Basic Rules for a Well-Written Resume
Constructing the Resume
- The top of your resume should include your full name and the city and state in which you live. Place this information on the main sheet of your resume, avoiding the header feature for your name.
- Header and Footer features to be used for page numbers only.
- Use a font that is easy to read. Arial 10 is best. (Avoid Times New Roman and Courier New)
- Remove any boxes and lines to facilitate easy changes in the event, with your permission, your recruiter may need to make changes.
- Spell check should always be used before emailing your resume.
- Resume should be sent as a Word document rather than a PDF.
Writing the Resume
- Do not talk about yourself in the first person or third person. Take out the I’s.
- To describe your experience, always use action words. Begin your sentences with a verb, such as Designed, Developed, Wrote, Coded, Analyzed, Reconfigured, Maintained, Provided,Led etc.
- If software experience is required, always include the software you used in the description for each job.
- Dates should be in number form rather than words to make your resume appear less cluttered. i.e. 8/05-12/08 rather than August 05 – December 08.
- Always include the month that you started or ended a job.
- Only bold the job title and company name.
- Use the term Information Technology instead of Data Processing.
- Each job should have a description of your responsibilities rather than a long explanation of the company or project. Please include applications.
- If you have had the same responsibilities in one or more companies, describe your experience differently rather than cutting and pasting the same words for each job.
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Tips for Phone Interviews
Keep in mind that when you create an excellent first impression on the phone, your chances of being invited for an in-person interview increase significantly. Here are some suggestions:
- Prepare your answers to the obvious questions such as:
- Why are you leaving your present position? (Have a positive reason for this move).
- What are your strong/weak points?
- What were your biggest accomplishments in your last position?
- What contributions can you make to our company?
The best way of answering this last question is to do research on the company you will be interviewing with. Check out the company’s web site, do your homework, find out what they are doing and be prepared to point out how you can help them achieve their goals.
- Be ready to provide specific examples of projects and accomplishments which showcase your skills.
- Always know with whom you will be speaking, as well as that person’s title and functional responsibility. Your associate is responsible for letting you know exactly who will be calling. There are times when your associate may not know exactly who will be calling. This happens more in larger companies when one member of a larger team is assigned to call you to assess your technical skills. In this case, during the interview, ask the interviewer’s name and title and ask how he or she fits into the organization.
- Prepare yourself for the phone call. Take ten to fifteen minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin to focus on the upcoming conversation. Think about the skills you want to emphasize and the questions you want to ask.
- Always make sure that you are in a place that is quiet without distractions and one where you can speak freely. If the interviewer calls at a bad time, it’s better to reschedule for five or ten minutes later (when you can find a better place to talk) than trying to get through it.
Have a copy of your resume in front of you. Many times the interviewer will ask you questions in reference to work history or projects detailed on your resume.
- If your phone interview doesn’t occur at the scheduled time, please be patient. Often times, people are unable to keep an appointed telephone call because a business meeting went longer than expected.
- Be enthusiastic and assertive. Remember that you don’t have the benefits of eye contact and expression to show your excitement and interest.
Don’t speak too fast, or have music or other noise in the background, or chew, smoke, or speak too closely to the receiver. Speak slowly and clearly and always think about your answers before responding. If sitting, sit upright, just as you would in an actual interview. Many people think that if you stand while talking on the phone you are more alert and are better able to project your enthusiasm for the position. Be careful not to go monotone—keep your voice lively.
- Make sure your answers are clear and concise. Get to the point; don’t ramble. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t fake it—just say so.
- Have questions prepared. Do not ask questions that appear to be selfishly motivated. This is the most common mistake people make on phone interviews – you should not even bring up the subjects of money or benefits. Your only goal at this point should be selling the company on your skills and experience – talking about money prematurely can only have negative effects.
- Express interest in the position. At the conclusion of the interview, ask the interviewer what the next step will be. As a parting comment let the potential employer know that you are very interested in the position and why. The enthusiasm you display could be the deciding factor between you and another candidate.