DiversityWorking ~ FAQ

Resume and Career Tips

  • Q: How do I prepare for an interview?

A: The fact that you were called for an interview shows that the employer is already considering you for the job. You are now on your first step towards employment!

Basic tips
- First of all, research about the company, and the position you are applying for. In most cases, employers use this as a gauge of your enthusiasm in getting the job.
- Be professional. Come earlier than the scheduled time.
- Be well groomed and properly dressed. The saying "first impressions last" is true, especially in job interviews. Look neat and tidy.
- It's easier said than done, but don't be nervous. Sometimes, too much tension causes mental block. Listen to each question carefully, and answer intelligently.
- Be courteous and tactful. Look confident but not arrogant.

Of course, you should be mentally prepared. Anticipate questions that are normally asked in a job interview like:
- Tell me something about yourself
- What are you looking for in a job?
- Why do you like to be a part of our company?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your strengths? weaknesses?

They might also give situational questions like:
- How did you manage the most difficult situation you have encountered in the office?
- Have you ever been in an argument with your superiors or co-workers?

And, some questions might be simple I.Q. tests like:
- Why is a manhole round?
- Why is it that a coin sinks in an ocean, and a ship does not?

Since most of these questions are commonly asked, it would be helpful to prepare scripts.

*For more interviewing tips, visit the Career Consulting Corner website

  • Q: How do I handle a phone interview?

A: In the JobWeb site, an article entitled Hello? Hello? Youre Hired! written by Claudia Allen gives basic tips on how to handle interviews on the phone.

Many employers prefer to have phone interviews first. If you dont leave them with a positive impression over the phone, chances are, your application is doomed. So be prepared! If you know that you have pending applications, always expect calls from employers.

Things to remember
- Know the companies you are applying to. You never know which one of them will give you a ring.
- Use your resume as a guide
- If possible, attend phone interview workshops to give you a better idea on how phone interviews are conducted.
- Youre not just talking to anybody. The success of your job application depends on the person you are talking to.
- Make sure that there are no unnecessary noises in the background (music, the sound of your mouth eating something) They could be irritating.
- Dont put the interviewer on hold. Dont let him wait.
- Moderate your voice. Dont mumble and babble. (Thats why practicing your speech is important) Confidence can be reflected with the way you speak.
- Dont sound too serious. Youre not a robot. Put a smile in your voice (and yes, a smile can be heard)

  • Q: What are the things that I should avoid during an interview?

A: The Career Center of the Robert Half Finance and Accounting Website gives six Interview Donts.

- Dont simply answer by Yes or No. Avoid vagueness and be more specific
- Dont answer if you did not fully understand the question. Kindly request the interviewer to repeat his inquiry.
- Dont expect your resume to do the talking for you. Be prepared to back up whatever is written there.
- Dont bad mouth your previous employer. It wont do you any good.
- Dont answer beyond what is being asked. You might touch issues that could incite arguments.
- Dont assume that youre going to get hired by asking about salary and benefits. (Unless youre being asked about your desired salary, of course)

  • Q: How do I create a good resume?

A: Remember that employers will be sorting out through a multitude of resumes that are submitted to them daily. Your resume should stand out among the competition. Make sure to include the essential information like-

Work experience (if applicable) - indicate previous job responsibilities, and imply how these experiences could be beneficial in the job you are applying for
Educational attainment - your degree / specialization
Skills - focus on the qualifications of the job that you are applying for
Trainings attended - these trainings make you more "qualified"
Awards - highlight your accomplishments
Personal details - basic personal information
References - former superiors / associates who can testify your good background

Most of all, make sure it is well written, meaning it is free from grammatical errors and thoughts must be carefully organized. With your myDiversity account, you can always edit and modify your resumes.

*For more resources on how to write a constructive resume, visit the Resume Writing Services website.

For a more professional resume output, you can also try DiversityWorking.Com's resume writing service, through our partnership with CareerPerfect.

  • Q: How do I "market" myself to employers?

A: William S. Frank, in his article Showcase your Home Run accomplishments featured in the CareerLab website, reminds jobseekers not to sell themselves short in their resumes and job interviews. In the first part of his article, Frank advises to concentrate on accomplishments rather than duties. He defines accomplishments as statements (that) give specific examples of tasks you finished

For instance, youre a former technical support engineer. Whats the best way to endorse yourself?

Instead of narrating your duties- (e.g. assisted customers in troubleshooting their Internet connectivity issues over the phone)- say something like earned perfect quality monitoring scores, commended by 4 very satisfied customers in a caller survey"

Frank suggests that another way of emphasizing your accomplishments is by recalling the problems that you encountered, the actions you took, and the outcome.

Problem- I had a very irate caller. It was his 10th call and he still couldnt connect to the Internet. He was very annoyed because the other agents he talked to gave him different instructions that wouldnt work. He was about to cancel his subscription.
Actions- I remained calm. I apologized for the inconvenience. I assured him that before we end the call, he will be able to connect to the Internet again. After several inquiries, I was able to isolate the issue, that it has something to do with his Windows. I assisted him in reinstalling Windows.
Result- Caller was able to connect to the Internet.

That was definitely an accomplishment. During interviews, dont hesitate to tell the valuable things you have done for your previous employer. Remember, your accomplishments substantiate your skills. As Frank puts it, Don't be afraid to take credit for what you've done. Most of us undersell ourselves. We tend to claim too little for ourselves--not too much

Read the full article at http://www.careerlab.com/art_homeruns.htm

  • Q: What are the things that I should avoid in writing my resume?

A: ResumeDoctor.Com has surveyed employers about the things they dislike whenever they read resumes.

Here’s their Top 10 “pet peeves” about resumes

10. Personal Info not relevant to the job
You don’t have to include personal information that has no relevance to the job you’re applying for. What does “playing soccer” got to do with being a programmer

9. Unqualified candidates
Applying for a job that does not match your qualifications really annoys employers. It’s just a waste of their time. If you have a different background but have sufficient experience that makes you qualified, then elaborate it clearly in your resume.

8. Long Paragraphs
Most employers scan resumes for only a matter of seconds. Long paragraphs could be advisable in an essay writing contest, but not in a resume where important information should be accessible immediately.

7. Long Resumes
A good resume should not exceed 2 pages. If you have many work experiences, include the most recent and relevant.

6. Functional Resumes
A “functional resume” is just a plain list of skills and previous job responsibilities that leaves the employers guessing about your competence. Employers would go for a “chronological resume” where skills and work experiences are thoroughly described (how many years in this position, what were the skills required to perform such tasks, etc.)

5. Poor Formatting
A well organized and formatted resume reflects professionalism.

4. Incomplete Contact Information
Don’t waste your chances of being called for an interview. Make sure that you include your contact numbers and e-mail address so the employer can call you. (Tip- Avoid giving naughty e-mail addresses like pervert@mail.com, for obvious reasons.”

3. Dates not included
Make sure that employment dates are present. Lack of such information might give employers the impression of dishonesty on your part. Most employers do background checks nowadays.

2. Too Duty Oriented
Focus on accomplishments, instead of duties. Employers know what a web-programmer does, so describe the projects you worked on, and how it contributed to the overall success of your company.

1. Spelling Errors, Typos, and Poor Grammar
No comment. Reason is obvious. After all schooling, the value of flawless written communication should already be inherent.

Note: To learn more about the top resume “pet peeves” and for a broader discussion of each, visit http://www.resumedoctor.com/ResourceCenter.htm#petpeevesurvey

  • Q: Is it ok to lie in my resume, just to get a job?

A: In the CareerPlanning website, an article entitled “Lying on Your Resume” written by Dawn Rosenberg McKay clearly answers this question: Most definitely NO!

According to the article, there are three kinds of reaction when jobseekers encounter a job that they want, but unfortunately, they don’t match its qualifications.

First - Get discouraged and move on
Second - Fabricate stories to make him appear qualified
Third - Continue the application, admitting in the cover letter that he lacks qualifications but he has related skills that he can nurture to meet the requirements

McKay says that the third one would be the best decision, while the second one would jeopardize the jobseeker’s career. “Making believe you’re someone you’re not” is not a good idea.

Lying in your resume could lead to a chain reaction. Supposed that you get away with a deceitful resume (with fictional work experiences) and land in a job. That does not guarantee security. There are two ways of getting caught: either you will fall short of the company’s performance standards or your employer will get wise about your real background. You will not only lose your job, you will also sacrifice your dignity. Being fired for dishonesty will tarnish your record, and that won’t sit well with your next job application. Will you lie again?

Be prudent. Never lie in your resume.

Read the full article at http://careerplanning.about.com/library/weekly/aa010501b.htm

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