Entry Level Job Interview Tips

Interview Tips

Whether you are fresh out of college, high school, or just new to the workforce, there are a lot of easy things you can do to make sure your job interview is successful.  While there are vast resources providing a plethora of information, we’ve narrowed a few key items we think will benefit your job interview success.

Preparation is Key

Any interview coach, career coach, resume writer, recruiter, or hiring manager will tell you that in order to be successful, you must be prepared.  The better prepared you are, the more confidently you will be able to speak about the value you bring to the organization.  You will have a better understanding of what will be required of you and you can ask more thoughtful questions to the interviewer.

Know Yourself

One of the keys to being prepared for your job interview is to know yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses.  You also will want to be prepared to relate personal or professional experiences to your target job position.  Take a job posting and go bullet by bullet through the description and write down an experience you had that relates to each description, requirement, or qualification.

Write it Down

Don’t skimp on this.  One way to really solidify your understanding of the job and your relatable experience is to actually take the time to write down your strengths and relatable experience.  Getting your mind to work by taking pencil to paper really helps to clarify your thoughts and think out key messages you want to discuss, as well as refine your understanding of what will be required.

Develop Your Key Message

If you want to stand out among the many applicants that are vying for the same job you are, you need to really clarify your key message of value.  This means you need to understand what the hiring organization is looking for and how you are the best fit for that position.  Think of it as an elevator speech; what can you say to the employer in 15-30 seconds that will convince them to hire you?  Think of your message as a hierarchy, start at the top and deliver your bottom line message of value and how you can immediately help the organization.  Then support that statement by backing it up.  For example, “I will increase sales and drive revenue for your organization by using proven sales strategies, communicating effectively with customer and providing world-class customer service.”

Conduct a Mock Interview

Whether you work with a professional interview coach or a friend, you will benefit tremendously by engaging in a mock interview.  While a friend can be a great assistant for this exercise, a professional interview coach will be able to provide you with expert feedback about how you answered the questions and where you can improve.  Having to think through the answers you’ve prepared for, in addition to answering surprise question will be a huge benefit towards preparing for your job interview.  You can find interview questions all over the internet to help.  You may even want to watch some YouTube videos for additional help

Dress Appropriately

Make sure you understand the culture of the organization you are applying for and dress appropriately for the job interview.  If you are interviewing for an entry level banking or finance position, don’t show up in jeans and a polo shirt; slacks and a button up shirt with a tie would be more appropriate.  Dress for the culture.

Conclusion

As we first mentioned preparation is key to ensuring success at your job interview.  The more you prepare the better your chances for success.  Understanding yourself and the position you are after, coupled with practicing interview questions will go a long way.  Good luck!

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Resume Tips for New Grads

Resume Tips for New Grads

This article is intended to help new grads like yourself optimize the formatting and content of your resume in order to draw the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.  While this article covers some of the basics, there are entire books and workshops dedicated to a comprehensive approach on how to write a resume.  The following sections are in a suggested order of how your resume should flow and what type of content should be included.

Preface

Understand the jobs you are applying for.  Take the time to carefully read each post, possibly several times.  Write down striking keywords or phrases that you can relate your experience or education to so you can incorporate those into your resume.  The better you understand your target positions and what is required, before you start writing your resume, the easier it will be since you will have more of a focus.

Lose the objective

First off, it’s obvious that you want a job.  Replace the outdated objective with a powerful summary of your skills, qualifications, and relevant experience.  Let the reader know right off the handle why you are a good fit for the job.  Keep it action oriented.  Keep “I” out of it; readers also know that the resume is about you.  There is no need for you to take up precious content to remind them that. Include some power words that describe some of your personality characteristics such as Motivated or Results-Oriented.  Keep it short, sweet and to the point.

Core Competencies

Think about what innate or learned skills and abilities you have and how they relate to a job you are applying for.  What are you good at that relates to the position you are applying for?  Read back through the job postings and try to match your strengths with keywords.  List them out in their own section.

Highlight your education

Hopefully you paid attention in class and have something to show for it.  Capitalize on what you studied.  Highlight your education towards the top of the page, below your core competencies.  If you were involved with any academic related extracurricular programs, let it be known.  Unless a minimum GPA is required for a job or unless you have a stellar GPA, feel free to leave it off all together.  Instead, you may want to list out some classes or areas of study that are directly related to the type of position you are after.

Work Experience and Internships

It is really important that when you write this section of your resume that you want to convey the results of your work, not just a job description of the work you performed.  Nothing could be more boring.  Try to keep the content relevant to your target jobs.  There are different ways to format this section, we suggest writing a short paragraph to give some context to the reader and then bulleting some key experience or accomplishments.

Technical skills

Chances are that any job you are going to land will require you to use some form of technology or software.  List what software programs you know, including the ubiquitous Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).  In some cases, it may even be appropriate to list various social media.  Your technical skills can be listed out in a relatively short section.

Additional Qualifications

If you need to fill up some space, use this section to highlight some other key reasons you are a good fit for a job position.  You can include life experiences, other skills that may not have been listed in your core competencies.  Just make sure you keep it focused towards your target role

Formatting

If this is your first professional job out of college you should have a one-page resume.  It’s pretty much a given that if a hiring manager sees comic sans on a resume that it’s going in the trash. Use a grownup font such as: Times New Roman, Garamond, Cambria, or Calibri.  Also, these are standard fonts that will work on almost any device without having formatting compatibility issues.  Since you are a young professional and probably pretty light on content use a size 12 font, you can go bigger for section heading and certainly for your name in the header.  For additional formatting help you can find templates online for inspiration or use resume building software.

Best of luck!

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!