Archive / April, 2014

Top 5 Interview Blunders

After getting your resume polished, now it’s time to hone your interview skills in order to snatch away that dream job of yours. Check out the top 5 interview mistakes and how to avoid it for your interview success!

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Dressing inappropriately

You might have an idea to wear something sensational to make yourself memorable to the interviewer. While this seems like a good idea, you might end up dressing inappropriately and shame yourself. Your interviewer might remember you negatively and may not think you’re professional enough for the job. In addition, not dressing well may seem like you don’t care about the organization or the job – certainly not the impression you want to convey.

Remember, it’s better to overdress than under dress. Suits, ties and collared shirts are all great options. If you think that’s boring, put some personality into your outfit, like a shirt with a pop of color under your blazer or a piece of statement jewelry.

Running late

Arriving late for an appointment not only suggests poor time management skills, but shows a lack of respect for the company, the position and even your interviewer. If you arrive late on your interview, the interviewer might assume that you will arrive late to work every day, messing up your chance of being accepted. Running late might also increase your nervousness and make you forget everything you have prepared the night before.

Go the extra length to make sure that you aren’t late, and arrive on time, or even early. If you hate showing up too early, you can always wait at a coffee shop across the street and start walking to the office 15-20 minutes before the appointed time.

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Checking your phone during the interview

Answering a call, texting, or even just checking your phone briefly during your interview is not only rude and disruptive, but it’s a pretty clear message to your potential employer that getting the job is not your top priority.

Before the interview, make sure you put your phone in silent mode. To resist the temptation to check your phone and to avoid having the vibration disturb your concentration, it’s best to keep your phone in your bag before the interview. Or, just turn it off! Turning off your phone for a while will not kill you.

Talking too much

There is nothing much worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on and on… The interviewer really doesn’t need to know your whole life story. Don’t be sidetracked and start talking about your personal life – your spouse, your home life or your children are not topics you should delve into. No matter how warm, welcoming or genial your interviewer may be, an interview is a professional situation – not a personal one.

Keep your answers succinct, to-the-point and focused and don’t ramble – simply answer the question.

Knowing nothing about the company

Don’t let your potential employer stump you with the question, “What do you know about this company?” It’s one of the easiest questions to ace, if only you do some research before your interview.

Before the interview, research like crazy. Find out what’s new with the company, the interviewer and your industry. In addition, tailor your answers to your findings. For instance, if the company is sponsoring a program to support animal rights, you might mention that it is the reason why you want to work for the company since you also hold that belief. It will earn you some brownie points.

 

Get interviewed for your dream job

Before worrying about the interview, first you have to think how you could get the interview! One of the best ways to get a lot of interview calls from the right company is to submit an excellent resume, tailored to the position you are applying for. Sometimes, crafting a resume might be even harder than mastering the art of interview, so why not leave it in the hands of professionals?

A creative resume could also help you during the interview. When you submit a creative resume, you have stolen the interviewer’s attention from the beginning. Then, the interviewer will be much more enthusiastic about your prospects at the company when he/she is interviewing you.

At Style Resumes, we are well-equipped with the skills to craft a perfect resume that will get you the right job. Get one step closer to your dream job by checking out our products now!

How to Get Your Resume Shortlisted

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With all of the time and energy job seekers put into crafting the perfect resume, it’s unfortunate to learn that hiring managers, human resource managers, and recruiters will decide your fate within 6 seconds of viewing your resume.

In today’s competitive job market, a single job posting can elicit hundreds of resumes. Without doing anything crazy, how can job seekers increase their resume’s chances of landing in the interview pile and not the trash? Here are four easy ways to get your resume viewed:

1. Customize your resume to each job that you’re applying for. Many job seekers put far too much focus on quantity rather than quality during their hunt for a job. This is usually made evident to potential employers by the lack of customization in a candidate’s resume.

While it takes a significantly larger amount of time and energy to tailor each resume you send out, this method has proven to be most productive. Directly matching your qualifications, skills, and previous experiences to the specifications of the job description is certain to captivate your reader. Customizing your resume will also help you to understand whether the position you’re applying for it truly a good fit…and not just a desperation application.

2. Content is king, but don’t forget the overall picture. Many job seekers get so caught up in their descriptions that they end up losing their readers by due to repetition. A clear, concise and straight-to-the-point resume won’t waste a hiring manager’s time. But a sure-fire way to direct your resume to the nearest recycling bin is readability.

Does your resume please the eyes? If you don’t want to engage a professional resume writer / designer to make your resume appealing, you should at least learn some basics to make your resume pleasing to the eyes. Your resume should embrace white space by creating a margin that is at least one inch. Blank space between various sections of your resume will make it easier on your reader and create a more organized look. Stick to bullet points and a minimum of two fonts to keep your well-written content readable.

3. Apply to jobs using a niche job board. Have you created the perfect customized resume numerous times over and still haven’t received a response? Take a step back and address which kinds of job boards you’re searching and applying for openings through. If they’re any of the big-name job boards, this could be the answer to your question. Major job boards only have a one to four percent success rate, and with applicant pools ranging into the hundreds, you might not want to test your luck. Stick to niche job boards within your industry to raise your chances of getting your resume seen by a hiring manager, including those using recruiting software.

4. Create a video resume. If you’re looking to spice up your resume and try something completely new, creating a video resume could be just the boost you need. In just 60 seconds, a job seeker can make themselves more memorable to hiring managers than a PDF resume could ever have. Video resumes allow for candidates to connect with hiring manager on a whole new level, all while depicting their personality, communication skills, and confidence.

Get Professional Help

When you are looking for job, your resume and cover letter are your most powerful weapons to score that dream job of yours. Most people think that writing resume and cover letter is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume and cover letter get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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How Volunteer Work Leverages Your Resume

You might have done several voluntary activities during school breaks or employment gaps to find something useful to do, or you simply want to help a cause that is close to your heart. Whatever your reason is, doing volunteer work is good for you! Not only it makes you feel good about yourself, it can also help you advance in your career growth.

Yes, putting your volunteer work on your resume can impress your hiring managers, but doing it wrong can turn their off too. Learn how you could leverage your volunteer work on your resume.

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What it implies

Volunteer work, if presented correctly, will show an employer that you are willing to try new experiences, be involved in your community and generally demonstrate a willingness to take initiative and make things happen. Many companies would appreciate a spirit of “giving back” which you display by doing volunteer work or community service.

Your good deed as a volunteer can definitely give you a competitive advantage. For example, an involvement in event planning for a local charity 5 years in a row not only shows that you are experienced in event planning, but you are also passionate about it; otherwise you wouldn’t have done it for free. If you were an employer looking for someone who is willing to organize a company event, would you hire yourself? Definitely!

Besides letting the employers know about the useful skills you possess, listing voluntary experience will also show that you have deeper knowledge and true passion about a particular industry; especially if it is an industry you’re aiming to work in. For example, if you are studying Physiology, stating your voluntary activity as information desk assistant at a local hospital implies that you are already familiar with hospital environment, unlike other job applicants who have no idea how working in the hospital would be like. Then, all other things being equal, you are more likely to be hired!

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How to do it right

If you are a fresh graduate with no work experience, you should emphasize your volunteer work. Instead of putting it under the section “Voluntary Activity” at the bottom of the resume, an inexperienced job seeker like you can incorporate volunteer work in the regular experience section. Treat the experience as if it were a paid job – list the organization’s name, location, your functional title, dates and accomplishments. However, be sure to indicate your volunteer status in the description or next to the title.

What’s important when presenting your volunteer work on your resume is to highlight important and favorable attributes you gained through your voluntary work period. For example, you can mention how your tasks improve your communication, leadership and planning skills, while showing that you are adaptable and self-motivated.

Often times, you might get carried away and start loading your resume with every single good deed. But a long list of unrelated experiences might hide your true accomplishments or divert employers’ attention. Worse still, you could end up embarrassed if the interviewer asks about something and you can’t speak about it in-depth. So, when you have rich voluntary experience, it’s always best to stick with up-to-date, longer and deeper involvement which gives you useful skills or knowledge about a particular industry. After all, it’s a personal choice to include your volunteer work, and your decision may vary depending on what you want to highlight about yourself and where you are applying.

Showcase your best traits

Putting various voluntary experiences in your resume is only one of the ways you can add value to it. In this competitive era, it would take a lot to succeed in the job race. Learn how you could showcase your best traits and make yourself as appealing as possible to your prospective employers!

Sometimes, other people would be better able to see your best traits and present them clearer in your resume. So why not multiply your chance by hiring a professional resume writer? Stop worrying about whether or not you will get the job and worry about what to do with your first paycheck!

Key Considerations to Better Prepare You for the Interview

Your performance in a job interview is the key to your success. It is the single most important factor that would determine whether or not you will get the job. Therefore, you have to take steps to prepare for certain things before your interview so you will have a better chance of being hired by the potential employer.

A) Before the interview, you should :

1. Know Your Audience

You have to start by examining who you would be talking to. In addition, before your interview make sure that you do your homework and research on the company so that you would be able to use the knowledge you have gathered to impress the interviewers. A good idea would be to start reading about them through the latest annual or quarterly report that the company has published for the shareholders, if it is available. You also have the option of reading about the latest updates about the company or organization online to be more aware of their current state of being.

Just to give an example, if say you are trying to get a job with an airline company. You might want to research about the company based on its current FAA record, the places it serves, the fleet it has and even any recent stories about that company. This information might prove to be helpful when you consider how a single company can run the various aspects of its businesses in so many different ways

2. Research about the Company

The problem with so many people who are applying for jobs is that they know what a job entails but they lack substantial knowledge about who they want to work for. You can avoid this problem by researching the company you are applying for. You clearly need to sound knowledge about the company or organization so that you will have a better chance of landing yourself the job that pays well.

B) During the interview, you should :

1. Be Very Specific

During the interview, you must scope your replies in a way that relate closely to the job description. You need to also be very specific when asked about certain things and should avoid answers that seem to be “less concrete” in terms of examples. If and when you are asked about your past employment, be honest but yet non-judgmental about it. Highlight the main areas that helped you grow professionally and personally. That way, your answers will most likely be interpreted as legitimate and positive.

Most interviewers would place prior experience rather high in the priority of desirable traits, because they want their employees to have good knowledge of their area of work. You will need to elaborate on your experiences by elaborating how you would handle certain situations. Whatever it is, the key point to note is that everything you say should relate in one way or another the scope of work that you are being interviewed for.

2. Focus on the Critical First Few Minutes

The first few minutes of an interview is actually the most important part of an interview. The interviewer would typically know within the first two to three minutes of an interview if you are someone who is worth hiring.

They say the “first impressions last”. Thus, by focusing on doing very well in the first part of the interview, you could sail through the rest of the interview. Indeed, the rest of the interview will be easier to facilitate when you started off correctly.

3. Flaunt Your Ability and Skills

As the saying goes, “If you have it, flaunt it.” One of the most common things that the interviewer would be looking out for is whether the prospective employee is ready for them. For example, an airline company that wants to hire pilots would expect the candidate to display the licenses and training results for pilots. The candidates would also probably even have to go through a series of simulators to see if they are capable of handling different types of planes.

Clearly, you have to be prepared to show that you are able to perform your job well. A candidate who can display the desired competencies would be more likely to get a job. So, flaunt what you have, preferably, even before being asked, so that they will be impressed with the relevant training, experience and qualification that you possess.

4. Be prepared for the Possible Questions

There are many questions that will be directed at you in the thirty to sixty minute interview. Employers often ask certain questions to have a better understanding about you – so stay calm and do not be intimidated by the questions they asked. Some examples of the questions they may ask include why you left your last job or why you want to work for a particular company or what relevant experience you have. They can also start the interview asking you to tell them “more about yourself.” This is your chance to highlight your strength and experience and be confident about it! The other questions may include:

  • What other jobs have you applied for?
  • What motivates you to do well?
  • How would you react when you have to work under pressure?
  • How much are you expecting to earn monthly?
  • Why are you looking to get this job?
  • What is your main weakness?
  • Where do see yourself a few years from now?

Do not be caught off guard when asked these questions. Be as honest as you can when you are answering these questions. If you managed to impress them with your honesty and earnestness, you will have a higher chance of being employed.

5. Come to Terms with your Employment History

The question about your past will always be asked during a job interview. As explained above, you have to be prepared to explain why you left that job. You can also take advantage of a question like this by highlighting the major achievements, your experiences and how you have grown having been in the previous job.
If the situation does not demand for it, you need not really go into details . Refrain from being too emotional or judgmental and making unflattering statements about the previous jobs or the interviewers may get a hint that things were not all well for you previously. It would also be good if you could get someone from your previous job to be your referee so your potential employer could contact them to inquire about your performance. Ensure that you get someone who can give you positive comments about your ability and skills.

6. Be Clear about their Expectations

In order to not seem to be too self-centered and blowing your chance of getting the job, you may turn the table and instead ask them about their expectation of the person that they are going to hire or you could also ask about their future plans with regards to expansion and diversifying their services. However, you should not stop there but instead, give them your opinion after that and explain how you could assist in their future plans.

This would almost certainly win them over as they would think of you as a team player who has the company’s interest in mind. You would definitely score higher than a person who is seen to be self-centered because he may be too fixated talking only about what he wants out of the job.

You should use these tips and rehearse in front of a mirror or a friend before the interview to ensure that you are well prepared on that day.

7. Resolve your Problems!

It would be a good idea to also see if there are potential solutions that you could provide the company or organization. On the day of the interview, you could offer them credible and tangible solutions that have a good chance of succeeding. Explain to them how you could come in as well to help resolve the situation. They would appreciate you more if they see that you could be a potential solution provider.
For instance, let us pretend that you were interviewing for a job at a supermarket. You might want to think of how to provide solutions to situations where when a product is not available to a customer or when a customer complained that the price of one item is listed incorrectly. You have to consider how you would resolve such an issue to the benefit of the customer. The company will have a better impression of you if you can think critically about how to resolve issues in the workplace.

8. Prepare a list of Questions to ask Them

To meaningfully engage the interviewers, you should also think about some questions that you may want to ask. In fact, most employers l would prefer it when people are a little more inquisitive. To give you some ideas, the following are some example of the questions you can ask. For instance, you can ask them about:

  • The company’s plan in the near future
  • What job the interviewer used to do in the past.
    It can be a way to bond with them if you can get them properly engaged. But you have to find the right time to ask this as some potential employer may not like it if you seem to want to know more than what they thought is necessary.
  • What questions do you have with regards to what the interview is about?
  • How the interviewer feels about the future of the company.

Caution has to be taken though when you ask them the above mentioned questions. Use the right tone and do not sound like you are interrogating them. Otherwise it may look like you are interviewing them instead!

9. Get yourself Dressed for Success

Last but definitely not the least, you need to get your fashion sense right as it could also make or break the deal. Be selective in looking for the right attire. In short, you should really “dress to impress.” Avoid anything that might be too flashy or bright as it may make you look unprofessional and out of place!

The old adage “your face is your fortune” would also be a good reminder for any candidates wanting to go for the interview. It is an unusual consideration but at times, when an employer has to choose between two candidates of similar qualification and experience, some may have the tendency to choose the better-looking applicant. Thus, pay close attention when it comes to grooming for the interview as it may just increase your chances to earn that job.

A final word of advice: Be very sure that you have fully understood the expectations required of you pertaining to the job. Do your reading way before going into the interview room. Having made the necessary preparation will not only boost your confidence but will make you an attractive candidate for the job.

Why a Resume Template Would Not Land Your Dream Job

If you have never written a resume before in your life and don’t know where to start, you might think that using a resume template is a safe choice. Is it true? Will a resume template get you your dream job?

While most applicants get the rough idea of the template of a resume and what to include in it, the trick is to market yourself in the resume by showing your creative yet professional side. A boring resume template cannot get you anywhere near that desired interview and eventually, that job that you have always wanted.

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“I think I’ve seen it before”

While using a resume template may be useful and definitely lighten the burden of having to craft an original one, here is some news flash: Employers have developed a trained eye for spotting resume templates, so they might have probably seen such templates before in many other resumes of job applicant.

Using a resume template conveys the message that the job seeker isn’t creative enough to present their information in a compelling way. It’s definitely not a good strategy in a situation where you’re trying to make yourself look d

ifferent than everybody else. When they noticed you used a template, what other signals are sent to the hiring manager? Your hiring manager would think that you, if hired, would always look for quick and dirty ways of solving problems. Would you hire someone like that?

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You deserve better

Surely you deserve the best resume and not just a run-of-the-mill template ripped off from the web? It’s worth it to spend a lot of time and energy to craft a well-written resume. But what if you really have no idea of what an impressive resume is all about, or have no time and energy to create one? Get a professional to do it for you, but make sure they provide tailor-made service instead of just using a more sophisticated version of resume template.

By getting a tailor-made resume, you are increasing your worth as an individual. You can show to your prospective employers that you are a unique individual who would not settle for less. A great, well-written resume will bring you confidence, too, which in turn gives you greater bargaining power. It will surely take a lot of resources to get a great resume but the finished product can be used throughout your career. Think of it as an investment.

Get the best, tailor-made resume that will impress any hiring managers

Now that you know why you should not use a resume template for your career advancement, start perfecting your resume now!

At Style Resumes, we provide the best resume writing services for you so you will not feel helpless in this competitive world of job hungry wolves. Equipped with years of experience and in depth knowledge, we will assist you in securing that dream job with the perfect resume that totally screams you. You will be matched to a professional resume writer who will truly understand you and your needs before crafting you own, tailor-made resume.

So why hesitate? Leave all your worries behind and let us handle this for you!