Interview Cheat Sheet

In the Days Before the Interview

  1. Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On the left side, make a bulleted list of what the employer is looking for based on the job posting. On the right side, make a bulleted list of the qualities you possess that fit those requirements.
  2. Research the company, the industry and the competition.
  3. Prepare your 60-second personal statement—your answer

[ Read more ]

Work Values Checklist

Use this checklist to get a better idea of what’s important to you. It’s divided into three categories related to intrinsic, extrinsic and lifestyle values.

Intrinsic Values

These are the intangible rewards, those related to motivation and satisfaction at work on a daily basis. They provide the inner satisfaction and motivation that make people say, “I love getting up and going to work!”

How … [ Read more ]

5 Salary History Tips

  1. Know your position on revealing your salary history before you begin your job search. Do you consider it private and confidential? Are you willing to walk away from a job if the employer demands this information? What if the employer next wants information about your health history? Don’t compromise your values. You can always find work, but regaining your self-worth is much more difficult

[ Read more ]

Sample Approach Letter

You’re interested in a potential employer, but you need to introduce yourself and tell them what you can do for the company. Writing an approach letter can help you get your point across. View a sample approach letter from Monster.com (.pdf) for some tips.

6 Must-Ask Interview Questions

Here are six must-ask questions and why you should know the answers.

  1. What happened to the person who previously did this job? (If a new position: How has this job been performed in the past?)
    You need to know any problems or past history associated with this position. For instance, was your predecessor fired, or was he promoted? Is this a temporary position or

[ Read more ]

Resume Readiness Quiz

  1. Does your resume have an objective or summary statement?
    Answer: My resume is targeted to my current career goal and includes my desired job title in a Career Summary section.
    Monster’s Feedback: The most effective resumes have an objective or summary that includes a clear job target. This enables hiring managers to understand your career goals and qualifications at the beginning of the resume.
  2. How

[ Read more ]

Put Your Resume to the 10-Second Test

Many resume reviewers skim resumes for as little as 10 seconds during the initial screening, so your resume needs to quickly relay your objective and key qualifications. Show it to someone unfamiliar with your career field, and see if the person understands your goal and top credentials after a 10-second review. If not, revise your resume so your important selling points are easy to find … [ Read more ]

Quick Tip: Keep Your Kudos to Update Your Resume

Want to make updating your resume a snap? Keep an ongoing kudos file, containing performance reviews, notes about recent accomplishments, letters of reference, awards, training and new skills developed. When it’s time to update your resume, your kudos file will put your recent achievements at your fingertips.

Recruiters’ Top 20 Resume Pet Peeves

  1. Spelling Errors, Typos and Poor Grammar
    According to Bruce Noehren of J. Douglas Scott & Associates, this directly reflects your reputation. “You don’t gain anything by getting it right,” he says. “This is credibility you should already possess.” Of course, you want to use spell check, but that won’t catch every mistake. “Manger” is a correctly spelled word, but it means something very different from

[ Read more ]

Reduce Resume Redundancy

Review the words you use to describe your accomplishments on your resume, and try not to use any verb more than twice. For example, if multiple sentences begin with “managed,” substitute some of them with “directed,” “oversaw,” “coordinated” or “led.” This helps keep your writing lively and readers engaged.

Resume Critique Checklist

First Impression

  • Does the resume look original and not based on a template?
  • Is the resume inviting to read, with clear sections and ample white space?
  • Does the design look professional rather than like a simple typing job?
  • Is a qualifications summary included so the reader immediately knows the applicant’s value proposition?
  • Is the length and overall appearance of the resume appropriate given the career level and objective?


[ Read more ]

What Every Resume Needs

Check your resume for these four must-haves:

  1. An error-free presentation—no typos and a consistent design.
  2. A clear focus with an easily determined job objective.
  3. Evidence of your accomplishments; show that you went above and beyond your job duties.
  4. Keyword density. Include industry keywords so your resume will be found in electronic applicant searches.

8 Rules for Cover Letters

Regardless of what kind of letter you’re writing, use this advice from recruiters to guide your efforts and maximize your chances for success:

  1. Remember Your Purpose: “Candidates need to ask themselves why they’re writing to the recruiter in the first place,” Anderson says. “Are you answering an ad? Introducing yourself? Or just spamming some generic letter out, which is never going to be very effective.”
  2. Be

[ Read more ]

Are You Ready for the Scan?

The first pair of eyes to look at your resume may not be human. Many companies scan resumes into a database, and then select applicants by searching keywords. So you need to include a broad range of the right keywords in your resume. Determine what ones to include by checking job listings to see which buzzwords appear in the descriptions of positions that interest you. … [ Read more ]

Corporate Restructuring and Your Resume

When an organization undergoes a merger, acquisition or closing, job seekers are left wondering how to handle the information on their resumes. Follow these tips to make your resume shine.

Mergers and Acquisitions

If your organization restructured, combine your employers and position history under one employment heading. By consolidating your job titles, you’ll avoid giving the impression that you’re a job-hopper.

[ Read more ]

Cover Letters to Recruiters

In the world of recruiters and executive search firms, resumes rule. But this doesn’t mean you should ignore or forgo sending cover letters. So what do recruiters look for in a cover letter? It depends on which of three scenarios you fall into:

  1. Ad-Response Cover Letters: If a search firm is handling a job opening, gear your cover letter to the desired qualifications the ad

[ Read more ]

Electronic Resume Dos and Please Don’ts

When you go from a traditional paper resume to an electronic format, it’s important to make some technology-friendly changes. How many of these cyber resume dos and don’ts are you following?

Do

  • Use 10-point or 12-point type.
  • Use an easy-to-scan typeface such as Helvetica or Times Roman.
  • Leave a bit of space between paragraphs.
  • Use synonyms so your resume qualifies for as many jobs as possible.
  • Put

[ Read more ]

How to Submit a Cover Letter When Applying via Email

If you don’t know the employer’s preferences for receiving resumes, paste your plain text (ASCII) cover letter and resume in the body of the e-mail message and attach the (virus-free) Word doc of your resume.

Objective Section or Qualifications Summary?

While it’s important for your resume to include a clear career goal, you don’t have to convey it through an Objective section. The majority of job seekers may incorporate their career goals into a Qualifications Summary instead.

Career changers and entry-level workers should consider incorporating their objectives into their resumes, because their goals may not be clearly defined by their work history alone. … [ Read more ]

Get Written References

Before you leave a job, always ask your supervisors for written references. You can add your letters of reference to your career portfolio, and they may come in handy during your job search. You can even add letter excerpts to your resume to show how much your previous employers valued your performance.