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Job Interview Center

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A strong resume and cover letter will get you an interview, but only a strong interview will land you a job. Please browse our informative interview section to learn how to prepare for an interview, answer common interview questions, establish rapport with the interviewer, and ultimately get the job.

Learn more about the Screening, Informational, Directive, Meandering, Stress, Behavioral, Audition, Group, Tag-Team, Mealtime, and Follow-up Interviews. While standard questions might seem easy, it can be difficult to differentiate your responses from that of other applicants. Read good and bad responses to the most common questions.

What are your weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in ten years? What do you look for in a boss? Prepare by reading these helpful tips. From body language to mimicry, learn about a few psychological principles that could help make your interviewer like you.

Laid off? Out of work for more than three months? Lack experience? Discover how to maintain a clear and positive sense of direction and potential. The exercises in this article will provide you with the self-knowledge you need to answer interview questions.

Learn how to present your experience in the most positive way possible. Market yourself using these simple exercises as guides. Just as you must know yourself, so too must you know your prospective employer. The information you gather will help you anticipate company goals and culture and tailor your responses appropriately.

When did you graduate high school? Are you planning to have children? Learn how to respond to illegal questions without embarrassing your interviewer and losing the job. For candidates whose primary language is not English, interviewing can be intimidating and requires special preparation.

Brush up on negotiation strategy by knowing what your worth, setting clear goals, knowing your walk-away price, and being fair to your employer. While companies differ in their expectation of a thank you note, some interviewers take offense at the absence of a note.

Have your interviewers burst into laughter at your most formidable challenge? Take comfort from these stories gleaned from the collective experience that is interviewing.


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All job interviews have the same objective, but employers reach that objective in a variety of ways. You might enter the room expecting to tell stories about your professional successes and instead find yourself selling the interviewer a bridge or editing code at a computer. One strategy for performing your best during an interview is to know the rules of the particular game you are playing when you walk through the door.

Screening | Informational | Directive | Meandering Stress | Behavioral | Audition | Group Tag-Team | Mealtime | Follow-up

The Screening Interview

Companies use screening tools to ensure that candidates meet minimum qualification requirements. Computer programs are among the tools used to weed out unqualified candidates. (This is why you need a digital resume that is screening-friendly. See our resume center for help.) Sometimes human professionals are the gatekeepers. Screening interviewers often have honed skills to determine whether there is anything that might disqualify you for the position. Remember-they do not need to know whether you are the best fit for the position, only whether you are not a match. For this reason, screeners tend to dig for dirt. Screeners will hone in on gaps in your employment history or pieces of information that look inconsistent. They also will want to know from the outset whether you will be too expensive for the company.

Some tips for maintaining confidence during screening interviews:

Highlight your accomplishments and qualifications. Get into the straightforward groove. Personality is not as important to the screener as verifying your qualifications. Answer questions directly and succinctly. Save your winning personality for the person making hiring decisions! Be tactful about addressing income requirements. Give a range, and try to avoid giving specifics by replying, "I would be willing to consider your best offer." If the interview is conducted by phone, it is helpful to have note cards with your vital information sitting next to the phone. That way, whether the interviewer catches you sleeping or vacuuming the floor, you will be able to switch gears quickly. The Informational Interview

On the opposite end of the stress spectrum from screening interviews is the informational interview. A meeting that you initiate, the informational interview is underutilized by job-seekers who might otherwise consider themselves savvy to the merits of networking. Job seekers ostensibly secure informational meetings in order to seek the advice of someone in their current or desired field as well as to gain further references to people who can lend insight. Employers that like to stay apprised of available talent even when they do not have current job openings, are often open to informational interviews, especially if they like to share their knowledge, feel flattered by your interest, or esteem the mutual friend that connected you to them. During an informational interview, the jobseeker and employer exchange information and get to know one another better without reference to a specific job opening.

This takes off some of the performance pressure, but be intentional nonetheless:

Come prepared with thoughtful questions about the field and the company. Gain references to other people and make sure that the interviewer would be comfortable if you contact other people and use his or her name. Give the interviewer your card, contact information and resume. Write a thank you note to the interviewer. The Directive Style

In this style of interview, the interviewer has a clear agenda that he or she follows unflinchingly. Sometimes companies use this rigid format to ensure parity between interviews; when interviewers ask each candidate the same series of questions, they can more readily compare the results. Directive interviewers rely upon their own questions and methods to tease from you what they wish to know. You might feel like you are being steam-rolled, or you might find the conversation develops naturally. Their style does not necessarily mean that they have dominance issues, although you should keep an eye open for these if the interviewer would be your supervisor.

Either way, remember:

Flex with the interviewer, following his or her lead. Do not relinquish complete control of the interview. If the interviewer does not ask you for information that you think is important to proving your superiority as a candidate, politely interject it. The Meandering Style

This interview type, usually used by inexperienced interviewers, relies on you to lead the discussion. It might begin with a statement like "tell me about yourself," which you can use to your advantage. The interviewer might ask you another broad, open-ended question before falling into silence. This interview style allows you tactfully to guide the discussion in a way that best serves you.

The following strategies, which are helpful for any interview, are particularly important when interviewers use a non-directive approach:

Come to the interview prepared with highlights and anecdotes of your skills, qualities and experiences. Do not rely on the interviewer to spark your memory-jot down some notes that you can reference throughout the interview. Remain alert to the interviewer. Even if you feel like you can take the driver's seat and go in any direction you wish, remain respectful of the interviewer's role. If he or she becomes more directive during the interview, adjust. Ask well-placed questions. Although the open format allows you significantly to shape the interview, running with your own agenda and dominating the conversation means that you run the risk of missing important information about the company and its needs. The Stress Interview

Astounding as this is, the Greek hazing system has made its way into professional interviews. Either employers view the stress interview as a legitimate way of determining candidates' aptness for a position or someone has latent maniacal tendencies. You might be held in the waiting room for an hour before the interviewer greets you. You might face long silences or cold stares. The interviewer might openly challenge your believes or judgment. You might be called upon to perform an impossible task on the fly-like convincing the interviewer to exchange shoes with you. Insults and miscommunication are common. All this is designed to see whether you have the mettle to withstand the company culture, the clients or other potential stress.

Besides wearing a strong anti-perspirant, you will do well to:

Remember that this is a game. It is not personal. View it as the surreal interaction that it is. Prepare and memorize your main message before walking through the door. If you are flustered, you will better maintain clarity of mind if you do not have to wing your responses. Even if the interviewer is rude, remain calm and tactful. Go into the interview relaxed and rested. If you go into it feeling stressed, you will have a more difficult time keeping a cool perspective. The Behavioral Interview

Many companies increasingly rely on behavior interviews since they use your previous behavior to indicate your future performance. In these interviews, employers use standardized methods to mine information relevant to your competency in a particular area or position. Depending upon the responsibilities of the job and the working environment, you might be asked to describe a time that required problem-solving skills, adaptability, leadership, conflict resolution, multi-tasking, initiative or stress management. You will be asked how you dealt with the situations.

Your responses require not only reflection, but also organization. To maximize your responses in the behavioral format:

Anticipate the transferable skills and personal qualities that are required for the job. Review your resume. Any of the qualities and skills you have included in your resume are fair game for an interviewer to press. Reflect on your own professional, volunteer, educational and personal experience to develop brief stories that highlight these skills and qualities in you. You should have a story for each of the competencies on your resume as well as those you anticipate the job requires. Prepare stories by identifying the context, logically highlighting your actions in the situation, and identifying the results of your actions. Keep your responses concise and present them in less than two minutes. The Audition

For some positions, such as computer programmers or trainers, companies want to see you in action before they make their decision. For this reason, they might take you through a simulation or brief exercise in order to evaluate your skills. An audition can be enormously useful to you as well, since it allows you to demonstrate your abilities in interactive ways that are likely familiar to you. The simulations and exercises should also give you a simplified sense of what the job would be like. If you sense that other candidates have an edge on you in terms of experience or other qualifications, requesting an audition can help level the playing field.

To maximize on auditions, remember to:

Clearly understand the instructions and expectations for the exercise. Communication is half the battle in real life, and you should demonstrate to the prospective employer that you make the effort to do things right the first time by minimizing confusion. Treat the situation as if you are a professional with responsibility for the task laid before you. Take ownership of your work. Brush up on your skills before an interview if you think they might be tested. The Group Interview

Interviewing simultaneously with other candidates can be disconcerting, but it provides the company with a sense of your leadership potential and style. The group interview helps the company get a glimpse of how you interact with peers-are you timid or bossy, are you attentive or do you seek attention, do others turn to you instinctively, or do you compete for authority? The interviewer also wants to view what your tools of persuasion are: do you use argumentation and careful reasoning to gain support or do you divide and conquer? The interviewer might call on you to discuss an issue with the other candidates, solve a problem collectively, or discuss your peculiar qualifications in front of the other candidates.

This environment might seem overwhelming or hard to control, but there are a few tips that will help you navigate the group interview successfully:

Observe to determine the dynamics the interviewer establishes and try to discern the rules of the game. If you are unsure of what is expected from you, ask for clarification from the interviewer. Treat others with respect while exerting influence over others. Avoid overt power conflicts, which will make you look uncooperative and immature. Keep an eye on the interviewer throughout the process so that you do not miss important cues. The Tag-Team Interview

Expecting to meet with Ms. Glenn, you might find yourself in a room with four other people: Ms. Glenn, two of her staff, and the Sales Director. Companies often want to gain the insights of various people when interviewing candidates. This method of interviewing is often attractive for companies that rely heavily on team cooperation. Not only does the company want to know whether your skills balance that of the company, but also whether you can get along with the other workers. In some companies, multiple people will interview you simultaneously. In other companies, you will proceed through a series of one-on-one interviews.

Some helpful tips for maximizing on this interview format:

Treat each person as an important individual. Gain each person's business card at the beginning of the meeting, if possible, and refer to each person by name. If there are several people in the room at once, you might wish to scribble down their names on a sheet of paper according to where each is sitting. Make eye contact with each person and speak directly to the person asking each question. Use the opportunity to gain as much information about the company as you can. Just as each interviewer has a different function in the company, they each have a unique perspective. When asking questions, be sensitive not to place anyone in a position that invites him to compromise confidentiality or loyalty. Bring at least double the anecdotes and sound-bites to the interview as you would for a traditional one-on-one interview. Be ready to illustrate your main message in a variety of ways to a variety of people. Prepare psychologically to expend more energy and be more alert than you would in a one-on-one interview. Stay focused and adjustable. The Mealtime Interview

For many, interviewing over a meal sounds like a professional and digestive catastrophe in the making. If you have difficulty chewing gum while walking, this could be a challenge. With some preparation and psychological readjustment, you can enjoy the process. Meals often have a cementing social effect-breaking bread together tends to facilitate deals, marriages, friendships, and religious communion. Mealtime interviews rely on this logic, and expand it.

Particularly when your job requires interpersonal acuity, companies want to know what you are like in a social setting. Are you relaxed and charming or awkward and evasive? Companies want to observe not only how you handle a fork, but also how you treat your host, any other guests, and the serving staff.

Some basic social tips help ease the complexity of mixing food with business:

Take cues from your interviewer, remembering that you are the guest. Do not sit down until your host does. Order something slightly less extravagant than your interviewer. If he badly wants you to try a particular dish, oblige him. If he recommends an appetizer to you, he likely intends to order one himself. Do not begin eating until he does. If he orders coffee and dessert, do not leave him eating alone. If your interviewer wants to talk business, do so. If she and the other guests discuss their upcoming travel plans or their families, do not launch into business. Try to set aside dietary restrictions and preferences. Remember, the interviewer is your host. It is rude to be finicky unless you absolutely must. If you must, be as tactful as you can. Avoid phrases like: "I do not eat mammals," or "Shrimp makes my eyes swell and water." Choose manageable food items, if possible. Avoid barbeque ribs and spaghetti. Find a discrete way to check your teeth after eating. Excuse yourself from the table for a moment. Practice eating and discussing something important simultaneously. Thank your interviewer for the meal. The Follow-up Interview

Companies bring candidates back for second and sometimes third or fourth interviews for a number of reasons. Sometimes they just want to confirm that you are the amazing worker they first thought you to be. Sometimes they are having difficulty deciding between a short-list of candidates. Other times, the interviewer's supervisor or other decision makers in the company want to gain a sense of you before signing a hiring decision.

The second interview could go in a variety of directions, and you must prepare for each of them. When meeting with the same person again, you do not need to be as assertive in your communication of your skills. You can focus on cementing rapport, understanding where the company is going and how your skills mesh with the company vision and culture. Still, the interviewer should view you as the answer to their needs. You might find yourself negotiating a compensation package. Alternatively, you might find that you are starting from the beginning with a new person.

Some tips for managing second interviews:

Be confident. Accentuate what you have to offer and your interest in the position. Probe tactfully to discover more information about the internal company dynamics and culture. Walk through the front door with a plan for negotiating a salary. Be prepared for anything: to relax with an employer or to address the company's qualms about you.


Difficult Questions

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1. What are your weaknesses? 2. Why did you leave your last job? 3. How do you deal with criticism? 4. Where do you see yourself in ten years? 5. How do you deal with authority? 6. What do you think of your previous manager? 7. What is the riskiest thing you have ever done?

You think the interview is going well. You knew the meeting location ahead of time, and you arrived ten minutes early. You are dressed sharp and your teeth are clean. You came prepared in every way-you have three copies of your resume, a few business cards, two pens and a note pad. You turned off your cell-phone. You managed to find out before the interview that your interviewer held the position for which you are now applying and that you were in choir at the same college. You know the company's mission statement and have a sense of their structure. Your interviewer nodded and smiled when you spoke about your previous accomplishments and your management style. You seem to have connected with the company culture.

Your reflection, research, and practice have served you so well that you wonder whether you should become a professional interviewee rather than a Financial Planner. Then the interviewer lifts her head from her notes and, pen in hand, asks: what are your weaknesses?

You have two options: you can squirm and stammer through a response you develop on the fly, or you can look your interviewer in the eye and provide a thoughtful response that still helps you present yourself strongly. When asked difficult questions, you feel instinctively that they are probing and that you are under great scrutiny. As you prepare responses before the interview, consider what information the questions seek: are there ways in which you would be a liability to the company? If the company invests in you, what kinds of things would it need to overcome? Are you the kind of person who can deal with things when they get rough, or are you pure gloss?

In answering sensitive questions, make sure that your answers are honest, but reassuring. Use tact and choose your words carefully so that you show respect for other people in your responses. You should usually use understatement in your reply to sensitive questions. When people hear something bad, they tend to focus on it in a way that is out of proportion to its significance in everyday life. If you say that you are not always organized, the interviewer could imagine your desk with papers strewn everywhere and deadlines missed. But in reality your conception of disorganization might look a lot like the interviewer's conception of organization. In addition, most of the interviewer's questions could be answered honestly in a variety of ways. You want to choose the version of the truth that is most appealing and sensitive--the version that helps support your main message.

Examples:

What are your weaknesses?

Overemphasized: I am not a good manager.

Avoidant: I always get my work done on time. When other people drop the ball, sometimes I get frustrated with them.

Effective: I prioritize continual growth and improvement. An area on which I would like to focus is managing others who have different expectations from me. What needs to be done in order to complete responsibilities is intuitive for me, so I am learning how to give better direction to others who are not self-motivated.

Why did you leave your last job?

Vague and negative: Law always interested me, and I was looking for a new challenge. I thought it would be a good time to go to law school. Besides, I had gotten frustrated with the lack of support I felt at work.

Dangerous: In the end, my manager and I could not get along. He was driving me crazy and I needed to leave.

Effective: As I succeeded in financial analysis, I became increasingly interested in broader issues of managing money. I wanted to understand how legal regulations and individuals' goals affect decisions about how to manage money. When I gained entrance to my top choice in law school, I seized the opportunity to infuse my financial training with legal knowledge.

How do you deal with criticism?

Disrespectful: When I remember the source, I usually realize that the other person is in no position to criticize me.

Unbelievable: Criticism does not bother me at all.

Effective: Criticism is vital to my continued growth, and I welcome constructive criticism that helps a team operate better together or produce better results. It is important to me to understand where my critic is coming from so that I know how to apply the feedback.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Dismissive: Living in a boat off the coast of Bermuda.

Exploitative: I hope to have gained enough skills here to start my own company.

Scattered: In ten years, I imagine that I will want a change of scene. One of my long-term interests has been ecological protection, and I can see myself working as a spokesman for a lobbyist organization. First, though, I need to make some money and I want to contribute to your company.

Effective: In ten years, I endeavor to have refined my strategic and client relations skills. I intend to be a leading expert in estate planning. After having proven myself as a senior manager, I hope to help shape the strategic direction of estate planning services. I could do this in any number of official roles. The important thing is that I will continue contributing my abilities in a challenging and rewarding environment.

How do you deal with authority?

Concerning: I think it is important to question authority from time to time.

Frightening: In my last job, there was a time when my boss made a financial decision that I knew would be abysmal. I went directly to his superior to explain the problem. His superior agreed that I was right, and my boss had to alter his plan.

Effective: Respect is very important to me. As an employee, I try to respect my boss not only by following her guidance, but also by seeking her guidance. When a trusting relationship is formed, I have often found that my bosses have appreciated concerns or options that I raised to them. They know that I support them, and I know that they respect me.

What do you think of your previous manager?

Evasive: She did her job fine. She was a pretty nice person.

Disrespectful: She knew her stuff, but she did not give my colleagues or me any real guidance. It is like we were fending for ourselves. She rarely stood up for us either. I do not really think she should be a manager.

Effective: My previous manager had excellent technical skills and was very agreeable as a colleague. I would have liked more support from her at times, but her hands-off style meant that I had to become resourceful in problem solving and negotiating with colleagues.

What is the riskiest thing you have ever done?

Too much information: My wife and I conceived our first child in front of the police department.

Dangerous judgment: I play chicken with trains.

Effective: The greatest calculated risk that I have taken was to launch my own internet company. My idea was solid, but I knew the market was volatile. Even though the venture ended, my investment of time and money paid off in terms of the skills, perspectives, and contacts that I made through the process. I feel like I matured-rather than aged-ten years during that time.


Thank You Notes

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Companies differ in their expectation of a thank you note after an interview. In some offices, interviewers take offense at the absence of a note and malign negligent interviewees. In other offices, politeness is a superfluous rather than central part of the culture. Rather than spending your time deciphering the expectations of your interviewers, invest in making the thank you note clinch your candidacy.

You should consider the content of your thank you letter as carefully as you considered the content of your cover letter.

In addition to showing appreciation for the time of the interviewer and establishing another point of contact, your thank you letter should include a reaffirmation of your particular value to the company now that you have more information about the job. Use the note to market yourself. By referencing specific concerns and needs of the company as expressed by the interviewer, you show the interviewer again that you paid close attention to what she said. By citing particular ways in which you can address those needs and concerns, you do the work of connecting the job requirements with your job skills. Making connections between yourself and the job not only fortifies your aptness for the position, but it also tangibly demonstrates your interest in the position. The greater care you take to customize the note, the more personally it will affect the interviewer. For this reason, it is also helpful to comment on something specific that you appreciated about the interviewer or what she said. (Note: be sure that your comments are appropriate and professional.)

If there is something important that you forgot to mention during the interview, you think there might have been a point of miscommunication, or the interviewer indicated concern over some aspect of your qualifications, you can address these in the thank you note. When doing so, be certain that your tone is positive, forthright, and confident.

Consider a sample thank you note:

Dear Mr. Thompson:

Thank you for taking the time to interview me yesterday. Your dedication to ensuring that clients receive what they need from Svens Consulting in the timeframe they need it is admirable and makes me confident that I would fit into the culture at Svens.

After speaking with you, I reflected on some of the skills and qualities you indicated are most important in this position: analytical acuity, project management, flexibility, and the ability to establish strong relationships with clients. In my experience as project manager overseeing the delivery of complicated knowledge management systems to five major clients, my success depended on these same skills. You had mentioned that miscommunication between Sven's and your clients periodically causes glitches in providing services. Since I am adept at developing a strong rapport with clients, understanding their objectives and expectations, and keeping communication lines open, I would immediately add value to the team at Svens.

In short, Pat, I am convinced that the Director position would be a good career move for me and that I would contribute to the success of Svens. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Roger Wallace

Not only does the thank you note communicate respect for the employer and reaffirm your case as a candidate, but it also provides you with an easy excuse for calling the employer again. When you make sure that the note arrived, you can take the opportunity to discuss certain aspects of the position, ask the interviewer whether he or she has any additional questions for you, and reaffirm your interest in the job.

Thank you note reminders:

Send the note within 24 hours of the interview if you send it via the mail service and 48 hours of the interview if you send it digitally.

Send one note to each person who interviewed you. The interviewers will likely compare your notes.

Make the note personal, but professional.

Keep the tone positive and confident.

Keep the note brief; use your words economically.

Refer to specific things that the interviewer said during the interview.

Reaffirm how you can add value to the company.

Be certain that there are no grammatical or spelling errors in the note.

Follow up the thank you letter with a phone call a week later, if you have not heard from the employer.


Language Barriers

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For candidates whose primary language is not English, interviewing can be intimidating. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow employers to require that English is the only language used in the workplace without compelling reasons, language difficulties can cause problems during interviews.

The importance of your English fluency as a candidate depends in part on the job and company. If you are working with numbers or computer programming, refined English skills are less important. If other colleagues speak your primary language, you need not rely as heavily on English. If you are applying for a job as a manager or you will be interacting with English-speaking clients regularly, language fluency could be significant.

In addition to the job itself, language skills can pose barriers during interviews. Employers need to feel like they can connect with you. Even if you are friendly and accomplished, interviewers will begin to feel uncomfortable if they cannot communicate with you effectively. People feel weird about themselves when they cannot understand you or are not confident that you understand them. If interviewers feel uncomfortable around you, they will feel uncomfortable with you. The last thing you want to do is leave an interviewer with the impression that you are nice and talented, but that he could not tell if you understood what he was saying. Feeling like you cannot express yourself well can also cause you to lose well-deserved and much needed confidence.

There are ways for you to overcome these negative outcomes. Language difficulties are best resolved by learning English very well. The more fluent you are, the better and more confidently you can connect with the employer. If you are still struggling with English, consider these other tips:

Before the interview:

Memorize answers to common and difficult questions after having someone edit your responses for grammar.

Write down a few notes to yourself that you can refer to during the interview if you get intimidated.

Prepare and memorize questions that you wish to ask the interviewer.

During the interview:

Remember that you are a qualified person who speaks more than one language-an accomplishment that many interviewers cannot claim for themselves.

If you do not understand a question during the interview, ask the interviewer to clarify the question. You might begin by saying, "I want to make sure that I understand what you mean. Are you saying. . .?"

Address your language proficiency in the interview, mentioning to the interviewer how you make certain that you understand instructions and giving examples of working situations in which you excelled despite limitations in English. Do this casually if possible.

Tell the employer about your plans to take advanced English classes or tutoring in the evenings.

Take notes.

Summarize what the interviewer says at the end of the interview, touching on the important responsibilities of the job and needs of the company. Briefly repeat how you could meet these needs. Inquire into when you can expect to hear from the company.

After the interview:

Be sure to write a thank you note that highlights your fit with the position. Repeat what you have to offer the company and what enthuses you about the company. Be sure to have someone edit the note for grammar before you send it. This way, the lasting impression of you should focus on your abilities and not your English.


Illegal Questions

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Employment laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace apply to interviews as well. As a result, questions that probe race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age, marital status, family situation, or disabilities are illegitimate in an interview. However, many interviewers are not familiar enough with the law to know when they have passed into potentially discriminatory territory. A few interviewers ask illegal questions reasoning that they are protected by your desire to obtain the job. In either case, dealing with illicit questions is delicate. Know what can be asked, what cannot, and what to do if the interviewer asks anyway.

Forbidden Questions about Race

Examples: What is your skin color? What is your race? Is your spouse Caucasian/Hispanic/African American/Asian, etc?

Exceptions: There are no fair questions about race in an interview or application, but an employer can allow you to voluntarily indicate your race on your application.

Forbidden Questions about National Origin

Examples: You sound like you have an accent; where are you from? Where were you born? Are you an American citizen?

Exceptions: Employers are required to hire only those employees who can legally work in the United States. For that reason, employers can ask whether you are eligible to work in the United States.

Suspect Questions about Age

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects workers over 40 in private companies of twenty employees or more and government organizations.

Examples: When were you born? When did you graduate from high school? How old are you?

Exceptions: The act does not prohibit interviewers from posing questions about age, but does prohibit discrimination on these grounds unless age directly affects the job. An employer can rightfully inquire whether the candidate meets the minimum federal age requirements for employment (usually 14-17 years old).

Forbidden Questions about Religion

Examples: Do you go to church? Are you religious? What religion are you? Do you take time off work for religious purposes?

Exceptions: Organizations that have a specific religious orientation might ask questions relevant to religious practices and beliefs.

Forbidden Questions about Disabilities and Health

Examples: Do you have any disabilities or medical conditions? How serious is your disability? Do you take any prescription drugs? Have you ever been in rehab? Have you ever been an alcoholic? How many sick days did you take last year? Do you have AIDS? Have you been diagnosed with any mental illnesses? Have you ever received worker's compensation or been on disability leave?

Exceptions: Employers may ask whether you have any conditions that would keep you from performing the specific tasks of the job for which you are applying. They may also require that all candidates for a certain position pass through a medical examination that is relevant to the responsibilities of that job. Employers can subject candidates to illegal drug tests or ask you whether you take illegal drugs.

Forbidden Questions about Family Situation

Examples: Do you have small children? Are you planning to have children soon? What is your marital status? What is your maiden name? Are you pregnant?

Exceptions: Employers can inquire whether you have ever worked under a different name or whether you have personal responsibilities that could interfere with requirements of the job like travel or overtime hours.

Forbidden Questions about Sexual Orientation and Political Affiliation

Executive Order 13087 acts as a guideline against sexual discrimination or party discrimination in the federal government.

Examples: Are you straight or gay? How do you feel about working with gay or bisexual people? Who did you vote for in the last election? Do you belong to a party?

Exceptions: This executive order does not bind all employers, but protections exist at least for federal civilian workers.

Now that you know what is permissible and what is discriminatory, consider how you might prepare for a situation in which the illegal arises. Your action depends on your goals and what makes you feel comfortable. Three basic paths lie open to you.

You could forfeit your rights and answer the question, hoping that it will deepen connections with the employer rather than incite bias. There might be times when you discover that your interviewer goes to a certain church or has family from a certain country that is similar to yours. You might not feel threatened to disclose information about yourself that could be subject to discrimination.

Alternatively, you could discreetly refuse to answer the question but persist in trying to secure the job. For example, you might avoid answering the question directly but address the concern that it implies. If asked whether you plan to have children, you might reply: "I take strides to balance my work and my personal life. I can assure you that I will be focused and committed to my responsibilities here, and my personal life will not interfere with my performance." If you elect not to answer the question but you wish to secure the position, take pains to set the interviewer at ease. If the interviewer feels embarrassed or chastised by your response, the interview could plummet rapidly.

You could also determine that you have no desire to work in a company that probes in potentially discriminatory ways. You might sense bias or negativity in the interviewer or feel like the environment is somehow hostile to you or other people. If you decide on the spot that you do not want the job, you can take overt action. You could go so far as to excuse yourself from the interview and even file a complaint or suit. If you decide to pursue formal recourse, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


Spin Yourself

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We spin ourselves all the time-to find a date or a mate, to make a good impression on our elders, to join a club or society. Spinning merely involves presenting those aspects of ourselves that are likely to be appealing to others. It is not enough to come off this way or that way. You take control of the message you convey to the interviewer. The clearer the spin, the sharper is the appeal.

All you must do, then, is figure out how to use your self-knowledge and company knowledge to market yourself. Skip the tag line, but do formulate a coherent message about yourself. This is the message that you want to reemphasize throughout the interview as you answer a variety of questions. Using the information that you gathered from the exercises in Know Yourself, make a list of your transferable skills, your inherent qualities, and your personality traits that would be relevant to this job.

Brainstorm what you offer the position. Suzanne's list follows.

Experience-based Skills Transferable Skills Personal Qualities HTML Coding Project Management Dependable Vendor Relations Clear Communication Accessible Client Relations Writing Focused Product Development Organization Flexible Quality Assurance Practices Team Leadership Initiative Web Writing Negotiation Creative Problem-solving Fast Learner

Take a careful look at your list to determine which of the skills and qualities seem most relevant to the position you are seeking. For the consultant position that Suzanne is seeking, client relations and quality assurance practices seem most relevant from the experience-based skills category. Each of the skill from the transferable skills category is relevant, so she chooses to emphasize negotiation, problem-solving, project management, and writing. She anticipates that the personal qualities required for this position include creativity, dependability, initiative, and flexibility.

Generate concise anecdotes. Once you have created a short-list of skills and qualities that you offer the company, compile a set of stories and facts that illustrate your unique abilities. When doing so, remember a few guidelines:

Your goal is to convince the interviewer that you are right for the job.

Be specific.

Highlight information readily understood as transferable.

Accentuate accomplishments.

Connect your past experience to the position you seek.

Reveal your values.

Remember your audience and their values.

Keep your presentation under two minutes.

Identify your basic message. With her skill profile, knowledge of the employer and job, and these guidelines in mind, Suzanne might develop an overall interview message like the following.

"I will bring to this consultancy position a combination of skills and qualities that I am confident would make me a valuable contributor to the company. In my previous position as a Project Manager, I spearheaded the development of multi-media projects that exceeded the expectations of our clients. I could not succeed without my teams. Although my teams and I faced multiple obstacles, I used my problem-solving skills and judgment to overcome barriers in a way that satisfied the interests of our clients, my company, and my teams. I was able to gain the trust and confidence of the team members. My communication and negotiation skills enabled me to lead frazzled and sometimes antagonistic teams of people to work together in a focused and productive way. Since this pressure-cooker experience, I have gained licensure as a court mediator, and I have a master's degree in conflict resolution.

"In addition to my ability to mobilize teams by overcoming conflict and confusion, my company made use of my organizational skills and my self-initiative. I was able to work with a minimum of supervision, but consulted the company directors when I needed their input, guidance, or support. Since I was responsible for creating the concepts and content of the projects that I managed, my self-direction enabled me to balance multiple responsibilities while still carving out time to generate winning ideas and write content."

Identify the bottom line. Knowing that she wants to communicate her basic message throughout the interview, Suzanne then clarifies the core of what she has to offer:

"I offer your company and this position effective negotiation and communication abilities, creative problem solving and project management skills, inner drive and initiative, and strong writing skills. My colleagues here would find me dependable and flexible."


Horror Stories

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With the painstaking preparation that goes into preparing for an interview and the tension often felt when the hour has come, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of levity in the process. Still, you are not the only person to suffer a faux pas or awkward moment during an interview. Perhaps you said or did something wrong. Perhaps your interviewer was bizarre. Perhaps something just felt weird. Maybe it is Murphy's Law or perhaps it is just par for the interviewing course. Take comfort from these stories gleaned from the collective experience that is interviewing.

"I was part of a team of eight colleagues who interviewed 50 people in the space of two weeks. Four to seven people conducted each interview, which occurred in a small room. We were stuck in that room for hours. One of the questions designated for me to ask was what the most formidable challenge the person had ever gone through. During one particular interview in which four of us met with the applicant, she began to share her most significant challenge when the Director intervened with a follow-up question, interrupting my chain of questions. Apparently I made an odd face. My colleague saw me and began to giggle. Then two of us began to laugh, and we could not stop. At one point, the first colleague tried to disguise his laughter by blowing his nose, but this just made everyone else laugh more. All the while, the interviewee elaborated on the most difficult challenge she had been through, maintaining solid eye contact with the Director. It was both equally funny and horrifying that we were laughing. Soon the Director said to her: I think we need to ask you to leave until we compose ourselves."

"The summer internship organization to which I applied had about ten of us come at once, but they interviewed us individually. My meeting was towards the end, so I waited there for an hour before the two interviewers called my turn. They said: we have three questions that we are going to ask you at once, and you can answer the three questions in order at which time we will be done. They told me the three questions, and I answered the first. Then they looked at each other and said, 'Okay, that will be it.' Surprised, I asked, 'Well, do you want me to answer the second question?' They kind of looked at each other and said, 'Well, okay.' I answered as briefly as possible, skipped the third question altogether, and left. I got the position."

"I sent a digital resume and cover letter via email to apply for a position as a technical writer. Within a few hours, a message from the director in charge of hiring came via email. Full of anticipation, I opened the email to find a terse message: 'your resume is infected with a virus and has been quarantined.' A person cannot recover from an infected resume. I did not pursue the position further."

"At one rather intense interview with a high powered man, the phone kept ringing and interviewer took the calls long enough to say that he would call the people later. He seemed to be telling me that I was a nominally important use of his time or at least demonstrating how busy he was. There was some kind of odd power dynamic going on. Then he got another call, which was clearly from his wife. After saying, 'Hi, Honey,' my interviewer only said three cryptic things: 'is he lucid?,' 'do you need me to come home tonight?', and 'call me when you know more and can tell me what to do.' Then he hung up the phone and looked at me."

"I once interviewed a woman who came in ringing her hands. I asked her the standard interview questions: what are you looking for in a job, what don't you like in a job, what do you need from a boss? To the third question, she replied: 'I need my boss to be my best friend. I'm so lonely. We just moved here a few months ago and I haven't made any friends. I need a friend.'"

"A man walked in and deemed himself the right man for the job I had advertised, even though he did not fit in any sense of the word. After the interview, which highlighted how badly he and the position matched, he started an email campaign. Another man wrote to me on his behalf. Between the two of them, I received at least twenty phone calls and electronic messages: he wanted the job so badly, would I please reconsider? The barrage of follow-up finally waned when I hired someone else, but even then his advocate kept scolding me for hiring someone else."

"I had to undergo a ludicrous 500 question psychological examination when I applied to be a security guard during college. Among the 500 questions were about 17 questions asking me in slightly varied ways whether or not I have ever thought of killing myself. If the exam had not been a scan-tron, I would have answered, 'No, but the idea is growing on me every time you ask.'"

"During a particular interview, the interviewer had a dog present. The dog became especially interested in my leg. I kept shuffling and moving to protect myself from the dog, but the person giving the interview took no notice of the dog at all. Uncomfortable as this was, I was actually wondering if it was some kind of test to see if I could maintain my concentration."


Six Steps to a Blockbuster Resume by ResumeEdge.com - The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service

A resume has one purpose  to market your skills, achievements, professional background,

academic history, and future potential to a prospective employer. Much like a 30-second

commercial, today's resume must provide maximum data as quickly as possible, differentiate you

from all other candidates, and be attractively packaged.

Impossible, you think? Not at all. Writing a winning resume simply takes thought and planning.

After all, you wouldn't drive from Los Angeles to Manhattan without mapping the surest route.

The same goes for your resume. By using the ResumeEdge© six-step process, you'll gain

perspective on your career target and the audience you need to reach, learn how to showcase

your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and produce a document with maximum punch.

Of course, if you do need professional assistance, our certified resume writers are on hand 24/7

to provide expert, personalized guidance.

The ResumeEdge© Process

" Step One: Targeting Your Career and Audience " Step Two: Formatting for Maximum Impact " Step Three: Skill Set and Qualifications Summary " Step Four: Accomplishments and Special Skills " Step Five: Professional Experience " Step Six: Education and Training

STEP ONE: Targeting Your Career and Audience

You must have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish in your professional life in order to

maximize the impact of your resume for your targeted audience -- the hiring manager or graduate

school admissions director.

Before you begin, ask yourself these questions. Are you: Making a lateral move? Seeking a promotion? Career transitioning? Pursuing admission into a graduate program?* For numbers 1-3 above, the most effective way to begin targeting your resume is to search

openings that appeal to you on job boards (i.e. Monster, Hot Jobs. CareerJournal), internal

company postings, or newspaper classifieds.

With these in hand, you can highlight the qualifications you will need to be considered and the

duties you would be expected to assume. Every match in terms of qualifications and experience

will serve as key words** in your resume, as well as provide focus so that the resume can be

tailored for your targeted audience. The more closely the content of your resume matches the

content of these postings, the more likely you will be asked to interview.

* Resumes provided for graduate school admission showcase your skills, professional

experience, accomplishments, and academic history in much the same way as job  resumes.

The difference is that an admissions resume will focus on what transitions well to the classroom,

not to the workplace.

** Key words include industry-specific jargon or acronyms (i.e. "generally accepted accounting

principles" (GAAP) for accountants; "Certified Professional Resume Writer" (CPRW) for

resume writers; "Series 7 licensing" for brokers; "initial public offering" (IPO) for investment

bankers; "at-risk child" for social workers; "Level 2 Training" for physicians; "intellectual

property law" for attorneys; "triage" for nurses; and nouns or noun phrases indicating

qualifications or required tasks (i.e. general ledger, word processing, contract negotiations,

benefits, payroll, closing (for sales people); catering services, new menu items, capacity planning

(for chefs); logistics, quality assurance, advertising campaigns, product launches, staffing,

training, orientations. Companies that employ scanners require a set number of hits on key words

before the hiring manager will personally review the applicant's resume. It is always wise to

incorporate as many key words as possible into your resume.

STEP TWO: Formatting for Maximum Impact

The moment your resume is opened by a hiring manager or admissions director, it must appeal to

him or her on an aesthetic level, while accurately reflecting your industry or career goal. To do

anything else is to relegate your resume -- no matter how brilliantly it is written -- to the rejection

stack.

In order to ensure that your resume receives the initial attention it deserves, it's important to

adhere to certain formatting guidelines, which include:

Template and Font Choice Effective Use of White Space Prioritization of Data Template and Font Choice

In all cases, templates and font choice should:

Be easy to follow. There is no greater irritation to a busy hiring manager or admissions director

than to receive a resume where data is presented in a haphazard or inconsistent manner. That's

why templates are used. An effective template will present company names, dates, job titles,

academic information, and all other pertinent data in a clear manner, so that a quick glance will tell

the contact person what they need to know.

But consistency in format isn't the only point to consider. Templates should be chosen because

they accurately reflect a candidate's career or goal. In other words, a banker, accountant, or

administrative assistant would choose a more conservative format than a graphic artist or interior

designer. Nothing is more jarring -- or disastrous -- than to receive a financial professional's

resume written in italics or script with accompanying graphics. Be easy to read. Resumes written in bold text or italics are extremely difficult to read and project

a lack of professionalism. The same goes for artistic fonts that resemble handwriting. It's a

common misconception that jazzing up a resume with these stylistic tricks will get the document

read. On the contrary, the resume will get noticed -- and discarded -- within seconds. It's not the

font you use that attracts attention, but rather the resume's initial appearance and the words

crafted within it.

When in doubt about font choice, always err on the conservative side. Two good choices are

Times New Roman or Arial in 11 points -- no smaller, or the text will be difficult to read.

Effective Use of White Space

There is no quicker way to get your resume ignored than to create a document with (narrow or

nonexistent) margins, and block after block of uninterrupted text. No one wants to read a

text-heavy document with sentences that run on for four or five lines. In today's fast-paced

world, you must get your point across quickly, with a minimum of words presented as bulleted

sentences within special sections (i.e. Professional Experience, Education, Qualifications

Summary), separated by well-placed white space.

Think of white spaces as necessary pauses -- a chance for the hiring manager or admissions

director to catch her breath, collect her thoughts, and digest (and appreciate) the data you've

presented.

Prioritization of Data

Imagine you're a hiring manager. It's 7:30 on a Monday morning, and an important position needs

to be filled in your company's legal department. Over the weekend, 200 resumes came in from

eager applicants all wanting to fill this one job. Most of the resumes are attractively formatted and

use the appropriate font type. So far so good. But on closer inspection, most of the candidates

have relegated their willingness to relocate for the position -- a core qualification -- to the very end

of their two-page resumes. More than a few have buried accomplishments within the text, figuring

this will force the hiring manager to search for that data, which means the entire resume will have

to be read. Some have placed bar admission, another important qualification, dead last on the

resume, believing that where they can practice law certainly isn't as important as the fact that they

are attorneys. And a few misguided souls simply list company names and dates of employment,

assuming that the hiring manager should know without asking what legal duties they performed at

these firms.

It's enough to drive a hiring manager to distraction -- or another career.

But then, at last, there are those few resumes that list the important data at the top of the first

page. In less than five seconds the hiring manager knows that the first candidate is willing to

relocate and assume the cost of those expenses, if required. This candidate also provides a

special section beneath the Qualifications Summary that indicates where she is licensed to practice

law. The second candidate does the same, while also pulling out Career Accomplishments and

placing them at the top of the first page. After all, why keep a 100% win rate at trial a secret, or

the fact that one can practice before the state's Supreme Court?

Given the above scenario, it's clear which applicants will be called in for an interview. No hiring

manager will read every single resume that comes across his desk. Nor will a hiring manager

search for data. In today's tight job market it's up to the candidate to prioritize data so that a

hiring manager knows at a glance what the job seeker has to offer the company in terms of

achievement, work experience, education, licensing, certifications, and special concessions, such

as relocation.

STEP THREE: Qualification Summary & Skill Set

Picture yourself at the market after a long day at the office. You're in a rush, of course, and want

only to purchase those items on your list, if they're on sale. Hurrying into the store, you glance

around for the weekly advertising piece that indicates which items will be offered at a discount.

Trouble is, there's no advertising piece this week, and no one to answer your questions. If you

want to purchase the items you most need at a discount, you're forced to walk up and down each

and every aisle until you find what's available.

Doesn't sound like much fun or an effective use of time, does it? And yet this is the same type of

frustration hiring managers are exposed to every time an applicant sends in a resume that fails to

open with a well-written Qualifications Summary and/or Skill Set.

What is a Qualifications Summary?

It's a brief paragraph that showcases your most effective skills and experience as they pertain to

your job search. More importantly, it's your chance to convince a hiring manager of the skills you

can bring to the position. This is essential, given that hiring managers generally afford no more

than 10 seconds to an applicant's resume, unless they're compelled to read further.

So, how do you compel them to keep reading?

Let's use this example: You're an accountant who has worked at XYZ Company for nine years

and been promoted every time you've come up for review. Because of your organizational

efforts, the company is saving $2500 monthly. You've passed the CPA exam. You're skilled in

Profit & Loss (P&L), audits, taxation matters, and internal controls. Now, you want a Controller

position.

Rather than including all of the aforementioned data in the body of the resume, where the hiring

manager would be forced to look for it, but won't (remember, you'll be given 10 seconds before

the hiring manager moves on), the wise candidate would write something like this:

Results-oriented, detailed professional with comprehensive accounting experience. Background

includes consistent promotions to positions of increased responsibility. Skilled in P&L, audits,

taxation, internal controls, and streamlining procedures, effecting a monthly savings of $2500 at

XYZ Company. Recently passed the CPA exam; currently seeking a Controller position.

In five lines and a mere 45 words, you've given specific examples of what you can do (P&L,

audits, taxation, internal controls), quantified an accomplishment (streamlining procedures,

effecting a monthly savings of $2500 at XYZ Company), indicated past performance (consistent

promotions to positions of increased responsibility), provided data on certification (recently

passed the CPA exam), and provided your career path (currently seeking a Controller position).

And you've done all of that in a well-written paragraph that's interesting and easy to read. (Note

that personal pronouns are not used here. In business writing, which includes resumes, personal

pronouns such as I, me, or my are never used).

Three examples of outstanding Opening Summaries:

IT Professional, Webmaster

Government Consultant

Foreman

Fine, you say, but what about an Objective? Where does that go?

In the modern resume, an objective statement is no longer used. The reason for this follows.

Qualifications Summary vs. the Objective

In the outmoded Objective, the candidate told the hiring manager what he wanted, whether that

was a job at the company, room for advancement, a chance to use a new college degree, or any

other reason an applicant could think of and the hiring manager could dismiss as self-serving. On

the other hand, the Qualifications Summary proactively declares what the candidate can do for the

targeted company, which places the hiring manager's needs first. A wise applicant always uses a

Qualifications Summary, either by itself or combined with a Skill Set.

What is a Skill Set?

Generally speaking, it's a list of your core competencies as they relate to your targeted career

goal. Again, let's take the example of the accountant who has just passed the CPA exam and now

wants to be a controller. Rather than presenting all of that data in the qualifications summary, a

portion of it would be showcased as a tag line (professional title or title of job you're targeting)

and skill set, and might look something like this (followed by a reworked qualifications summary

paragraph):

Results-oriented, detailed professional with comprehensive accounting experience. Background

includes consistent promotions to positions of increased responsibility for notable achievements,

including $2500 in monthly savings at XYZ Company by streamlining procedures.

This time, the first two lines, which contain just 15 words, present core strengths quickly and

effortlessly.

STEP FOUR: Accomplishments and Special Skills

Accomplishments

There is no data on your resume more important than your accomplishments. Why?

Think of it this way: you're a hiring manager with one position to fill and 10 qualified candidates

clamoring for the position. Each candidate has the same basic educational and professional

background. So, who gets the job?

The candidate who contributed the most at past positions. Accomplishments are all that separate

you from other equally qualified candidates, with one caveat. Your accomplishments must be

quantified.

What is an Accomplishment?

Increasing the company's bottom line (i.e. facilitating its growth)

Streamlining procedures

Promotions

Special projects successfully completed

Decreasing costs

Company- or industry-sponsored awards

Certifications and licensure

What is not an Accomplishment?

Daily responsibilities that are included in your job description

Regular attendance at work

Getting along with co-workers

Working full-time while going to college at night

Volunteer or community service unless it has a direct bearing on your job search

In other words, an accomplishment is service that goes beyond your usual job description. But

for an accomplishment to have the most effect, it must be quantified.

What is a Quantified Accomplishment?

One that includes dollar figures, percentages, and time periods.

For example: Our accountant has streamlined procedures, realizing a $2500 monthly savings for

his company. The dollar figure quantifies the accomplishment, while the streamlined

procedures  explains how he did it. Now, if he achieved those savings within three months of

hire, that would further strengthen his accomplishments, and it might be written thusly:

Achieved a $2500 monthly savings for XYZ Company within three months of hire by streamlining

procedures.

Imagine the hiring manager's reaction to the above as opposed to this entry:

Streamlined procedures for XYZ Company.

Doesn't say much, does it?

Special Skills

Special Skills should always be presented up-front so that a hiring manager knows what you can

do. In some instances, a special section (i.e. Computer Skills, Languages, Office Procedures,

etc.) should be created to showcase these special skills.

Special skills will include:

Computer proficiencies

Office procedures (i.e. answering multi-lined phone systems, taking dictation (include speed),

transcription, typing (include speed), 10-key, etc.) Linguistic capabilities (i.e. fluency in a foreign language, ability to translate, etc.) Any skill that's industry-specific for the job you're seeking Here are a few examples of resumes with outstanding accomplishments and skills showcased

effectively for hiring managers:

IT Professionals  Project Manager

Chief Marketing Officer

Executives  Supply Chain Director

STEP FIVE: Professional Experience

In the Professional Experience section you will list your employers, job titles, and dates of

employment in a reverse-chronological order; that is, your most recent job comes first, followed

by your next most recent job, and so on. This format is standard and is expected by all hiring

managers and admissions directors.

With regard to employment dates:

Generally speaking, hiring managers prefer years of employment, rather than months and years

(i.e. 1999 - 2003 as opposed to May 1999 - April 2003). However, some college admissions

programs want specifics when it comes to dates, so it's best to use precise dates when applying

to graduate school.

In the Professional Experience section you will also include daily tasks and responsibilities

beneath the appropriate employer listing. If you've included a Career Accomplishments section in

your resume, you should not repeat that data here. Once data is presented in a resume, it must

not be repeated.

To ensure that your daily tasks are presented in an interesting and easy-to-read manner, you

should do the following:

Use a bulleted format. This breaks up large blocks of text that could prove daunting to a hiring

manager.

Delete unnecessary articles and adjectives. Your sentences should be short and snappy.

Begin each sentence with an action verb. This quickens the pace of your writing and makes the

text more enjoyable to read. For a comprehensive choice of action verbs, please use this link:

Power Verb List.

An example of a bulleted format, pared down writing, and sentences beginning with power verbs

follows: (Again, we use our accountant)

Verb tense:

For those jobs where you are still currently employed, write your job duties in the present tense.

For those jobs in the past, write the responsibilities you held in the past tense.

Additionally, Professional Experience can be captured and showcased in three formats:

Functional

Chronological

Combination

In the functional format, you are stressing what you know over where you gained your

experience. This works for those who have strong skills, but a weak employment record.

In the chronological format, you are providing a work history dating back from the present. This

is the most common format and is generally preferred by hiring managers.

In the combination format, you are stressing what you know in one section, while also providing

work history dating back from the present in another. This is a highly popular modern format.

STEP SIX: Education and Training

Education:

Data provided in this section should be prioritized (and included) according to: Your current career level (entry-level as opposed to professional) The purpose of your resume The country in which your resume will be distributed Your current career level:

If you're an entry-level candidate with little or no professional experience, your education should

be presented immediately after the Qualifications Summary and/or skills area. The reasoning for

this is that education is currently your most marketable asset. Here, you would include:

GPA (if 3.5 or above) Awards/scholarships Dean's list Coursework relevant to job search If you're a professional with five or more years of experience, Education should be listed last on

your resume. GPAs, awards or scholarships, and mention of dean's lists are not generally

provided in a professional or executive resume, except for those used for entrance into graduate

school programs.

The purpose of your resume:

Resumes sent to admissions directors for graduate school can list Education before Professional

Experience or after, depending upon these factors:

If the applicant has just recently completed his bachelor's degree, it should be listed before

Professional Experience. If the applicant has real-world experience related to the graduate degree she is seeking, the

Professional Experience should be listed first. The country in which your resume will be distributed:

If you are distributing your resume within the US, high school education is not included. The only

exception to this rule would be if you're applying for a job with the federal government. In that

case, you would include high school data.

When distributing a resume outside the US, then high school education is included.

Training:

Include all specialized training that is transferable to your new job target. If you have not attended

college, include all specialized training in your target field. Hiring managers generally prefer to see

some post-secondary education.

Job Interview Center

Content By ResumeEdge.com - The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service

A strong resume and cover letter will get you an interview, but only a strong interview will land you a job. Please browse our informative interview section to learn how to prepare for an interview, answer common interview questions, establish rapport with the interviewer, and ultimately get the job.

Learn more about the Screening, Informational, Directive, Meandering, Stress, Behavioral, Audition, Group, Tag-Team, Mealtime, and Follow-up Interviews. While standard questions might seem easy, it can be difficult to differentiate your responses from that of other applicants. Read good and bad responses to the most common questions.

What are your weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in ten years? What do you look for in a boss? Prepare by reading these helpful tips. From body language to mimicry, learn about a few psychological principles that could help make your interviewer like you.

Laid off? Out of work for more than three months? Lack experience? Discover how to maintain a clear and positive sense of direction and potential. The exercises in this article will provide you with the self-knowledge you need to answer interview questions.

Learn how to present your experience in the most positive way possible. Market yourself using these simple exercises as guides. Just as you must know yourself, so too must you know your prospective employer. The information you gather will help you anticipate company goals and culture and tailor your responses appropriately.

When did you graduate high school? Are you planning to have children? Learn how to respond to illegal questions without embarrassing your interviewer and losing the job. For candidates whose primary language is not English, interviewing can be intimidating and requires special preparation.

Brush up on negotiation strategy by knowing what your worth, setting clear goals, knowing your walk-away price, and being fair to your employer. While companies differ in their expectation of a thank you note, some interviewers take offense at the absence of a note.

Have your interviewers burst into laughter at your most formidable challenge? Take comfort from these stories gleaned from the collective experience that is interviewing.


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