My clients often ask me how they can become better interviewers and wish they sounded more confidant when they answered the questions asked them. They often think that if they were better at “interviewing techniques” like how to sit up properly, how to have effective eye contact or which color of clothing will help them appear to be the most viable candidate.
This is of course a silly approach to effective interviewing. That is not to say that the “interviewing techniques” are not valuable and worth noting. They certainly are, but they are not what is most important. What is most important to effective interviewing is having a deep connection and very clear understanding to their resume.
In order to write an effective resume you have to begin with some sort of reflective exercise that challenges you to think about, reflect upon and write down all of the various aspects of all your significant past jobs; even though all of the past job may not be listed on the final version. This reflective process reconnects us to all that we have done professionally and assists us in clearly understanding the various directions our career has taken. When this is done, we are able to communicate about our career objectives based not only on which direction we want our career to go, but also from where these directive decisions came from. The best way to show a prospective employer that you are a viable candidate for a job is to establish a clear sense of how you benefited your previous employers and how that experience will carry over into the new job.
It is just as valuable to express why you chose a career path and where you hope that career will go as it is to state what you did at your past jobs. In fact, having a deep connection or in other words, a passionate zeal about your career intentions is the most important element of the interviewing process. When this occurs, a natural confidence and motivation is expressed by the interviewee that always is appealing to the interviewer. It is impossible to teach someone how to be motivated or confident because these are conditions of the “inner-workings” of our total self. What I can teach someone is how to cause these byproducts to occur frequently. We can cause these outcomes by determining to never give up on a career path, to acknowledge the authenticity of our career needs and by establishing a vision of what our career will be long-term.
Key Concepts for Powerful, Effective Resumes.
1. Your resume is YOUR marketing tool, not a personnel document.
2. It is about YOU the job hunter, not just about the jobs you’ve held.
3. It focuses on your future, not your past.
4. It emphasizes your accomplishments, not your past job duties or job descriptions.
5. It documents skills you enjoy using, not skills you used just because you had to.
10 Steps in Creating a Valuable Resume
1. Choose a target job (also called a “job objective”). An actual job title & company name works best.
2. Find out what skills, knowledge, and experience are needed to do that target job.
3. Make a list of your 2, 3, or 4 strongest skills or abilities or knowledge that make you a good candidate for the target job.
4. For each key skill, think of several accomplishments from your past work history that illustrate that skill.
5. Describe each accomplishment in a simple, powerful, action statement that emphasizes the results that benefited your employer.
6. Make a list of the primary jobs you’ve held, in chronological order. Include any unpaid work that fills a gap or that shows you have the skills for the job.
7. Make a list of your training and education that’s related to the new job you want.
8. Choose a resume format that fits your situation–either chronological or functional. Functional works best if you’re changing fields; chronological works well if you’re moving up in the same field.]
9. Arrange your action statements according to the format you choose.
10. Summarize your key points at the top of your resume.