We know how tough it is when you are looking for a job. Everyone you know is probably giving you advice about what to do. And they are also probably confusing you with conflicting ideas.
They certainly mean well. But they do not necessarily know what they are talking about when it comes to resumes or job interviews. The vast majority of us never handle job applications, review resumes or interview people. We also haven’t needed to send out our resume in a long time.
So if you are going to ask family and friends for help, stick to people who actually wok in recruitment and human resources. For now, however, Jewish Business News can offer you these 5 tips on issues like the resume and the job interview.
(You can also see our “5 Job Searching Tips for the Covid Era“)
Make sure that your resume stands out. But don’t make it flashy. If you ask five professionals how you should update your CV, you will get five different answers. So there really is no one right way to make up a resume.
But there are certainly wrong ways. Make absolutely sure that there are no typos or spelling mistakes. Do not ever lie or exaggerate. It’s too easy to get found out. Don’t have any big time gaps. If you were sick, went back to school, or were a home maker for a period of time make sure to point this out.
Only list serious job experiences. Don’t list twenty different short term jobs which you had over the years. Don’t list things that you did back in high school or personal likes and hobbies. This is not a college application.
Try having several different resumes, with each one stressing a different skill or job experience. Use the appropriate one for the job which you apply to.
Be prepared! Do your homework and learn all about the job, the company and whatever is going on in its field. Be assertive, but not aggressive. Learn to read the room and to look for social clues from the interviewer’s body language.
Never try to seem like you know it all already, that you know better than the interviewer or the people at the company about their own work. Show that you do know what is going on in the field and offer examples of what you would do as an employee to improve the firm. But don’t ever criticize what they are already doing.
When they ask about you they are not looking for your life story or what you do in you spare time. They want to hear about what kind of person you are and how that will help the company.
Don’t be bothered when they ask you about things which are on your resume. The interviewer may not have had time to go over every detail of every resume. Sometimes only the gatekeeper reviews the resumes and the manager doing the interview expects that only qualified candidates have even gotten to that stage. Sometimes they just want to hear these things from the applicant’s mouth to see what kind of person you are.
Most importantly, however, do not come off as being frantic for a job. They know that it’s a buyer’s market out there for companies hiring new staff because of the Coronavirus crisis. They know that many people who come in are desperate. But if you are. Do not ever show it.
They might feel bad for your situation, but they will also be put off by your attitude. You have to make them feel like they need you – specifically you – and never that they are doing you a favor or an act of charity by hiring you.
Let the person speak. Do not interrupt! Don’t just passively sit there and stare at them, however. Do interact. If they leave an opening for you to speak, do so. But do not segue.
When speaking, try to control your own body language. If the interviewer looks like they want to interrupt, let them.
Ask About the Job
Be sure to always ask about what you will be expected to do for the company. Yes you should know ahead of time what the position is. But you should also show that you are curious, excited about working for the company and that you really want to learn more.
Ask about the specifics like what software will you be using. What kind of database do they use? Who would you be working with? What is the breakdown of a given work day as far as what share of your time will be devoted to which task.
Thank You Note
This may sound like an obvious, no brainer kind of thing to do. But many people feel that sending a thank you note is a step too far. They say that it may come off as too needy or too desperate for the job, or even just plain silly.
Most people agree, however, that at the very least you have nothing to lose by sending such a note. There are few if any managers who will actually be put off by this. Most will probably never see it, or really be swayed by it when deciding between equally qualified candidates.
But there will always be people out there who do expect a thank you note and won’t consider a person who does not send one. They might see such an applicant as rude or ungrateful.
As far as the note itself, keep it short and simple. Just a few lines are necessary. Don’t try to be flattering. Just say thank you and mention something about how you were impressed with the company and would be excited about working there.