Q: What is the general format of a resume?
A: Typically, resumes are 12 point font, typically do not use color or elaborate font or paper, error-free, center or right aligned, each section title bold, some bullets. The basic outline of a resume includes; The Objective (optional), Skill Highlight, Work History, Education/Training, & separate reference page...See the "Resumes, time to brag post" for more details!
Q: How often do I need to update my resume?
A: Update as often as needed. You should update your resume for every job (or job type) you apply for; using each job description as your outline to highlight your skills with the skills required.
Q: How many pages is a typical resume in length?
A: Typically, one to two pages.
Q: What is a cover letter? Do I need one?
A: A cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself, state why you are the best person for the job you are applying for and highlight your experience and achievements. Yes, you should use one for most positions you are applying for. Keep it simple, but specific to the position and your skills.
Q: Do I have to include all of my past work history?
A: Please see my post on finding your resume balance for a complete answer and suggestions.
Q: What are some keywords to use when writing my work history descriptions?
A: Good keywords include developed, completed, improved, created, trained, and resolved. Also, try to incorporate words from the open position's ad/post that are relevant to your experience to highlight your skills with those required.
Q: Do you have any tips for being confident during an interview?
A: This is a great question! The best advice I can give is be comfortable talking about your own resume and past experience. You accomplished goals by getting hired at those positions or earning your education and/or training so confidently highlight those skills. Do a bit of research about the company and bring up at least one key point; an accomplishment or milestone they recently reached, a mission statement that you agree with or enjoyed reading about, their future goals, etc. This way you are more at ease when talking with the interviewer and can discuss yourself and the company confidently. Some employers have said they are impressed more by a confident applicant with a bit less experience than one with nervous communication skills and lack of self-confidence. Be prepared to answer questions about your best and worst qualities/skills, employers almost always ask those questions or similar ones! Also, be prepared to discuss at least one work-related accomplishment, it can be a volunteer opportunity you organized or helped accomplish, a spreadsheet you created to be more efficient, a money-saving technique you came up, a training manual you developed, a new procedure that saved time and money for the company, a project you succeeded at with a team or alone, etc.
Q: What questions should I ask the interviewer?
A: When asked during an interview, "do you have any questions?", be prepared. If you have researched the company then you may have read about a new division or program the company is offering and can ask the interviewer to provided more details about that. You can also ask about a specific requirement listed in the job posting such as meeting coordination - ask the interviewer to explain that further; who will you coordinate for, how often, etc. Other questions you can ask include - please provide a brief summary of a typical day in that position, what professional development opportunities are offered, what is the interviewer's favorite app or program that they use most often.
Q: So, how does one recognize strengths and weaknesses?
A: Ask yourself questions, use keywords to describe each answer and write out your pitch. Remember there are certain words to include and others to avoid.
Q: Do you have any advice for starting my own business or possible extra income?
A: This is a great question, the short answer is YES. I specialize in creating Business Idea Prompts (BIPs). More information can be found here, but I plan on posting a lot more soon!
Author and devoted lover of words...
Although I offer free basic resume reviews and basic edits*, I've been asked how much I would charge for additional services....so here is a basic list of services. Contact me with questions or for a quote. Success Encourager - firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Services available at reasonable rates:
Visit my Hire Me page for additional information and tips!
*FREE resume review and basic edits for standard one-page resume and includes keyword suggestions and format adjusting. Basic questions happily answered at no charge! Additional services available; reasonable rates. I enjoy the work, helping others and I am blessed to share my knowledge and experience with others!
I have 20 years of writing and career experience.
I work full-time, but will respond to emails as soon as possible; your patience is appreciated!