell them you are considering
applying for the position and you would like more information about
job functions and what a typical day entails.
are prepared to tailor your resume to emphasize your education and experience
that most closely relates to the job requirements and to reduce or eliminate
verbiage on non related education or experience. To the extent you are
interested in a variety of potential jobs, occupations, or industries,
you will end up with several resumes, each emphasizing a different set
of background skills. In any event, the resumes should always be truthful
and should not leave any gaping holes in your chronological background.
resume to one to three pages, one page if you have only one to two positions
and two or three pages if you have a lot of experience. The resume should
cover your education and work experience (and hobbies or special interests
if they relate to the job opening). It is customary to list your work
experience in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Should
you list your education first or your work experience first? You should
list first whatever you think is your strong point compared to what
you think the other applicants can bring to the table. Recruiters often
will make a decision to reject a resume after reading only the first
few paragraphs, so don't leave the best for last, lest it not be read
anything controversial or negative in the resume. Put yourself in the
place of the recruiter. He/she probably has 50 resumes to screen down
to 3-10 applicants who will be invited to interview. The recruiter is
looking for any reason to reject a resume in order to reduce the size
of the stack and achieve his/her goal of 3-10 applicants. Of course,
not providing any substantial information may lead to rejection as well.
use outrageous graphics or writing styles or gimmicks to get the attention
of the reader. Hiring is more of an art than a science and there is
a lot of judgement in selecting the best candidates for interviews.
Most recruiters are looking for the safe bet, an applicant who not only
the recruiter will like but who the hiring manager and his/her boss
will feel comfortable with as well. The recruiter will be hesitant to
recommend a "wild card" who might make him/her appear foolish in the
eyes of the other management. Conservatism prevails.
references are not needed at this stage. However, if you provide references,
list people who know of your work, not personal references. Tell the
people you list beforehand of your job search and ascertain if they
will give you a good reference. You are not expected to provide references
that may result in you jeopardizing your current employment, such as
the name of your current supervisor. Letters of recommendation are generally
ignored. Most companies wish to obtain reference(s) directly, not through
the applicant, and by a verbal interview over the phone, if possible.
one week, call whomever you sent your resume to and ask if they have
received it, if they have reviewed it and if they have any questions.
If they have reviewed your resume, state you are available for an interview
and would it be possible to schedule one at this time.
If it appears
your resume has been shuffled to another person or is in transit to
the hiring supervisor and the person you are talking with isn't sure
of its status, offer to send another copy of the resume and cover letter.
A fax copy may be appropriate here.
For The Interview
you are not expected to do a lot of research ahead of time about the
company, its competitors, its business strategy or other such areas.
The interviewer will love to tell you all about this since he/she is
probably proud of the company and will be selling the company to you;
just in case the company makes an offer to you they want you to be primed
to accept it.
should concentrate on thinking about your answers to potential questions
that may come up during the interview. Sometimes the normal expected
questions like "What are your weaknesses?" can be difficult to answer
unless you have thought about it ahead of time. Also, most likely there
are some areas of your background that are a little weak compared to
the advertised job requirements. You should be prepared to discuss this
in the best light possible, even if you are not asked.
think the purpose of the interview is for the recruiter to learn as
much as possible about the applicant and this is the time for you to
expound on all your great attributes. However, there is more happening
than just this. The recruiter's goal is to find the applicants who best
fit the job requirements, both the written job requirements and the
unwritten requirements such as the company culture, the personality
of the supervisor and co-workers, etc. So, in addition to learning about
who you are, the recruiter is making assessments as the interview progresses
as to your fit in the job and the organization. He/she will continue
to ask questions in each area until enough information has been accumulated
to make an assessment of your fit in that area. Then, he/she will want
to move on to the next area of assessment, such as your technical competence,
team skills, or self-confidence.
know the objective of the interviewer, what area of job requirements
he/she is assessing as the interview progresses then you can better
address and control the assessment process. The more you can help with
this process, the more successful the interview will be (in the recruiter's
mind) and the more favourable he/she will view your application. In
fact, many recruiters leave the door open to you, during an unstructured
interview, for you to bring up areas of discussion. Take this opportunity
to first discuss your strengths (with regard to the job requirements)
and then to address any obvious weaknesses. Mentally, many recruiters
form an opinion well before the interview is over so make a good first
process involves a lot of personal judgements, so your personality during
the interview carries more weight than you may think. If the recruiter
likes you, he/she will look for reasons to include you in the next step.
If the recruiter and you are not "connecting" during the interview,
he/she will look for reasons to exclude you. So avoid things that will
get in the way of you establishing a good rapport during the interview
Showing your knowledge of the company by pointing out some negative
aspect of the company, its products or the industry, which will only
make the recruiter defensive.
Belittling the "screening" interview or hiring process you have to put
up with. You are belittling the recruiter's job
Excessive bragging. That's no way to make friends.
culture at most companies these days is conducive to friendly, warm
and respectful personalities. Would you want to work any place else?
follow up to the interview with a "thank you for the interview" letter,
unless you have already been told you are not being considered further.
The thank you letter shows your continued interest, indicates your good
customer service skills and keeps your name on the mind of the recruiter.
don't get the job, swallow your pride and don't burn any bridges by
arguing or criticizing. In fact, write a letter stating your disappointment
but state you are still interested in the company (if you are) and ask
to be reconsidered for any other opportunities that may come along.
Occasionally, their top choice doesn't accept the offer, or gets counteroffered
by their employer and the job is open again. You may have just moved
to the top of the list!