Pay Attention to Resume Details
“It’s surprising that people still make small errors like resume typos and addressing cover letters to the wrong company,” said Laneisha, who sometimes meets as many as 200 people while attending job fairs around the country. “Unfortunately, when people make grammatical errors on their resume, it reflects poor workmanship.”
She encourages job seekers to carefully review their resume and cover letter, and ask for a peer review for an opinion from another critical eye.
“Many times, I think people get in a rush, but rereading your resume can make all of the difference,” she explained. “We even get resumes with no phone number or email address or both! I ask myself, ‘How am I supposed to contact them?’”
Call Out Your Transferable Skills
Most people have some skills from previous jobs that can be transferred to their prospective position. Dig deep in order to identify them, and include them in your resume.
“Understand which skills are transferrable and be confident in relaying them on your resume,” Laneisha said. “Even if you were a restaurant server, for example, highlight your time management skills, customer service experience and sales skills if they help you.”
Length Isn’t as Important as Substance
“Formatting is in the eye of the beholder. There’s really no right or wrong way to lay out your resume,” said Laneisha, who serves as a captain on her recruiting team. “Above all, make sure your resume is easy on the eye, clear and concise.”
It’s important to make sure everything on your resume is relevant to your work experience and the position you want.
“Sometimes college students still list their high school GPA or ACT scores on their resume. It’s important to let go of some of your old accomplishments,” she suggested. “Perhaps there will be opportunities to bring those things up during your interview.”
60 Seconds to Make an Impression
“Recruiters typically take 30 to 60 seconds to scan a resume. Be sure you have something on there to catch their eye,” said Laneisha, who spends a lot of time at college recruiting events. “You want to impress them if possible. At Quicken Loans, having volunteer activities on your resume always looks amazing!”
She said it’s a good idea to lay your resume out so it’s easy to understand.
“Make sure your resume has a header that clearly lists your contact information. And if you have more than one phone number, be sure to identify them,” Laneisha said.
Know Your Buzzwords
“Having buzzwords on your resume is key!” she explained. “If your industry has specific words to identify technical skills or competencies, then include them.”
Some hiring companies even use software to scan resumes for certain words that relate to job skills, she explained. So look for opportunities to include words that add value to your resume.
“For instance, if you’re applying for a marketing position, we may look to see if you’re competent in Google analytics. Or if you seek a job in the design world, we make look to see if you’re familiar with Dreamweaver and other design software.”
Numbers Are Your Friends
“Quantify any values on your resume when you can because it proves that you were able to impact or change something on the job,” Laneisha suggested.
Definitely include numbers that tell how you promoted growth in the workplace.
“If you helped to increase sales by X amount, highlight this. These things can be key to your resume,” she said.
Keep Building Your Skills If You’re Unemployed
Unemployment can be a very sensitive topic for many jobseekers, especially if they were out of work for quite some time. “The reality is, we’ve recently come out of a very bad economy where a lot of people were displaced from their jobs,” she said. “The main question is, ‘How did you remain relevant and stay up on your skills during that time?’”
Laneisha suggested scouting out workshops, online resources and webinars to learn new skills. Many of these resources are free or very affordable.
“Be sure to include everything you did during the gaps in your employment. Make a note of the dates when you participated in trainings and things that improved your skills.”
Research, Research, Research
“Your interview preparation starts with research. Do your homework on the company, the position and the industry,” Laneisha suggested. “It’s so important to be prepared!
Preparation can determine whether you’re an all-star or not. Interviewers are certainly going to test your knowledge about the company and other pertinent information.
Your Interview Starts Before You Hit the Door
Laneisha says it’s important to be conscious of your behavior and attitude from the moment you hit the grounds of the prospective employer.
“You’d be surprised that our team makes notes of everything we hear about,” she said. “Be courteous to everyone you meet and talk to.”
Keep Your Interview Appointment
“Give yourself some time before your phone interview or in-person interview. It’s very frustrating when we call candidates who forgot their appointment date or time,” she said. “Also, don’t ever be late. If an emergency comes up, be sure to tell your contact to avoid miscommunication.”
Sometimes, we’re trying to have a phone interview and the candidate is in a loud place or their connection keeps dropping. So ensure that you are ready to talk,” said Laneisha.
Look the Part
“The way you dress is very important,” she stressed. “Wear an appropriate suit or business attire that isn’t wrinkled. Also, for women, don’t wear your entire jewelry box!”
Be aware of your hygiene, have proper posture, and try not to show your nervousness.
“It’s important that women wear an appropriate heel, and button up your shirt,” she explained. “Above all, act and look professional.”
Don’t Leave Your Personality at the Door
An interview is the time when people can see whether the candidate is a good fit for the team. “It’s really important that you don’t come off as stiff. These are the people who may potentially be your teammates, so just be yourself,” Laneisha said.
You should also remember to carry yourself with confidence. “It’s OK for you to feel comfortable or crack a joke. Remember to smile, too!” she said.
Always End on a High Note
No matter how your interview experience goes, it’s important to maintain a professional attitude with your interviewers!
“Even if you don’t end up getting a job, you never know when your path may cross with the company or recruiters again,” Laneisha warned. “No matter what, always try to end on a high note!”
Be Mindful of Your Social Media Activity
“Remember that the things you put out in the social media world can be viewed by anyone. Be sure that the stuff you put out there is appropriate,” she said. “With a simple Google search, I can pull up all of your content.”
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