resume / Cv
Mosts people know to customize their cover letters, but did you know that it is a wise idea to tweak your actual resume for jobs? While it is not always practical to do so, when you find a job that you are really interested in then it may be beneficial to spend the extra time. For example, if you have an Objective section, tailor that to the job description. If you have a section for skills, reorder them to address the job description. What skills is the company most interested in? And finally, if possible, include phrases from the job description in your resume so that you talk in their lingo.
Always take the time to create a customized cover letter. The purpose of cover letters is twofold. The obvious one is to highlight your skills and introduce yourself. The other one is little thought about – getting past the human resources (HR) department. In many organizations, resumes go directly to HR, who reads them and then passes the qualified ones to the hiring manager. So, it is important that your cover letter reads well to both audiences. Using buzzwords from the job description will help you pass the HR review.
Whether you are applying to medical or graduate school or need a personal statement as part of a job application, you must present yourself clearly. These statements determine if you make it to the next stage in the process, usually the interview. The information you provide tells who you are and what is important to you and the basis for questions during the interview. Correct grammar and concise writing is critical. The personal statement carries a lot of weight, so spend the time on it to make it the best it can be. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to read this out loud several times. You will catch more mistakes this way.
As with any piece of writing that describes you or your work, you should customize it. Remember your target audience and tailor it to them. If you are speaking to an audience of college students, then write your bio with them in mind. Or, if you are presenting to a group of Human Resource representatives, talk about how your work can benefit them. Of course, you will have a generic bio highlighting your skills, but when you send it out for an event, then customize it.
Note: Due to privacy concerns, I am unable to share any of my clients' resumes, cover letters, or personal statements.
For first-time job seekers and many non-native English speakers, it is beneficial to have a coach to walk through the application process with you. While it is unethical to have someone else fill out the application, brainstorming about what the best way to answer a question can provide a different perspective that you may not have considered.
Practice. Practice. Practice. Interviews are stressful, even ones that are on the phone or videoconference. But you can remove some of the stress by practicing beforehand.
After reading the job description, I will send you a list of questions to think about. We set up a time for the interview. When I call, I will be the hiring manager, meaning no small talk or warm up. I will start by asking one or two of the prepared questions, but usually the conversation turns quickly to different questions. After the interview, we will debrief and talk about what went well and what can be improved. It can be intense, but it is the best way to prepare.