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Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish
Questions to Ask During an Interview
As a job seeker, it is likely that you have experienced several interviews, been nervous about how to present yourself, and wondered the likelihood of actually landing the position. Whether you are interviewing at a manufacturing facility, fast-food restaurant, family-owned business, or well-known company, YOU (the interviewee) have probably been asked this question, “Do you have any questions for us?”
The smart answer is “YES!” However, if you haven’t planned ahead, this question may throw you off of your game—jeopardizing the last impression you leave with the potential employer. Fear no more – check out our list below for several questions that can be asked at the end of the interview.
Question #1 – Is this a newly-created position or did someone leave? This will tell you if the company is expanding and needs to add staff members or if someone voluntarily left the organization. As a follow-up if someone did leave the position, you could also ask how long that person was in that particular job.
Question #2 – What is YOUR favorite part about working here? This is a question that you can directly ask the interviewer. If there is more than one interviewer, then you can ask each person—within reason. If you are part of a panel interview, you will want to ask each person a different question. If they can answer this question quickly and confidently, it is likely the person actually does like his or her position and you may be able to find out additional benefits of working within that organizational environment.
Question #3 – If you could design the ideal candidate for this position, what are that person’s top three strengths? This question provides you with a way to once again identify your skill-set and how you fit that position’s needs. Again, these are questions asked near the end of the interview and this is a method for leaving a positive and lasting impression on the interviewers.
Questions #4 – When do you anticipate making a hiring decision regarding this position? By asking this question, you reiterate your interest in the job and show the employer that are you serious about the opportunity.
These are just three examples of questions that can be asked during this crucial part of the interview process. Obviously, you do not want to bombard the organization with questions and you should also not ask questions that can be easily researched. For example, asking about the organizational mission statement is not a good idea if that information is clearly posted on the company website.
Do you have a question for us? Or, are you excited about your upcoming job interview and want to know the question that WE would ask that organization? Contact us today for a free consultation – we look forward to helping you!
Would you like to meet Dr. Heather? She will be one of our featured experts on September 27th at a Free You Can Get Hired workshop from 9-11:30 at the Maple Grove Community Center. If you’d like to glean from Dr. Heather and learn some great tools for getting hired in today’s current market, click the blue button to reserve your ticket today! See you there!
Methods for Modernizing Your OLD Resume
If you haven’t sought a new employment opportunity for 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years, you may be confused about where to start with a resume for today’s marketplace. Has that much changed since you last applied for a new position during 1995 or even 2005? The answer is YES! And, if you choose to not implement these key tips, you can almost be assured that your resume will never see the light of day at the hiring manager’s office.
Tip #1 – Lose the Objective. Gone are the days of stating why you want to boost your skills, share your talents, and optimize your career path. The truth is—your objective is clear. If you are sending resumes for a new job, then your objective is to get an interview. The objective serves no purpose and should be eliminated from today’s resumes. Rather than wasting this prime real estate at the top of the resume, be sure to capitalize on it.
Tip #2 – Use a Career Summary. Instead of an objective, utilize that space to provide a high-overview of your career thus far. This allows you to pinpoint those qualifications and skills that make you different than other candidates, along with discussing a bit of your employment history. This is also a great place to add key words that are used in job advertisements.
Tip #3 – Identify Key Words and USE THEM. Speaking of key words, what are they? These are the words that are repeated in a job advertisement, specifying the technical knowledge, soft skills, and abilities required to be successful in the position. Many companies utilize an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) system to filter through incoming resumes. Without these words used in your document, your resume may be out of contention before an HR professional reads it.
Tip #4 – Don’t Date Your Education. Unless you graduated from college during the last six months, there is no reason to put your graduation date on your college degree. A recent college graduate may choose to do so (and even place Education prior to Professional History) simply because he or she doesn’t have any relevant professional experience at this point. However, for the rest of us, dating your education can be a reason for age discrimination in the future. And, why open yourself to that possibility?
Tip #5 – There is No Need to Include All Jobs. The most frequent question I receive from clients is about how far back to go on the resume. Should they include that first job from 1985? The answer is no. Typically, resume writers will recommend only including the relevant past positions and that usually aligns with the last 10-15 years of employment.
Tip #6 – It’s Okay to Split Your Job Experiences. For example, if someone has been in sales and marketing for awhile, but has also had IT experiences, it is perfectly acceptable to have two sections of professional history. In fact, this works very well if someone is specifically targeting one of the areas only. If sales and marketing is the future focus, then place that section first. And, if IT is where the candidate wants to go in the future, be sure to put that information first. This allows the candidate to adjust the resume as needed for future opportunities.
Tip #7 – Remove Personal Information. Many years ago, resumes potentially contained personal information such as marital status, number of children, and hobbies. Today, that type of information could become HR’s worst nightmare. There is no place for personal information on today’s resumes. Keep it professional at all times.
The bottom line is this: if you are ready to start your job search in the current marketplace, be sure that you are complying with all of the unwritten rules of modern resumes. And, if you are unsure where to start, please contact us today!
Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish is one of our featured experts for the May 17th Free, You Can Get Hired Workshop from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Maple Grove Community Center. She is eager to meet you and would be happy to connect on how she can help you get the best resume possible. Register now to get your ticket. Click the button below.
After Losing Your Job…7 Tips for Job Searching Success
Everything has been going along just fine with your career—nothing exciting, but things are stable. But, are they really stable? Do you know what’s around the next corner in your company? And, are you established enough in your career just in case something does happen? Most companies, many industries, and the economy in general are constantly evolving. What does this mean as a worker in this twenty-first century? It means that you have to be prepared for uncertainty and a potential job change.
As a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), I have partnered with over 1,000 clients in developing forward-thinking, eye-catching, and industry-appropriate resumes and cover letters. Unfortunately, many of those clients contact me only when they have lost their jobs and need to quickly rework a 20+ year-old resume or are starting with no documentation. Along with needing a new resume, there are other things to consider if you lose your job.
#1 – Don’t be ashamed of the job loss. First, a job loss can happen to anyone. Companies, merge, businesses close, and organizational needs change. Tell people that you are actively seeking new employment opportunities. Did you know that most jobs are found via networking and existing contacts? It’s a much better way to find a job then replying to hundreds of job postings online.
#2 – Be sure your resume is up-to-date. Although it was mentioned before, it deserves repeating. If you have let others know that you are seeking a new job and they ask for your resume, it doesn’t look good to make them wait for an updated document. Be sure to include your most recent job and know that you don’t have to list why you left that particular position.
#3 – Get a new email address. Many of us are tied to our job email address, which is obviously gone if you have lost your position. And, home email addresses could be checked by multiple people in the household. Instead, open a new email account that is used specifically for job hunting. Then, you can be sure you will be the only one checking the email account. And, always use your name or a portion of your name as the email address. Don’t use your graduation year, birth year, or other information that could detail your age. Keep it professional and simple.
#4 – Join LinkedIn as your preferred social media outlet. LinkedIn is a professional resource for social media content, updates, company profiles, and job searching. If you already have Facebook, Twitter, and other profiles, then be sure there is nothing out there that could harm your job search. While it is true that everyone has a personal life, it is also true that a quick Google search of your name will generate hits on your social media profiles.
#5 – Attend networking events. Again, most people find job opportunities through contacts they know. If you can attend a local chamber of commerce expo or a local networking group, take the chance and do so. And, if those aren’t available to you, then schedule a lunch appointment with a contact you haven’t seen for awhile. The more people that know you are seeking opportunities, the more eyes and ears are out there assisting you with your job search.
#6 – Never badmouth your ex-employer. Never. Ever. Do. This. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘don’t burn your bridges?’ Well, this rings true when seeking employment. The more you badmouth your ex-employer, the more you are viewed as a critical, sad, and annoying ex-employee. Furthermore, you never know who may know the people and/or company that you are criticizing. It doesn’t matter if what you are saying is true—just don’t do it.
#7 – Take on part-time work, freelance projects, or volunteer opportunities. If you are unsure of your career direction or can’t seem to find the perfect full-time job opportunity, then grab the chance to volunteer with an organization close to your heart, find a part-time opportunity that meets your family needs, or be open to the idea of freelance work. These short-term gigs show future employers that you kept busy during your time away from the full-time workforce and still honed your skills while networking with entirely new groups of people.
Remember that you are not the first person to lose their job and you certainly won’t be the last. By keeping a positive attitude, being proactive, and establishing a network of people that are also seeking opportunities for you, you can be on your way to a new opportunity that may meet your needs even better than your previous position.
Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish will be one of our featured experts at the May 17th Free, You Can Get Hired workshop in Maple Grove from 9-11:30 a.m. If you would like to meet Heather, Click on the Blue Button Below to reserve your seat. Register for your ticket TODAY and arrive early to get the best seat!
Highlighting Your Value on Your Resume
If you are working on your resume, it is important to position yourself as if you were reading it from the employer perspective. Instead of thinking, “What can this job do for my career?” – think more about “What can I possibly bring to this employer?” It is the answers to the second question that will help you align your skill-set with the needs of the potential job opening.
First, include several job titles or skill-sets at the top of the resume (immediately after the heading). For an administrative position, the headings could be something similar to Customer Service Expert | Administrative Oversight | Office Management. If someone is in accounting, they may want to use a heading such as Accounts Payable and Receivable | Financial Management.
Next, be sure to include a career summary. This is a three to five line section at the top of your resume (immediately after the job titles and heading) that describes your career from a high overview perspective. This section should include key words from the advertisement, a list of some of your past experiences, and the diverse skill-sets that you can bring to the employer.
Then, include a section that discusses Core Competencies or Areas of Expertise. This section can be modified for each job opportunity and should include skills that are listed in the job posting. Items like Leadership, Communication, Detail-Orientation, Decision-Making, and Time Management skills can be included here. This section is critical to making it through the Applicant Tracking System or ATS. Many companies utilize this computerized scanning system to go through resumes and put them into a ‘yes’ pile or a ‘no’ pile. If you don’t have the appropriate key words listed on your document, you can say ‘goodbye’ to your chances of an interview.
Finally, under Work Experience or Professional History, ensure you can back-up your claims. Rather than stating you have marketing skills, state the dollar amount of the budget you managed. If you increased sales during your tenure with an organization, list the percentage that sales increased by each year. Quantitative information is a key to relaying the relevant information when applying for a new position.
The bottom line is to be as specific as possible with your information, ensure you read and re-read the job posting to verify you are using the right key words, and include all appropriate sections within your document. If you have any questions on what should or should not be included, feel free to contact us today!
Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish will be a featured speaker for our May 17th Free You Can Get Hired Workshop from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Maple Grove Community Center. Register today and reserve a ticket to talk to Heather about your Resume! Click the button to register now.