How to Give a Great Job Interview

Interview

Congratulations on landing a job interview! Whether you’re an experienced interviewee or this is your very first time, it’s natural to feel some nerves. But the more you prepare, the more confident you’ll feel during the interview process. Here are some tips to help you give a great job interview and set yourself up for success.

Do Your Research

Before your interview, take the time to familiarize yourself with the company’s history, vision, current projects, and workplace culture. This will help you understand if you’re a good fit for the company and why you’re attracted to the position. Scour the company’s website and social media to find out as much as you can about the company. This will show your interviewer that you’re prepared and have a genuine interest in the position.

Plan Ahead

The morning of your interview is not the time to discover that you don’t know where the job site is or that your perfect outfit is at the bottom of your laundry hamper. Plan ahead to ensure that you arrive on time and dressed for success. Fully map out your journey to the interview location, including the commute time and any potential delays. If the location is unfamiliar to you, consider taking a trip there a few days before the interview to familiarize yourself with the area. Also, iron and lay out your interview outfit the night before so that everything is ready to go when you need to leave for your interview.

Practice, Practice, Practice

You may have prepared answers to common interview questions, but if it’s been a while since you’ve been through the interview process, you may feel overwhelmed and forget your answers. To avoid this, take some time to practice answering questions you expect to be asked. You can even ask a friend to conduct a mock interview with you to help you practice delivering your answers to an actual person.

Follow Up

After the interview, it’s important to follow up with a thank you note within 24 hours. This shows your genuine interest in the position and can help set you apart from the competition. Send an email to each person who was present at the interview thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in the position.

By following these tips and being prepared for your interview, you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream job and achieving financial security.

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5 Worst Resume Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Even if you feel you are doing a good job of writing your resume, it is essential to make sure there are no mistakes in your document, or you can hurt your chances of finding a job.

The most challenging part of creating a resume is usually deciding what information should be included, and what should go into each section. In some cases, you may want to list every skill you have ever used, while other sections might require more focus depending on where you are applying. 

Here are five common mistakes people make when writing their resumes and how to fix them:

Formatting Your Resume Incorrectly

Just because you have a template doesn’t mean you must follow it blindly. Remember that your resume is a living document and should be updated regularly as your skills and experience grow. So if there’s an element of your resume that you haven’t engaged within six months or more, consider removing it from your resume altogether. This way, you don’t clutter up space with something irrelevant, and employers will appreciate how clean and streamlined your resume looks.

Not Carefully Proofreading Your Resume

It is easy to get so caught up in the process of reviewing your resume that you miss simple mistakes like spelling and grammatical errors. This not only looks unprofessional, but it also gives potential employers a reason to immediately pass over you as a candidate in a sea of other applicants. In fact, some employers have systems that automatically scan resumes for typos and other formatting mistakes. If you don’t proofread your resume, it could doom your application before a human can look at it. Be sure you give your resume a thorough review (and ask someone else for another opinion) before sending it off!

Including Too Much or Too Little Information

If you’re a recent graduate, it’s common for your resume to have too little experience. On the other hand, if you’ve been working for a few years, it might be jam-packed with jobs and responsibilities that could overwhelm potential employers. Either way, try to strike a balance: Include enough information about your work history so that an employer can see how well you can perform in their workplace—but don’t get so detailed that you risk being branded as overqualified.

Failing to Tailor Your Resume to the Job You’re Applying For

When you’re writing a resume, it’s important to remember that each application should be somewhat unique. Companies want to build their teams with well-rounded employees, so make sure your resume is geared toward not just yourself but also what you can do for a company and how you can benefit them. For example, if you have experience in sales or customer service, highlight those skills on your resume—and don’t forget to include any awards or accolades you’ve received at work. This way, when a hiring manager sees your experience and accomplishments, they’ll get excited about bringing you on board!

Forgetting to Bring a Copy of Your Resume to the Interview

Employers don’t always accept your emailed resume; even if they do, they may request a hard copy on the spot during your interview, even in today’s highly digital world. If you don’t have one handy, you could lose out on an opportunity because you will appear unprepared. Furthermore, some employers will ask to see a copy of your resume as part of their application process—so make sure you bring multiple copies with you when interviewing for jobs. It’s also crucial that your resume is in tip-top shape before walking into any interview; take time beforehand to proofread it thoroughly and make sure all contact information is up-to-date.

Looking for Input on Your Resume?

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Job Hunting With A Gap In Your Resume

Searching for a new job can be stressful even in the best circumstances, but if you have an employment gap on your resume you may be worried that this will put you at a disadvantage. While resume gaps are not uncommon, people believe that there is a stigma associated with them that will make it harder for them to find a job in the future. 

However, a gap on your resume does not have to spell disaster as long as you take the right steps to highlight your experience positively. To help give you the best chance of landing your dream job, here are a few tips for job hunting with a gap in your resume. 

Take Time to Polish Your Resume

If you are searching for a new job but you have gaps in your resume, you should take some time to polish your resume and make sure that it works in your favor. If you have multiple gaps in your resume, the typical chronological resume format may not work well for you. Instead, consider adopting a hybrid resume format where you start your resume by listing a summary of your qualifications and key competencies that highlights your experience for the position you are applying for. You can then follow this will a list of your work experience. 

If you went through a period where you were job hopping, it may be to your advantage to delete certain jobs from your resume. As a general rule, it is okay to omit positions from your resume that lasted less than three months, as this will help streamline your resume. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to only include the most recent and relevant job experiences so that their resume does not become unnecessarily long. Having a polished resume that highlights your experience can help you stand out to recruiters even if you have gaps in your employment history. 

Prepare to Explain Your Resume Gaps

Of course, if it is obvious to recruiters that there are significant gaps in your resume, they may bring it up in an interview. You should be prepared to answer these questions as honestly as possible. You don’t want it to look like you are hiding anything, as this could do more damage in the long run. The fact is that employers are more understanding than ever about resume gaps, particularly since many people were laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also frame gaps in your resume in a positive light by highlighting things you did during that time such as taking care of a loved one, educating your kids, or taking training courses to further your career.   

Continue to Build Skills Between Jobs  

If you are currently between jobs, the best way to deal with your current gap in employment is to do things to fill the gap in your resume. While you can’t do anything about past gaps in your resume, you can use the time you have now to gain experience that you can highlight on your resume. For instance, volunteering, freelancing, or earning a certificate online are all things that you can do to show that you were productive between jobs and continued to take steps to further your career. Use this time to your advantage.

Try to Maintain a Positive Outlook

If you are looking for a new job but you have gaps in your resume, the most important thing that you should do is try to remain positive. The fact is that most resume gaps aren’t deal breakers for employers, and being in the right mindset can help you frame gaps in a positive light when you start interviewing for jobs. Additionally, if you are currently unemployed, you can use the time you have between jobs to gain new skills and experience that will actually help you stand out to employers.

Learn more about steps that you should take when job hunting with gaps in your resume by joining the CashFurther community. There, you can chat with like-minded people to learn about steps that you can take to improve your personal finances.

Job Hunting 101: How to Get a Better Job

job candidate being selected

Do you want to land your dream job but don’t know where to start? Job hunting can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as many think. If you know the ins and outs of writing an irresistible resume, you can land your dream job easily. Here are tips to help you land a better job role.

Network with Professionals in Other Roles

Networking is among the best ways to connect with people in different industries. You learn about unadvertised vacancies in companies you’ve never heard of through networking. Getting a job through networking takes more nerve, but it’s more effective and rewarding in the long run.

When networking, inform your contacts that you’re looking for a job, and be specific about the type of job you’re looking for. Be authentic and considerate and ask for information and insights. Meet with leaders for informal interviews whenever possible to learn what skills and experience you might need to gain while you search.

You can also network through online platforms like LinkedIn. Update your social profile and join many discussion groups in line with the industries you’re interested in. You’ll learn about new opportunities through these discussion groups. Many employers prefer staff referrals because they’ll be comfortable hiring someone who their trusted employees recommend.

Write a Great Resume

Focus on creating a convincing resume that’s short and direct. Your cover letter and CVs should be accurate and up-to-date. Familiarize yourself with the standard resume formats, and use a professional email address when applying for a job. Those who don’t have enough time to customize a resume can use resume builders. Keep your formatting simple and clean.

Go through the job description of the targeted opening and add skills and experience relevant to the role you’re applying for. It qualifies your resume for the applicant tracking system because it will have all keywords that match the job description. After completing your resume, have someone else proofread and check your grammar.

Prepare for Your Interview

An interview mainly entails convincing the employers why they should hire you. When preparing for an interview, examine the job description; know why you’re interviewing and what your qualifications are. Although you can’t know the exact question you’ll be asked by the interviewer, you can practice answering common interview questions. For example, know what to answer when asked to describe yourself, what you want, and what you do.

Research the company and prepare questions you will ask the interviewer, even for a phone screening. Also, bring copies of your resume, and remember to send a thank-you note after the interview. Remember, your first impression matters, so try to understand each employer’s dress code expectations ahead of time.

Negotiate Your Salary

Whenever a company has a job offer, they present you with compensation. Start by researching the starting pay in that field. Consult your friends in the same industry as you and know what they’re earning to evaluate your offer.

You can negotiate the amount if you feel like your education level, skill set, and experience don’t match their proposed salary. Ask if there are other forms of compensation, such as stock options or extra vacation days. Knowing how to negotiate allows you to get fair compensation for the work done.

Final Thoughts

You might not get a job immediately after you apply and go for an interview. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Remember, the more interviews you attend, the more your performance will improve.

Continue applying for positions that interest you, and you’ll eventually land a better role. After landing a well-paying job, learn how to create and implement a basic personal budget.

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