Resume Tips

Most of the advertised positions state that “accuracy and attention to detail” are a required competency. Can you imagine a recruiter's impression on reading a RESUME with spelling errors in the first sentence?

Ensure that the employment dates stipulated are correct and that there are no gaps – this will raise queries with the recruiters. If there are genuine gaps of unemployment, state them as such so that it is clear and that the flow of dates is uninterrupted.

Double check your RESUME - Print it if possible and read it.

If a job specification states that certain specific skills or experience are required and you have the necessary skills or experience, ensure that this detail is reflected in your RESUME.

Ensure that all the details you have put down are true (remember, these details will be verified).

Ask yourself the following questions:

  - Does the list of duties I have included, accurately reflect what I do during the day?
  - Does what I have written make sense?
  - Have I put in too much unnecessary or irrelevant detail?

It is very useful to the recruiters to see what salary you currently receive. This will give them an immediate indication whether the job you have applied for will be appropriate for you. Also remember to be realistic when asked for your required annual package, as your RESUME will be declined if your expectations cannot be met.

Remember your contact details, it is commonly overlooked. Ensure that your contact details are correct and if they change, remember to update them on your resume.

It is good practice to ask permission to put someone down as a reference. It is not a good indication to a recruiter when a referee is contacted and the person is not willing to give a reference. Also, if your referee's contact details change, remember to update it on your resume. The referee also needs to be someone who you reported to directly.

Always make sure that the position you are applying for is relevant to you and that you actually meet all the minimum requirements. If you do not meet the minimum requirements outlined on the job specification for the position, your resume will be declined by the recruiter screening your resume.

It might be a concern to recruiters to see a candidate has applied for a variety of positions, from Administrator to Manager level. This is an indication of “job hopping” and might count against you. It is not a reason for decline in itself, but coupled with not meeting the minimum requirements, would be an indication that the candidate is not sure of their career path.

Interview Tips

Go into the interview with a positive attitude. Try to be as confident as possible.

1. Be on time.
Make sure you know where the venue is - and how long it will take you to get there. Get to the company 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the interview.

2. Research the company.
Find out all the information that you can about the company. Go onto their website. When you are in the interview you can then ask intelligent questions about the company. The interviewer will be impressed that you are interested in the company.

3. Create a good first impression.
Always smile and shake the person's hand, while maintaining eye contact. Always dress professionally, rather than going in looking casual. For both men and women, for a first interview, the best dress is always a suit. If you do not have a suit, then smart pants, and a freshly ironed smart shirt. Although you may not dress that way when you start working at the company, you are there to impress and get the position.

4. Talk about your achievements.
Before you go into the interview, think about your specific achievements in the workplace. Always relate what you say in the interview to the specific position you are going for. Do not talk about achievements in your personal life. You need to differentiate yourself in the interview, and by showing them you have initiative, and the ability to make a change, you have a greater chance of getting the position. Don't talk too much either. The best ratio of conversation within an interview is 50/50.

5. Focus in on the main key criteria of that position.
When asked questions by the interviewer, think about your particular skills. Only relate the most relevant skills to answer the question. By giving extra, irrelevant information, you will be creating an impression that you do not fully understand the question, and wasting time to find out more about the particular position at hand. If you do not understand, kindly ask the interviewer to rephrase the question.

6. Think about your weaknesses.
When going for the interview, think about the kind of duties you will be performing. If you feel that you are not too strong on a particular duty, think about how you can put a positive spin on it - such as, you are interested in going for training, are currently training, or you are interested in increasing your knowledge in that particular area. Give specific examples, and research courses before mentioning them.

7. Don't slate your previous employers.
By being negative towards your previous employers, your interviewer will wonder why you had problems, and may have concerns regarding your ability to relate to others, whether they are managers, staff and clients within the workplace.

Do not lie about your experience or details. You will only be asking for trouble later down the line.