- Q: What is the general format of a resume?
- A: Typically, resumes are 12 point font, no color or elaborate font or paper, error free, center or right aligned, each section title bold, some bullets. The basic outline of a resume includes: The Objective (optional), Skill Highlight, Work History, Education/Training, & References…See the “Resumes, time to brag post” for more details!
- Q: How often do I need to update my resume?
- A: You should update your resume for every job (or job type) you apply for; using each job description as your outline to highlight your skills with the skills required.
- Q: How many pages is a typical resume in length?
- A: Typically, one to two pages.
- Q: What is a cover letter? Do I need one?
- A: A cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself, state why you are the best person for the job you are applying for, and highlight your experience and achievements. Yes, you should use one for most positions you are applying for. Keep it simple, but specific to the position and your skills.
- Q: Do I have to include all of my past work history?
- A: Please see my post on finding your resume balance for a complete answer and suggestions.
- Q: What are some key words to use when writing my work history descriptions?
- A: Good key words include developed, completed, improved, created, trained, and resolved. Also, try to incorporate words from the open position’s ad/post that are relevant with your experience to highlight your skills with those required.
- Q: Do you have any tips for being confident during an interview?
- A: This is a great question! The best advice I can give is be comfortable talking about your own resume and past experience. You accomplished goals by getting hired at those positions or earning your education and/or training so confidently highlight those skills. Do a bit of research about the company and bring up at least one key point; an accomplishment or milestone they recently reached, a mission statement that you agree with or enjoyed reading about, their future goals, etc. This way you are more at ease when talking with the interviewer and can discuss yourself and the company confidently. Some employers have said they are impressed more by a confident applicant with a bit less experience than one with nervous communication skills and lack of self confidence. Be prepared to answer questions about your best and worst qualities/skills, employers almost always ask those questions or similar ones! Also, be prepared to discuss at least one work related accomplishment, it can be a volunteer opportunity you organized or helped accomplish, a spreadsheet you created to be more efficient, a money saving technique you came up, a training manual you developed, a new procedure that saved time and money for the company, a project you succeeded at with a team or alone, etc.
- Q: So, how does one recognize strengths and weaknesses?
- A: Ask yourself questions, use keywords to describe each, and write out your pitch and remember, there are certain words to include and others to avoid.
More Q&A coming soon!
Questions? email me – firstname.lastname@example.org