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- Act spontaneous, but be well prepared: Be your authentic self, professional yet real. Engage in true conversation with your interviewer, resting on the preparation you did prior to coming to the meeting.
- Set goals for the interview: It is your job to leave the meeting feeling secure that the interviewer knows as much as he or she possibly can about your skills, abilities, experience and achievements. If you sense there are misconceptions, clear them up before leaving. If the interviewer does not get around to asking you important questions, pose them yourself (diplomatically) and answer them.
- Follow up with an effective “thank you” letter or e-mail: Do not write this letter lightly. It is another opportunity to market yourself. Find some areas discussed in the meeting and expand upon them in your letter. Writing a letter after a meeting is a very minimum. Standing out among the other candidates will occur if you thoughtfully consider this follow up letter as an additional interview in which you get to do all the talking.
- Expect to answer the question, “Tell me about yourself.” This is a pet question of prepared and even unprepared interviewers. Everything you include should answer the question, “Why should we hire you?” Carefully prepare your answer to include examples of achievements from your work life that closely match the elements of the job before you.
- Watch those nonverbal clues: Experts estimate that words express less than 50% of what people actually communicate; facial expressions and body movements and actions convey the rest. Make and keep eye contact. Walk and sit with a confident air. Lean toward an interviewer to show interest and enthusiasm.
- Be smart about money questions: Do not fall into the trap of telling the interviewer your financial expectations. You may be asking for too little or too much money and in each case ruin your chances of being offered the job. Instead, ask what salary range the job falls in. Attempt to postpone a money discussion until you have a better understanding of the scope of responsibilities of the job.
Do not hang out your dirty laundry: Be careful not to bare your soul and tell tales that are inappropriate or beyond the scope of the interview. State your previous experience in the most positive terms.
- Your resume is your ambassador to the work world. It functions for you 24 hours a day, opening doors to opportunities you did not even know existed. Here are the most important issues to consider as you prepare your resume to represent you in the marketplace.
- To download a sample resume (in Adobe Acrobat PDF format), Click here and save the file on your computer. This is a zipped file with 5 templates. So you first need to unzip the file, and You can then use any of them as a template for your own resume.
- Know what format to use: The two most commonly used and accepted resume formats are the chronological and the functional. Often elements of both are combined. A chronological resume is most widely used and preferred by recruiters and interviewers. It is good for someone with a consistent work history. A functional resume focuses attention on your accomplishments and is often used more successfully if you are trying to change careers or industries or to downplay gaps in your career.
- Tell the truth: If you lie about your education, job experience or any other element of your work history, you will probably live to regret it. True stories abound of professionals receiving awards, only to have their careers ruined when research revealed that portions of their resumes were fabricated. On the other hand, if a job title you had does not adequately reflect the work you really did, clarify it.
- Know your audience: Your resume and every interaction in your job search should answer the question to the employer – “Why should I hire you?” Communicate the information necessary to evaluate your ability to do the job. Use language that is appropriate to the industry or field, as well as dress appropriately for the position of which you are applying for.
- Hit the highlights: Remember that your resume is only one element of your job search strategy. It is important and needs to get you in the door, yet cover letters, emails and telephone interactions will extend the conversation and add further evidence of your ability to do the job.
- Beware of Social Media: What you put on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is viewed by the world, including your potential employer. Keep that in mind when posting pictures of your last vacation. Use the Social Media tools to your advantage. Remember: you never get a second chance to make a first impression.