Week 26: Better Jobs - Resumes & Interviews Matter
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50 weeks of Action Archive


Week 26: Better Jobs - Resumes & Interviews Matter

Week Twenty-six
Better Jobs 
Resumes & Interviews Matte

At some point in their lives, most people will be in the position of seeking employment.  Whether a high school or college graduate looking for part-time employment or internship, or an experienced worker embarking on a new career, candidates will likely have resume questions including: What should I have in my resume? How should I format it? What skills should I list? Does the objective really matter? Should I include a cover letter? What length should my resume be? 
Building a resume can be stressful and the content choices can make a difference. The qualifications and accomplishments listed on a resume can have a great impact on the recruiters' hiring decisions. How well a person presents themselves in the interview is a huge factor. The chart below from Miami University research shows how commonly used resume items rank in importance. (1)

From  this chart, we see that employers analyze work experience and leadership roles as key factors when searching for future employees over  GPA, awards or community service.  Highlighting key positions, leadership roles and work experience pertinent to the job  is extremely important. 

After the resume is reviewed and an interview is scheduled, being familiar with the company and the position's responsibilities are vital to a successful interview. However, appearance matters, too. You will be critiqued, in part, based on your attire at the interview. Check out the chart below from the blog Champion Personnel with a visual on what to what to wear to a job interview. (2) 

There are many people who fail to get a job simply because they weren't appropriately dressed. This may be due to applicants not knowing what to wear or not owning professional clothing. 

To remedy the lack of resume-building skills and awareness of appropriate interview dress, there are a variety of user friendly tools and skills you can develop. Learn more tips on resume building, interview prep and organizations that can provide professional clothes noted in our action items below. 

(1)   "High GPA leads to interview; Good interview leads to job" Miami University News & Communication, July  2015. 
(2) "What Not to Wear to A Job Interview" Champion Personnel Blog

Get The Job! 
  1. Checkout this article on Forbes.com on 20 Basic Resume Rules That'll Put You Ahead of the Competition and checkout TheResumeBuilder.com for a more hands-on approach. 
  2. Read this article from theBalance.com for 7 Interview Tips That Will Help You Get The Job. 
  3. Find a resume building workshop in your community and attend. 
  4. Find an organization who aids in helping people get professional wear or uniforms at DressForSuccess.org.

Getting College and Career Ready: Understanding Resumes and Interviews 
A resume is a short list that describes your education, job experience and skills. It is usually sent with job applications. It tells the person who is hiring for a job, about the applicant.
Your resume should list your accomplishments truthfully . Even if you have not had a job yet, you can still create a resume that shows how special and talented you are! Being an honor roll student or winning awards are also great additions to a resumeSo, volunteer your time to help others, play sports, and join clubs at school or run for student council. There are many great resources to help you build your resume. To create your resume, use some of the helpful links below.
For All Ages

Build your resume using My First Resume-Template or Career Kids: My First Resume . It is easy to write your resume from scratch in just a few short steps using either of these sites.  

Your resume should include:
  • Your name and contact information (your email address, which should be simple and appropriate for applications, and phone number)
  • Your education (where you go or have gone to school)
  • Volunteer experiences (if you don't have any, go out and volunteer!)
  • Clubs or organizations you participate in or help lead (Strings, Chess Club, Environmental Club)
  • Awards or honors you have earned (honor roll, principal's list)
  • Your interests, skills, and hobbies (what you enjoy doing and what makes you really special)
  • References (people who can speak about you and your strengths) List their name, contact information, and job title or how they know you. (Be sure to ask people if they are willing to be a reference for you, before listing them on your resume.)
For Middle and High School Students
  1. Check out the video from eye4success.org 6 Things Every High School Student Should Have on Their Resume. This video will help you to prepare a resume that will serve you well for college or job applications. Start preparing now and it will pay off later!
  2. Prepare yourself for college or job interviews. Interviews are conversations where people ask questions to determine if the person being interviewed is a good fit for a school or job. Watch the video Succeeding at the College Admissions Interview. Although this is specific to college interviews, the same techniques would apply to job interviews, too.
Before going to an interview, study the school or workplace. Consider your answers to the following questions:
  • Why are you particularly interested in this school (or job)?
  • What are you most interested in studying? Or what are your career goals?
  • What are your special skills? What are your strengths?
  • What makes you an ideal candidate for that specific school (or job)?
Show self-confidence and try not to be nervous in interviews. If you are prepared to present yourself strongly, the interviewers will find out what an amazing person you are and why you are the best match for their school or workplace. 

Share Your Story! 
What resources in your city that can help with job readiness, resume building and professional dress coaching or donating? How were you successfully assisted with any of these?  Help someone out. Share your story?