Whether you are beginner or new to the job market or an experienced professional looking for a job change, we can help you identify the career that is right for you, based on your interests, skills, experience and abilities. Our Career Counseling Services begin by aligning and optimizing current requirement and the best practices in the industry while helping you to become clearer about what you want to do and how to go about getting it.
We recognize that job seekers in the current market scenarios faces various challenges and needs personalized counseling and coaching to match and relate their individual strengths, aptitudes, skills, values and preferences to specific job options. So whether you are just starting out, recently laid off, looking for a change or a new or an experienced worker, we can help you.
We administer and interpret reliable skill, interest and personality type tests to help identify your interests, abilities and values and how they relate to potential careers. Our Career Counseling Program includes:
Testing/Assessment & Feedback: Apply validated instruments, interpret results and provide feedback reports that supplement personal development.
Resume Writing & Presentation: To critique, develop and help write personal marketing materials, which may include a career portfolio, resume, personal essay or CV.
Interview Skills Assistance: Prepare and practice communication skills and make a stronger connection with job interviewers by phone, web video, or in person.
Job Search Strategy: Design a strategy to organize a job search, target companies and identifying open position and create and communicate your best value online via social media and in print.
Training: Assess, Design and Deliver professional development training based on industry needs, general career direction, and career change scenario.
Having a solid and effective resume can greatly improve your chances of landing that dream job. That is beyond discussion. How does one make sure that his resume is top notch and bullet proof, however? There are several websites with tips around the web, but most bring just a handful of them. We wanted to put them all together in a single place.
1. Know the purpose of your resume
Some people write a resume as if the purpose of the document was to land a job. As a result they end up with a really long and boring piece that makes them look like desperate job hunters. The objective of your resume is to land an interview, and the interview will land you the job (hopefully!).
2. Back up your qualities and strengths
Instead of creating a long (and boring) list with all your qualities (e.g., disciplined, creative, problem solver) tries to connect them with real life and work experiences. In other words, you need to back these qualities and strengths up; else it will appear that you are just trying to inflate things.
3. Make sure to use the right keywords
Most companies (even smaller ones) are already using digital databases to search for candidates. This means that the HR department will run search queries based on specific keywords. Guess what, if your resume doesn’t have the keywords related to the job you are applying for, you will be out even before the game starts.
These keywords will usually be nouns. Check the job description and related job ads for a clue on what the employer might be looking for. You can read more about resume keywords on the article Tapping the Power of Keywords to Enhance Your Resume’s Effectiveness.
4. Use effective titles
Like it or not, employers will usually make a judgment about your resume in 5 seconds. Under this time frame the most important aspect will be the titles that you listed on the resume, so make sure they grab the attention. Try to be as descriptive as possible, giving the employer a good idea about the nature of your past work experiences. For example:
Bad title: Accounting
Good title: Management of A/R and A/P and Recordkeeping
5. Proofread it twice
It would be difficult to emphasize the importance of proofreading your resume. One small typo and your chances of getting hired could slip. Proofreading it once is not enough, so do it twice, three times or as many as necessary. If you don’t know how to proofread effectively, here are 8 tips that you can use.
6. Use bullet points
No employer will have the time (or patience) to read long paragraphs of text. Make sure, therefore, to use bullet points and short sentences to describe your experiences, educational background and professional objectives.
7. Where are you going?
Including professional goals can help you by giving employers an idea of where you are going, and how you want to arrive there. You don’t need to have a special section devoted to your professional objectives, but overall the resume must communicate it. The question of whether or not to highlight your career objectives on the resume is a polemic one among HR managers, so go with your feeling. If you decide to list them, make sure they are not generic.
8. Put the most important information first
This point is valid both to the overall order of your resume, as well as to the individual sections. Most of the times your previous work experience will be the most important part of the resume, so put it at the top. When describing your experiences or skills, list the most important ones first.
9. Attention to the typography
First of all make sure that your fonts are big enough. The smaller you should go is 11 points, but 12 is probably safer. Do not use capital letters all over the place, remember that your goal is to communicate a message as fast and as clearly as possible. Arial and Times are good choices.
10. Do not include “no kidding” information
There are many people that like to include statements like “Available for interview” or “References available upon request.” If you are sending a resume to a company, it should be a given that you are available for an interview and that you will provide references if requested. Just avoid items that will make the employer think “no kidding!”
11. Explain the benefits of your skills
Merely stating that you can do something will not catch the attention of the employer. If you manage to explain how it will benefit his company, and to connect it to tangible results, then you will greatly improve your chances.
12. Avoid negativity
Do not include information that might sound negative in the eyes of the employer. This is valid both to your resume and to interviews. You don’t need to include, for instance, things that you hated about your last company.
13. Achievements instead of responsibilities
Resumes that include a long list of “responsibilities included…” are plain boring, and not efficient in selling yourself. Instead of listing responsibilities, therefore, describe your professional achievements.
14. No pictures
Sure, we know that you are good looking, but unless you are applying for a job where the physical traits are very important (e.g., modeling, acting and so on), and unless the employer specifically requested it, you should avoid attaching your picture to the resume.
15. Use numbers
This tip is a complement to the 13th one. If you are going to describe your past professional achievements, it would be a good idea to make them as solid as possible. Numbers are your friends here. Don’t merely mentions that you increased the annual revenues of your division, say that you increased them by $100,000, by 78%, and so on.
16. One resume for each employer
One of the most common mistakes that people make is to create a standard resume and send it to all the job openings that they can find. Sure it will save you time, but it will also greatly decrease the chances of landing an interview (so in reality it could even represent a waste of time). Tailor your resume for each employer. The same point applies to your cover letters.
17. Identify the problems of the employer
A good starting point to tailor your resume for a specific employer is to identify what possible problems he might have at hand. Try to understand the market of the company you are applying for a job, and identify what kind of difficulties they might be going through. After that illustrate on your resume how you and your skills would help to solve those problems.
18. Avoid age discrimination
It is illegal to discriminate people because of their age, but some employers do these considerations nonetheless. Why risk the trouble? Unless specifically requested, do not include your age on your resume.
These top interview tips will help you cover everything you need to know to successfully ace a job interview. From checking out the company to sending an interview thank you note, these job interview tips cover all the basics needed for interviewing success.
No two situations are ever exactly the same, but as a general guide, these are the types of questions that could come up in a typical interview.
1. Why don’t you tell me about yourself?
This question, often the interview opener, has a crucial objective: to see how you handle yourself in unstructured situations. The recruiter wants to see how articulate you are, how conﬁdent you are, and generally what type of impression you would make on the people with whom you come into contact on the job. The recruiter also wants to learn about the trajectory of your career and to get a sense of what you think is important and what has caused you to perform well.
Most candidate's ﬁnd this question a difﬁcult one to answer. However, the upside is that this question offers an opportunity to describe yourself positively and focus the interview on your strengths. Be prepared to deal with it.
There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?” You need to develop a good answer to this question, practice it, and be able to deliver it with poise and conﬁdence.
The right response is two fold: focus on what interests the interviewer, and highlight your most important accomplishments.
Focus on what interests the interviewer
Do not dwell on your personal history--that is not why you are there. Start with your most recent employment and explain why you are well qualiﬁed for the position. The key to all successful interviewing is to match your qualiﬁcations to what the interviewer is looking for. You want to be selling what the buyer is buying.
Highlight Important Accomplishments
Have a story ready that illustrates your best professional qualities. For example, if you tell an interviewer that people describe you as creative, provide a brief story that shows how you have been creative in achieving your goals.
Stories are powerful and are what people remember most.
A good interviewee will memorize a 60-second commercial that clearly demonstrates why he or she is the best person for the job.
2. How long have you been with your current (or former) employer?
This is a hot-button question if your résumé reﬂects considerable job-hopping. Excellent performers tend to stay in their jobs at least three to ﬁve years. They implement course corrections, bring in new resources, and, in general, learn how to survive--that’s why they are valued by prospective employers.
If your résumé reﬂects jobs with companies that were acquired, moved, closed, or downsized, it is still viewed as a job-hopper’s history. Volunteer and go to events where hiring authorities may be found. Ratchet up your networking to include anything that exposes you to hiring authorities who can get past your tenure issue because now they know you. Your networking efforts have never been so important.
3. What is your greatest weakness?
An impressive and conﬁdent response shows that the candidate has prepared for the question, has done serious self-reﬂection, and can admit responsibility and accept constructive criticism. Sincerely give an honest answer (but not a long one), be conﬁdent in the fact that this weakness does not make you any less of a great candidate, and show that you are working on this weakness and tell the recruiter how.
4. Tell me about a situation where you did not get along with a superior
The wrong answer to this hot-button question is, “I’ve been very fortunate and have never worked for someone I didn’t get along with.”
Everyone has had situations where he or she disagreed with a boss, and saying that you haven’t forces the recruiter to question your integrity. Also, it can send out a signal that the candidate is not seasoned enough or hasn’t been in situations that require him or her to develop a tough skin or deal with confrontation.
It’s natural for people to have differing opinions. When this has occurred in the past, you could explain that you presented your reasons and openly listened to other opinions as well.
5. Describe a situation where you were part of a failed project
If you can’t discuss a failure or mistake, the recruiter might conclude that you don’t possess the depth of experience necessary to do the job. The recruiter is not looking for perfection. He or she is trying better to understand your level of responsibility, your decision-making process, and your ability to recover from a mistake, as well as what you learned from the experience and if you can take responsibility for your mistakes.
Respond that you’d like to think that you have learned something valuable from every mistake you have made. Then have a brief story ready with a speciﬁc illustration.
It should conclude on a positive note, with a concrete statement about what you learned and how it beneﬁted the company.
6. What are your strengths?
Describe two or three skills you have that are relevant to the job. Avoid clichés or generalities; offer speciﬁc evidence. Describe new ways these skills could be put to use in the position you are being considered for.
7. How do you explain your job success?
Be candid without sounding arrogant. Mention observations other people have made about your work strengths or talents.
8. What do you do when you are not working?
The more senior the position, the more important it is to know about the candidate’s qualities that will impact his or her leadership style: is the person well-adjusted and happy, or is he or she a company zealot?
Discuss hobbies or pursuits that interest you, such as sports, clubs, cultural activities, and favorite things to read.
Avoid dwelling on any political or religious activities that may create conﬂict with those of the interviewer.
9. Why did you leave your last position?
At high levels, issues that relate to personality and temperament become more important than they might otherwise. The recruiter wants to know if you will ﬁt in with the client company. The recruiter may also be ﬁshing for signs of conﬂict that indicate a potential personality problem.
Be honest and straightforward, but do not dwell on any conﬂict that may have occurred. Highlight positive developments that resulted from your departure, whether it was that you accepted a more challenging position or learned an important lesson that helped you to be happier in your next job.