Before submitting a résumé online, research the opportunity to make sure you really are the right candidate. Be selective in your search; don't send your résumé to every online employment site. Structure your résumé to meet the criteria for the position you're seeking.
In today's competitive job market, your résumé may be your only chance to get an employer's attention. While a good résumé is no guarantee that you'll get an interview, a bad one will surely knock you out of the running. There are no rules, but here are some guidelines:
Keep it short and simple. One page is best for most jobs. Once you get the interview, you can elaborate.
Make it easy to read. Don't make the reader dig for the important points. Direct their eye by highlights, bullets, and lots of white space. There are many good templates out there. Look for samples and advice in job search web sites.
Avoid company jargon.
Get feedback on your résumé from others with this two-minute test: Hand it to a several people who are not familiar with your work history. Give them a few minutes to read it. Ask them to tell you what you did in your last job. If they can't tell you, ask why, and then revise as necessary.
Use the same words as in the job description. If the words apply to you, use them in your skill descriptions. Many employers use scanners for online résumés, and if you use the right descriptors, you have a better chance of being selected.
Posting a résumé allows you to use the Internet to put your résumé on the desktops of thousands of hiring managers and recruiters with only a few mouse clicks. It's fast and easy to do—just follow the directions.
Find a list of job search engines on our helpful web sites page.
It's also easy for an employer to send your résumé to a colleague looking for just your set of skills. It's Internet marketing at its best and you are the product.
If you don't have Internet capability at home, remember that you can use the computer labs at any of the E&ES Workforce Centers to set up an e-mail account and post your résumé on the Internet. Find a Location closest to you.
Make no mistake about it—your cover letter creates the first impression a hiring manager gets of you. A bit of research on a company will help you customize your letter to reflect that you know what this organization is all about. Reread your letter aloud several times and ask someone else to read it through.
Learn as much as you can about the company and position you are interested in. Check the Internet for the company's web site.
There is a big difference between thinking about or writing out potential responses and having to say them aloud. Practice potential responses out loud, in front of a mirror or friends and family members. Discover various strategies, transitions, and lead-ins for answering certain kinds of questions, talking to one person or a group, and changing topics or focus.
Practice asking questions. Employers will expect you to ask about matters that concern you. Familiarize yourself with the vocabulary of the industry (but never use words whose definitions you don't know).
Anticipate commonly asked questions and develop a set of related responses that you can mold to a variety of individual situations. The interview is an opportunity to share information. You will have to talk about yourself, your interests, and your values. Practice ways of phrasing replies about yourself that highlight your talents in a way that feels comfortable to you.
Demonstrate to your interviewer your engagement in the conversation. Ask perceptive questions, be alert, make eye contact, provide relevant information, and relay your knowledge of and interest in the field and the organization.
Observe all rules of courtesy and respect. Be punctual. Dress appropriately. Call people by their titles unless specifically directed to do otherwise. Express your thanks for the organization's consideration of your candidacy.