Stay Ready You Ain't Got To Get Ready #InterviewPrepTips

 

You’ve got a new resume, you’ve spent countless hours job hunting, and now you’ve landed an interview. Congratulations, take a moment to pat yourself on the back! Unfortunately, I really do mean a moment because now the real work begins. Interviews are the time for recruiters and hiring managers to see if you can defend and sell those words that are on your resume (read: they want to make sure you’re not a professional catfish). 

 
 

There are a few tips that will ensure you have a great interview and, hopefully, land the position.

           

Always come to the interview prepared. I would hope that before applying to the position you would’ve taken the time to research the company to which you are applying. If you haven’t, then get on it! This will give you a good understanding of the company, the culture, and provide a solid foundation upon which you can base your answers. Also, take the time to do a mock interview or two (even if it has to be in the mirror with yourself). 

 
 

This will allow you to practice your interviewing skills, think of potential answers to common questions, and adjust accordingly. Make sure you have specific examples of your work to back up your answers. Another key preparation tip is to develop a handful questions to ask your interviewer. I would not suggest asking about salary at this point in time. We all know money is the motive, but there are better moments to discuss this. You don’t want to count yourself out before you even begin.

 

Dress appropriately. Remember, interviews are about making a lasting impression. Attempt to get a feel for the culture. Now, I am not saying because you saw Tom walk out in a Hawaiian shirt that you should follow suit, but the culture could determine whether you go with just a shirt and tie or if you decide to break out your interview suit. Also, I hate to say this because it’s 2017 and we should be living in utopia….but we’re not. So please make sure your makeup, jewelry, and cologne/perfume are appropriate for the industry/company. You don’t want to show up in your come-hither freakum dress, it could get awkward. 

 
 

 

Be 10-15 minutes early. Any earlier and you are putting unnecessary pressure on the interviewer. Any later could leave you looking unprepared and the interviewer could take that as an indicator of your performance as an employee.

 

For the love of all things great, do not let your cell phone ring. Leave it in the car if at all possible. If you are going to leave it in your pocket then at the very least turn it off or on do not disturb/airplane mode. 

 
 

End your interview on a good note. Make sure to wrap your interview by thanking your interviewer for taking the time out to speak with you. Give them a firm handshake (not too firm, you are not the Incredible Hulk) and make eye-contact while doing so. After all, we are still making an impression and it needs to be a lasting one!

 

            While there is so much more that could be said about interview etiquette, these 5 tips are the fundamentals. Hopefully, they get you on the right track and makes your next interview more impactful. If you need more assistance preparing for an interview then check out our Interview Prep service.

 

And what do I get out of it?

 

           I’m sure you are all on pins and needles wondering what I meant by task-based vs. value-based points on your resume. I do apologize, but I had to take a small break to celebrate my 28th birthday. Now with that out of the way, let's dive into some definitions. 

 
 

            Task-based points are probably what most people are accustomed to. They are the listing of common tasks that could be inferred directly from the job title on your resume. For example, a bus driver might put, “Drove students to and from school” on their resume. This is task-based because it does little to show what value you provided your employer at the time. The point is pretty ineffective and doesn’t engage the person reading your resume. 

 
 

            On the flip side, value-based points are what HR professionals and hiring managers are seeking nowadays. This is the listing of tasks, skills, and most importantly accomplishments in a way that conveys how you may potentially benefit a future employer. I’m going to take our previous example and transform it to a more value-based point as I would for any client. “Utilized knowledge of local traffic ways to optimize route efficiency to and from school for 60 students.” POW…see what I did there? No? No, you don’t? Okay, well I guess I’ll show you. By saying, “Utilized local traffic ways…” we show the future employer, more than likely a transportation company of sorts, that you either know your way around or how to figure out you way around which is essential in this field. “…Optimize route efficiency…” tells them not only are you always looking for ways to potentially be better, but also for ways to provide efficiency gains which are crucial to any operation. Lastly, indicating the number of students shows how many passengers you can handle on any given route. 

 
 

            A convincing resume is going to have a healthy combo of both task-based and value-based points. With that being said, the industry is quickly moving away from mundane task lists on resumes and towards points that display what you have provided previous employers and may potentially provide future employers. After all, just like any relationship, the relationship with an employer is a two-way street. Companies are making an investment in you when they hire you so they want to know what they will get in return. They look to your past behavior because it is the greatest indicator of your future behavior, so take the time to sell your value. 

 
 
 

You did? Or you do? #TensesMatter

 

           Recently, I was asked, “Tristan…what are some of the top issues you encounter when reviewing resumes?” I promptly responded, “This is a great blog idea!” then I walked away.

 
 

Okay, I’m lying…I responded. That conversation was actually the inspiration behind this blog post. So now I’m sure you’re wondering what mistakes I highlighted throughout that conversation with my colleague.

            The first blunder I typically run across is spelling and grammar. Your resume is your introduction to the company at which you are seeking employment. Your spelling and grammar are the equivalents of putting your best foot forward. A spelling mistake instantly catches the recruiter's eye and gives way to the assumption that you lack attention to detail.

 
 

Now we know that’s not always the case, but you’d be surprised how much you can miss even after looking over your own resume a million times. I always suggest having a friend or professional service (hint hint: LRC) review your resume before sending it to any prospective employers.

            The next thing I’m going to touch on is a lack of tailoring.

 
 

 No, we aren’t talking about your lucky interview suit (is that even a thing?). Each resume you send out should be tailored to the position you hope to be filling. This involves reviewing the job posting for keywords and including them in your resume. It also means potentially changing the transferable skill set that you highlight throughout your resume. Think about it, a person may be qualified for a Regional Supervisor position and an Officer of Diversity and Inclusion role. While they both have leadership descriptors associated with them, the skills you would highlight are drastically different.

            Last, but certainly not least, I often see the incorrect use of past and present tenses. If you didn’t catch it, this slip-up is where this blog got its name. There’s nothing that frustrates me more than the incorrect use of tenses when describing your current or previous experience. Let’s break it down to Sesame Street version why don’t we. If you no longer hold that position, all your action verbs should be in the past tense (i.e. led instead of lead, developed instead of develop, etc.). It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing worse than you breaking the space-time continuum to relive the glory days of burger flipping from high school.

 
 

            As you can see, many of these gaffes could be avoided with a little TLC for your resume (or better yet a little LRC). There is one that I haven’t touched on and that is the amount of task-based information versus value-based information in your resume. Wonder what I mean? This topic is a beast in its own right and therefore requires a deeper dive, so stay tuned for our next blog post!

 

 

New Beginnings…

 

   We all have those dreadful stories about writing résumés, but few have stories of being on the receiving end of those résumés. Let me set the scene:

 
 

   This story starts about 4 years ago and nowhere near Sicily, more like the small city of Belleville, MI.  I had just accepted the role as Regional Site Supervisor for Thermo Fisher Scientific. One of the most pressing priorities upon assuming the role was filling an open position in Columbus, OH. My recruiter sent me 10 résumés to review so I began my review:

 
 

   Out of those 10 résumés I received, only 2 of them adequately conveyed experience, had uniform formatting, didn't contain misspellings, and were achievement-oriented letting me know the value they added to their previous companies. So I proceeded with interviewing those 2 and another candidate for good measure.

   I noticed that this was a common trend throughout my 3.5 years as a hiring manager. People took pride in their work history and experience, but most had trouble conveying that and marketing themselves on paper. After speaking with a colleague (read: friend), I came to the conclusion that there was a gap for an old school comprehensive service to assist with résumé development. This gap, along with countless request for résumé help from family and friends,  is what birthed Layfield Resume Consulting (LRC) and the website you are on today.

 
 

   LRC is a services-based company that is geared towards providing modern day resume assistance to millennials. Though our services are geared towards millennials, they are open anyone seeking a new opportunity. We currently offer a variety of services including Resume Review, Resume Builder, Cover Letter Review, and Interview Prep. For more information on our services, prices, and how to get on our schedule please visit our Services page. We do offer a 60-day satisfaction guarantee with up to 2 free revisions, so try our services worry free!

   I intend to update this blog on a semi-weekly basis with helpful hints, tips, and articles from the résumé, cover letter, and job searching realms. I plan on infusing humor, gifs, and anything else to make my posts not only informational but fun to read. If there are any topics you'd like to see in our blogs feel free to suggest it in the form on our Contact page (keep it cute).

   I want to thank you for taking the time to visit the blog and our site. If you have any inquiries please visit our Contact page or email me at tristan@layfieldresume.com. I hope you decide to take our services for a test drive and own a résumé for who you want to be. 

 
 
 

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