Interview & Resume Skills
The job market is competitive, so take advantage of every opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
Your resume is your first impression with a potential employer. It is a short account (1–2 pages) of your experience, qualifications, and achievements. The goal of your resume is to capture the reader’s interest so that he/she wants to speak with you. Learn how best to format your resume.
Most resumes get a 5–15 second scan by the reader. Your resume must have enough impact to grab the attention of the prospective employer. There can be no generic approach to a resume –– always try to tailor every resume to fit the qualifications of a specific job as much as possible.
The employer wants to know: “What can you do for me? How can you improve my operations? Can you make me money? Save me time? Keep my customers happy?” Your resume must not only show the skills you have, it must demonstrate your successes.
- Your resume is a reflection of you and your work.
- Be sure your resume is an accurate representation of you.
- Know the two types of resumes: Chronological and Functional.
A chronological resume lists the relevant jobs in reverse order, with the most recent first. This format is the most popular, the easiest to prepare, and is generally successful.
A functional resume lists work experiences in terms of one or more specific “functions,” such as “finances, administrative, or support services.” It lists the important contributions made in each function. Work experience is listed at the bottom. The functional resume takes emphasis off dates and positions. It hides downward progression and emphasizes transferable skills. It is easy to change your objective to reflect something different from your experience.
The Job Interview
Your resume may have gotten you the interview, but it can’t get you the job. The interview is your chance to show who you are beyond what’s on your resume. A meeting between you and a potential employer allows you both to assess your “fit” with the position and company.
Keep in mind that an interviewer has a very short amount of time to assess job applicants. Likewise, you have the same amount of time to determine if the company environment is a fit for you. Recruiters and hiring managers are frequently surprised by how unprepared interviewees are when they come to the interview.
You only get one chance to make a great impression, so you have to let the interviewer see you at your best. Remember, it is at the interview that jobs are won or lost! Use our 10 steps guide to make a great first impression.