The pro’s guide

Need-to-know resume and interview tips

By on February 3, 2015
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We compiled a list of professional’s tips on resumes and interviews. Check out the pointers they gave us that can be used across the board for any student in any major looking for an internship or job.

Grace Peiffer

Director of employer relations

School of business

ERRORS THAT WILL LAND YOUR Résumé  IN A TRASH…

1. Don’t use hard to read fonts or embed images in your resume. 20 seconds is what you get with an employer. Make it easy on the eye to read

2. Omit the references. Including references on the résumé indicates that you just don’t understand how the system works.

3. Don’t write in complete sentences. And don’t, include full paragraphs. Write in bullets and short, impactful sentence fragments that tell your story with a minimum of reading.

4.  Must be One page.

5. Don’t list your responsibilities. No one cares what your job’s requirements or duties were. In fact, including them sends the message that you don’t understand that your job is to provide value through accomplishments. Highlight the contributions that you brought to the employer, focus on how the company benefited from having you there.

6. Don’t include an objective. These were recommended once, long ago, but now they’re totally passé and tends to state the obvious, which is that you want to get a job.

7. Spell check. It goes without saying that your resume should be completely spell checked, free of grammatical errors.

8. Don’t list your gmail or sparklemotion e-mail address. Keep you Quinnipiac email address, which helps the employer to believe that you are actually a student.

9. Don’t include your picture. Not only can this come off totally unprofessional, but it poises the employer for legal exposure since the picture reveals details about your sex, age, and ethnicity. They don’t want any part of that kind of pain and will toss you in the trash.

10. Don’t get too personal. Include personal interests or hobbies that are relevant to the career you are looking to enter.

 

Joseph M. Catrino

Assistant Dean, Career Development

School of Communications

 

Résumé Tips :

1.   Start with a blank Microsoft Word document. DO NOT USE a résumé template. Templates tend to provide limiting formats, and you will have much more freedom to express yourself and your experiences clearly without one. In addition the licenses for templates expire, which will leave you with an un-editable résumé.

2.   When you’re listing coursework, you don’t need the course codes – no one outside of Quinnipiac knows what that means – it’s irrelevant. Also, leave off “Introduction to”, it portrays youth in coursework. For example, use “Media Writing” instead of “Introduction to Media Writing”; it’s more specific, relevant and clear!

3.   Be you! Select formatting, fonts, and font size based on what you like and how well it represents your personality.

4.   Optimize the placement of URLs at the top of your résumé –  links to your email address, LinkedIn, blog, social media, media clips or e-portfolio allows employers to get more information about you! Frankly, I’d rather see links than your mailing address.

5. You should not write in the first person or use personal pronouns on a résumé: I, me, we, us, etc.

Interview Tips:

  1. Preparation is everything!

    1. Compiling background information on the company, utilizing Google searches and reviewing and understanding the job description is a great way to start preparation.

    2. Prepare for common interview questions! Google will yield great results!

    3. Update your résumé and portfolio documents.

  2. Dress for success!!!

    1. First impressions are everything and can make or break an interview.

    2. When in doubt, dress formally and conservatively.

    3. Employers are less likely to think of you negatively for being overdressed, but dressing too casually can give the impression you lack seriousness.

  3. Keep your answers brief, but stay on topic.

    1. Ideally you’ll want to be brief, but as specific as possible with examples. Do not answer questions generally. It doesn’t help your case.

  4. Ask questions of your own. You want to interview the supervisor as much as they’re interviewing. Remember, this is a person you’ll be working with for 40+ hours a week.

  5. Always follow up the interview with a “thank you” note – email or handwritten.

 

 

Rick DelVecchio

Director of Career Development

College of Arts & Sciences

Resume:

-Great resumes are highly targeted to a specific goal. Research the industry, company, and analyze the job description itself, to get a better understanding of the skills that are most important to the employer. While you may not always have experience in the industry you are trying to break into, you have probably used the same broad skills they need in some way before. Highlight those skills, by example, wherever you can from your past experiences whether they were developed in internships, research experience, coursework, athletics or other activities.

-Wherever possible, try to quantify any accomplishments you’ve had. A great resume will tell the employer not just what you did, but also how well you did it. Saying you “Produced 10% reduction in order fulfillment time by re-organizing ordering process” will always be more compelling than “helped customers order quickly”. 

Interview:

-Prepare a concise, yet detailed, answer to the question “Tell me about yourself”. More often than not, this will be the first question in most interviews you have. Use the answer as a way to introduce yourself in a way that highlights the skills and abilities you have that are most relevant to the position, and that highlights the value you can bring to the organization.

Jill Ferrall – School of Business & Engineering:

Resume Tips:

Your resume should be the best one page marketing document possible – error free, good use of space, and easy to read.

Be sure your resume provides a clear indication of what’s in it for the employer if they hire you.  Sell yourself well and always keep it authentic.

ALWAYS have your resume reviewed by multiple people prior to distribution to make certain there aren’t any hidden errors that will disqualify you from the applicant pool.

Interview Tips:

Don’t wait for your dream job interview to find out if you are well prepared to interview – start NOW!

Know thy self, and the company, and the companies competitors! Know what makes you a unique and a great candidate for the position you are interviewing for and have a good answer to “why you want to work for company xyz.”

Always have solid and intelligent questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview and don’t be afraid to “ask for the job” if you are genuinely interested.

 

Cynthia L. Christie, NCC, LPC

Assistant Dean, Career Development

School of Health Sciences

Here are some things you can include from me:

RESUME TIPS:  Make the resume easy for a hiring manager to follow – list items in each category in reverse chronological order, meaning the most current listed first.

Formatting – stay consistent throughout – for example: list all employers in BOLD, italicize your positions, line up the date ranges on the right margin, use simple bullets throughout, etc.

Pay attention to verb tenses – details regarding previous experiences should be written in the past tense, current activities and employment in the present tense.


INTERVIEWING TIP:  Practice! Practice! Practice!  Use the new “mock interviewing” tool on QU Career Connections (go to MyQ, Quick links to access the site) – you can select questions to practice, your laptop webcam records your answers for playback, and you can delete/re-record as many times as you’d like.  The more you practice, the less nervous you will be.  Don’t just “wing it”, your confidence and preparedness will go a long way.

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About Sarah Harris

Managing Editor
Email: editor@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @sarah_harris7
Year: 2016
Major: Print journalism