Resume Blog

More than a mere showcase of your paper qualifications and achievements, nuances of your appearance and attitude, which affect the impression you give and the outcome of your job interview. Get pointers on what you should take note of when meeting your prospective employer and more..

10 Important Interview Etiquettes

Got your next interview scheduled? Whether or not you’re looking for your first job or you’re a seasoned professional, it never hurts to brush up on these basics. Follow these rules below for making all the right moves before, during, and after the interview, and you’re sure to shine!

1. Rehearse

There are several questions that you’re pretty much guaranteed to be asked during an interview: “Why do you want to work for this company?” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?”—to name a few. So be prepared with insightful answers for these classics, plus be familiar with other interview questions typically asked in your field, too. Practice looking in the mirror and answering the questions out loud. This prep work will help you clarify your thoughts and make you much more comfortable during the interview.

2. Do Your Research

At the minimum, review the company’s website and Google its key players. Find out who you’ll be interviewing with and learn something about them, such as when they were last quoted in a publication or if they’ve recently received an award. Casually reference the information during the interview and quote specifics, such as “I see the company has expanded into several new markets over the past year.” You’ll project the image of someone who is interested, does their homework, and pays attention to details.

3. Brush up on Body Language

Be aware of what you’re communicating through your posture and stance—and make sure it’s good. For example, sitting with your arms and legs crossed sends a message that you are closed-off or feel defensive. If you keep your hands in your lap the entire interview, you could signal that you lack self-confidence. And twirling your hair can make you look nervous or juvenile. Next, always stand up when someone else comes into the room. Professionally, you lose respect and credibility by staying seated—it sends a weak and powerless message. Think your movements through ahead of time so you are not distracted (or distracting) during the interview.

4. Dress the Part

An interview may be the only shot you have to impress the decision-maker in person, so make sure you’re dressed impeccably. It’s always better to overdress than underdress, but do some sleuthing and find out what the corporate dress culture is before you walk through the door. A dark suit (jacket and pants or skirt) and a crisp white shirt, manicured nails, simple make-up, and clean, professional shoes will be perfect in most cases. And definitely avoid dangling earrings, too much perfume, and multiple, clanking bracelets.

5. Shake it Like You Mean It

No “fingers-only” handshakes, ladies! The proper, professional way to shake is using the entire hand, extending your arm (first if possible) for a firm, but not overbearing grip, while rolling the index finger around the bottom of the other person’s hand. The “fold” between your index finger and thumb should touch the other person’s. If this doesn’t come naturally, practice with a friend before your interview.

6. Smile

Yes, a job interview is a high-pressure situation, but freezing up and looking nervous will lose you points in the few critical moments you have to shine. Smiling naturally (without pursing your lips tightly together) will make you appear confident, friendly, and approachable. Even if you’re not feeling it, fake it. A smile conveys that you’re someone who can get along with fellow employees, wow the boss, and impress the clients.

7. Take the Water

If your interviewer offers you a glass of water, take it, even if you’re not thirsty. This little prop can help buy you time to formulate an answer to a difficult question or just give you a moment to center yourself.

8. Know Your Faux Pas from Foie Gras

Hint: one is a mistake, and the other is a delicacy made from the fattened liver of a duck or goose! Some interviews (usually second or third) are conducted over a meal, so being familiar with proper table manners is imperative to your interview success. Here’s why: the recruiter will be watching to see how you’ll conduct yourself at a meal with clients, how you handle accidents, and how you treat the wait staff.

9. Ask Questions

Keep in mind that the job interview is a two-way street. It’s an opportunity for you to sell yourself to the company, but also to learn more about the workplace to see if the position and environment are a good fit for you. Go in with a few questions , such as details about the type of work that the position entails, the corporate culture, and the typical career path of someone who holds the position. And don’t be scared to speak up: not asking questions can signal that you’re uninformed or uninterested.

10. Send a Proper Thank You

Yes, even today, a handwritten note is mandatory. Sending a thank you letter via email is fine when the decision must be made quickly, but always follow up with written correspondence. (A voice mail message doesn’t take the place of a written note, either.) Express your thanks for the interviewer’s time and for the chance to learn more about the company. No need to go overboard and—please—do not send a gift or flowers after the interview (yes, it’s been done).

When it comes to interviewing, practice makes perfect, and knowing the rules ahead of time is a great start. So be prepared, be confident, and be yourself, and you’ll shine. Good luck on your up and coming interview!

Twesume? Really?

Twesume

About the Author:

Desmond Chow is the Marketing Director and the Founder of Style Resumes, an international resume writing and design company. You can connect with Desmond and the Style Resume team on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/styleresumes.

Twesume, yes, Twesume.

Just like it sounds, “Twesume” unifies Twitter (your favorite micro-blogging platform) and your resume (yep, the one sitting on your hard drive).

In essence, a Twesume is a short bio or resume condensed into 140 characters or less. Sometimes paired with the #twesume hashtag, the Twesume can be tweeted, messaged or emailed to potential employers.

The great thing about the Twesume is that it’s a completely flexible, living document. Did you get promoted? No problem, just tweet the addition to your resume. Relocate? Totally fine.

What’s the Big Deal?

Like it or not, social media is only getting more influential. In 2011, 89% of companies used social networks for recruiting. As we venture into 2012, you’ll find that social recruiting will become more prominent, edging out job boards as a means to connect employers and job seekers.

Twesumes help job seekers get noticed by companies who use social recruiting. With the Twesume, a job seeker can introduce himself and engage with an employer in less time (and space) than a traditional resume and cover letter could ever manage.

How Can I Write My Own Twesume?

If you’re interested in jumping on the Twesume bandwagon, all you need is a Twitter account and something to say. Once you have your Twitter account squared away (be sure to have a picture, bio and some followers/followees), write your very own Twesume. While the Twesume can be anything you like, try to include this information: what you do, an accomplishment, a goal, skills and/or a link to a detailed profile or website.

Here’s an example:

Santa Claus: World traveler and toy expert. 300+ years management experience. Looking for position in entertainment industry. #twesume

Spiderman: World-class World saver. New York Based. Over 20 years of criminal fighting. Looking for a position in criminology. #twesume

Tweet this to your followers, DM to a specific employer or use as your Twitter bio. It really is as simple as that.
Ready to write your own twesume already?

Making your own Facebook Resume

So what on earth is a facebook resume?

In essence, it is something like this.

Claudio Nader facebook resume/cv

WHY THIS IS A GREAT IDEA

Many job seekers kick off their job search with an email to everyone they know asking for leads. A common problem is that after a few weeks or months, friends and family forget that they’re still looking for a job.

Your Facebook profile resume will constantly remind every visitor about your job search without you needing to send followups. Then when a lead comes to mind, they’ll just need to click ‘Share Profile’.

Now, when sending that first job search announcement, tell people to follow your Facebook profile to see if you’re still available.

Pretty clever, right?

HOW IT WORKS

The new Facebook profile layout displays your last 5 tagged photos across the top, while showing your profile picture on the left.

  • Use your profile picture for a headshot and a brief but hard-hitting summary of your skills & achievements
  • Use the tagged photos as banners for each of your print resume’s sections
  • The caption of each banner image should contain the relevant text from that section of your resume

Here’s how to make yours.

5 EASY STEPS

  1. Create the images
  2. Upload the images
  3. Tag the images
  4. Adjust your bio
  5. Set up the texts

1. CREATE THE IMAGES

This is the most complicated step of the Facebook resume creation process, but it’s really not so bad as you’ll see.

To make things easier, I’ve created some sets of Facebook-styled banners that you can download for free and use on your Facebook resume for a slick, “official Facebook” look.

Set of facebook resume section banners

 

If you have design skills and aren’t afraid to slice & crop images for cool effect like Claudio, here are some time-saving tools to check out.

Otherwise, follow these simple steps to create a profile picture with a hard-hitting summary using the Pixlr online image editor:

  1. Click ‘Create a new image’
  2. Name it ‘Facebook Profile Picture’, ignore the Presets, set a width of 180 and a height of 540 and click ‘Ok’.
  3. Set the foreground color of the new image to be the same color as the banner set you’ve chosen. Click the big black square beneath the hand tool, and in the popup that appears, replace 000000 with the relevant color code – dark blue is 3B5998, light blue is D8DFEA and white is FFFFFF – then click ‘Ok’.
  4. Select the paintbucket tool and click anywhere in the white area of the new image to change its color.
  5. Import your portrait photo by clicking Layer > ‘Open image as layer’ from the menu bar at the top of the screen. Left-click the imported portrait and hold down the mouse button to drag the portrait into position. Put it near the top of the new image.
  6. Finally, add your text. Select the Type tool (it looks like an A) and click in your image where you’d like the text to appear. In the Text popup, choose a font size 14 or higher, change the font color to match the text of your banner set (see #3 above) and for the Font itself, choose either Lucida Grande or Tahoma. Type your summary text, watching how it appears as you type and pressing Enter whenever you need to start a new line. You can always left-click and hold to drag the text to a better position, while editing it or afterward.
  7. Once you’re done, save your image by clicking File > Save… from the menu bar and saving it to your computer. Pixlr offers the option of saving directly to Facebook but since you don’t know what they’ll do with your password, don’t risk it.

2. UPLOAD THE IMAGES

For the new profile picture, go to Edit Profile > Profile Picture (in Facebook) and browse for the profile image on your computer.

For the banner images, upload them to a new album in the order you want them to appear on your profile from right to left. Using the sets above as an example, you would first upload the Experience banner, then the Portfolio banner, and so on.

3. TAG THE IMAGES

Tag yourself in each of the banners but do it in backwards order. Using the banner sets above as an example, this means that the Experience banner would be the last one tagged.

4. ADJUST YOUR BIO (OPTIONAL)

By now you can already view your mostly-complete new profile to see how your Facebook resume looks. Instead of your Wall, the key is to check your Info page since that is what non-friends will see.

Depending on which information you’ve already entered in the past, your new resume’s top banner images may not be evenly spaced. In that case, you’ll need to modify your bio until the spacing is fixed.

5. SET UP THE TEXTS

Each of the 5 banner images now appearing at the top of your profile corresponds to a section of your resume. For each banner image, copy & paste the text from your print resume into the banner image caption and save your changes.

Now when someone clicks one of the banner photos, they’ll be able to read that section of your resume, right there on Facebook.

BONUS TIPS

Every time someone tags an image of you, it will be added to the images at the top of your Facebook profile. Make sure Facebook sends you a notification whenever someone ‘Tags you in a photo’, so you can hide that photo from blocking one of your resume section banners from appearing.

From each of your Facebook resume sections, include a message and a link for visitors to download your real, print resume.

Finally- don’t forget to choose your square avatar from your new, long profile picture, preferably the part with your face. You wouldn’t want your avatar all over Facebook with only a chunk of your eye and half of 2 words appearing. Do this in Facebook by clicking: Edit Profile > Profile Picture > Edit Thumbnail.

 

Impressed?

Now it’s time to create your own magic! If you are still hesitating as to whether or not you are on the right track, feel free to contact our professional resume designers and we will be more than willing to assist you every step of the way!

How to use Non Verbal Cues during a Job Interview

 

Non Verbal Cues are Important during a Job Interview

There are many misconceptions about the importance of nonverbal communication in job interviews. Some wrongly claim that nonverbal communication is more important than what you say. Our research (and that of other scholars) simply doesn’t bear that out. If someone says the wrong thing – a really negative or bizarre response (as we discussed yesterday), then the interview is over. Nonverbal cues alone are not likely to lose you the job, but they can be the deciding factor if your verbal responses are on target.

Second, there is a belief that with body language, there is some sort of magic recipe for success. You know, smile a lot, or nod your head a lot, and you will get the job. Nonverbal communication is both more subtle and more complex. Success is about managing your body language to present an effective nonverbal style.

So, here is what the research tells us: There are three things that you want to convey nonverbally in a job interview. It’s as easy as P.I.E. [OK, it’s not that easy, you have to practice].

Poise. Research clearly shows that people with poise – what we call “savoir-faire” – come off best in job interviews. They appear confident, comfortable, and in charge of themselves. They are able to control nervous behavior and appear attentive and “ready to take on the world.” This is why it is important to practice interviewing so that you are able to gain this sense of confidence and display that confidence and poise nonverbally.

Interest. It is most important that you nonverbally (and verbally) indicate that you are interested in the job, the company, and the interviewer. No yawning, looking bored, or looking away. Make eye contact [of course not too much eye contact – it’s not a stare-down contest], be attentive, lean forward slightly.

Expressiveness. Demonstrate high, POSITIVE energy [of course, don’t come off as manic], put some positive emotions into your answers. You should present yourself in a positive way, nonverbally, including smiling occasionally (but not too much, and don’t smile inappropriately or at the wrong time [Remember, it’s not that easy]). Definitely no scowling, displays of anger, etc. [even when you are talking about a detested boss or coworker].

Finally, remember that verbal and nonverbal communication go hand-in-hand. You need to be consistent (and on target) both with what you say and how you say it, in order to get that job.

Six Cringe-Worthy Resume Writing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

If you are a job seeker, then you understand there is no frustration quite like sending copy after copy of your resume out for every available opening — only to hear nothing more than cricket chirps instead of the phone ringing.

While there could be any number of reasons for this to occur, one real possibility to consider is that your resume needs improvement. Take the time to review your resume objectively to see if any of the following mistakes are causing you to miss out on landing your next job.

Mistake #1: Selfish Objectives

Understanding your own objective is an important aspect of your resume. Where things go wrong is when you include an “objective” statement on your resume that is less about the employer and what you can do for them and more about you and what you want.

The inclusion of a traditional objective statement on a resume has been an outdated practice for many years, and at my company, we find ourselves having to steer many clients away from this.

Think instead along the lines of a profile that conveys what you can offer the prospective employer, aligning your relevant qualifications to their needs, while illustrating how you will produce a return on investment for them. This simple change can make an immense difference, ensuring you stand out as an obvious choice to interview and ultimately hire.

Mistake #2: Being Broad And General

Keeping your resume broad and general can seem appealing. Many clients request that we create a “general” resume — as if shying away from the specifics will stop them from being pigeonholed into a particular role. This is something I never recommend.

Before we can even begin writing a resume, we help those clients narrow their focus. If you don’t lead with the very best of who you are as a professional, and a very clear message about what you have to offer, the paper you send may as well be blank.

You have less than 15 seconds to get attention. If what hiring managers see doesn’t immediately grab their attention, they will move on to the pile of other applicants.

Mistake #3: Being Generic

Generic resumes focus on position responsibilities and the “baseline” qualifications that most everyone in your profession brings to the workplace. Many times, generic resumes showcase soft skills as well. Written in this generic manner, your resume will not differentiate you from your competitors and won’t help get you the interview.

Your resume is the platform for you to show how you have contributed in the workplace, how you have benefited past employers, and how that will translate into an asset for a potential new employer. Focus on accomplishments rather than responsibilities, and provide examples that showcase your strengths.

Mistake #4: Too Much Detail

Not to be confusing, but the opposite of being too broad is including too much detail. When describing the scope of your job or giving your previous job descriptions, it’s critical that you place more focus on the accomplishments and achievements you have made rather than the tasks that were assigned to you. Prospective employers want to find an amazing employee, so give them a window into how that will be you. A description of the precise details of your work is better left for another time. Write succinctly, emphasize only those details relevant to the reader, and make every word count.

Mistake #5: This Isn’t All About You

Yes, your resume is about you and showing your best side, but it isn’t a place for an epic autobiography. If what you are writing doesn’t pertain to your current career goals or it isn’t relevant to the position you’re applying for, then it shouldn’t be included. Have you completed unrelated training or have you been awarded certifications in an area unrelated to your current career focus? Leave it out. Apply the same principle to your entire resume. Likewise, too personal of information should never be shared in your resume. Things like a photo, birth date, unrelated hobbies, family information, or other such personal details could work against you rather than in your favor. Stick to the facts that are pertinent to your objective.

Likewise, information that is too personal should never be shared in your resume. Things like a photo, birth date, unrelated hobbies, family information, or other such personal details could work against you rather than in your favor. Stick to the facts that are pertinent to your objective.

Mistake #6: Don’t Be A Cookie Cutter

Using a template for resume writing is a big no-no. It is too impersonal, which leaves you to blend in with the crowd of your competitors rather than standing out. To break out of the mold, consider a unique format and design highlighting your specific qualifications and accomplishments.

Understand that many of the best practices of resume writing from 10 or 20 years ago are no longer relevant. Review your resume and make sure you aren’t making these six mistakes. Then take a fresh look at your resume and rewrite it to illustrate why you are an ideal candidate.

So what can you do?

You can try your best to follow our guidelines to write the resume that will win you an interview at your dream company. However, we understand that without a template, it is extremely difficult to churn out a perfect resume that will guarantee you smooth passage to the interview seat.

We at styleresumes offer a unique resume writing service that will help you to achieve just that. What are you waiting for? Check out our services today or send an enquiry to admin@styleresumes.com .