Login or Join
Search thousands of jobs, or upload your resume and let employers find you
Helpful documents
Q & A
Research Research Research
Job interviewing
Preparing for the job interview
Rule number 1: Research: Congratulations! You have been invited for the interview. Now what do you do? The first step is beginning to research the company. Once you have done this you will be ready to prep for the interview questions, learn how to improve your interviewing skills and begin to think about what you're going to wear to the interview. In order to succeed in the interview you need to do your homework on the company. There is no set of rules to how to do your research but preparing yourself as much as possible will greatly enhance your chances of getting hired. Make sure you use every available resource to help you with your preparation. By doing a basic Google on the company you can easily learn important facts about the company. Publically listed companies are easier to prepare your background research than privately listed companies as public companies are legally required to make certain information available. In the 21st century the Internet has made a lot of the pre interview research more available and easier to find. Don't forget that you can also use other sources of information like public libraries or bookstores. Many magazines and journals can provide important and up to date information on your company and also provide you with information that your competitors who are also applying for the same job won't know. A true story… A candidate of mine was applying for a job at one of the large investment banks. Out of 150 candidates the hiring manager had selected the top 10 best resumes to perform first round interviews. Every interview was 15-20 minutes long. The final question the hiring manager asked to each of the candidates was "Tell me something about the company." Nine out of ten of the candidates rattled off information they had read from the company's "about us page", but one candidate stood out. After reading about the company's strategic purchase of a new acquisition, the candidate was able to impress the hiring manager with his (somewhat different) knowledge. The hiring manager later offered this candidate the role not because he was the smartest candidate, but because he showed his dedication by going the extra step in his interview preparation. Your research for the job interview preparation should give you a better insight on: • The history of the business • How old the business is • The types of services the business offers • The hierarchy structure • How many offices/locations the business has • Number of employees • Career progression • The business culture • Competitors • Benefits Check out the Competitors websites as well - they are also a good source of information for your job preparation.
Internship Internships provide opportunities for students to gain experience in their chosen fields, determine if they have an interest in a particular career, create a network of contacts, or earn school credit. Although you may feel that graduation is still a long way off, if you can gain experience in your chosen area, you will help to reduce the challenge of interviewing post-graduation without any real work experience. Remember there are at least 3 summers as a college student. If you can make use of at least one of them it will put you in a good position when your time comes to graduate. Travelling Travel and experience the world! Broaden your mind and experience different cultures and traditions. From the beaches of Australia to the jungles of Brazil, the memories you gain while travelling are priceless and you just never know who you're going to meet along the way. Go see the world while you can - you have the rest of your life to work! Volunteering Volunteer your time for free. This could include working for free for a company related to your field of interest or sacrificing your time to help others (there's no better feeling than helping those less fortunate than ourselves). In the long-term, volunteering looks great on your resume, and it could open doors for future opportunity. Remember to network. This is by far the most important advice to give a student. Combine travelling and working Find a job or internship in a foreign country. Perhaps learn a new language. You never know the opportunities that can present themselves. Spend time with your family and friends Get some exercise, stay healthy and active! Whatever you decide, just make sure you have fun and enjoy yourself.
Time to graduate
Students and grads
Time to graduate
Don't despair! Just because there is doom and gloom in the world does not mean businesses are not hiring. It does however mean that competition for the job you are searching for is even more competitive than ever. So how do you get a step ahead of your competition? Just like Nike and Adidas are two of the most recognisable brands in the world, as a graduate you need to think of yourself as a brand that you are selling to potential employers. Consider what makes you exclusive — why should an employer give you the job? If you don't think your special enough to work for a particular organisation than why are they going to choose you out of all the people applying for the same job? Remember that your resume is one of a potential 100 / 200 if not 500 resumes sitting on the employer's desk. The hiring manager or recruitment agent have limited time in reading your resume so in order to stand out among hundreds of other applicants you have to market yourself effectively. First impressions count so make sure the right one is made about you. The most important rule for a graduate is the message you convey to a potential employer. Everything you say and do should reinforce the idea that you are indeed the perfect candidate for the position. You have the required skills to fulfil the role and the organisation which you are applying for is 100% the place where you want to work. If the role demands attention to detail, demonstrate these qualities through your punctuality and error-fee resume, and illustrate them with experiences about previous positions. Don't waste time on information that doesn't reflect your suitability for this particular position. In the technological age we live in and the world changing each and every day, employers are likely to seek and be impressed with graduates who demonstrate flexibility and adaptability, showing that they will be able to cope with these future changes. One last thing - Stay positive No one says it's easy to get a job. These days many industries are increasingly competitive, and the job-hunting period can be difficult and long. It may take a considerable length of time and multiple rejections before you find your first job. Getting a foot in the door is often the hardest part of the whole job process.
When you hear the saying "a picture tells a thousand words", this means that a picture can tell a story just as easily as a large amount of text. The same is true about your professional CV. Your CV can tell the reader a lot about the type of person you are and the type of worker you will be. During one of my earliest roles as a recruiting agent, I was asked to find a shortlist of 5 candidates to fulfill a HR position. The position was an entry level role for a very well known and respected investment bank and although the client had instructed several requirements that they wanted in the right candidate (e.g. Bachelor Degree), the most important aspect was to find a candidate that would be the "right fit" for this company. We began our search for the candidate by placing a job advert in one of the online job portals. Within 3 hours we had over 150 CVs sitting in our inbox. By the end of the day we had another 400 CVs (at that stage we decided to take the job advert of the Internet). With our client urgently calling us wanting to know how soon they would receive CVs of potential candidates, we had the task of trying to sort through the huge amount of CVs and find the top 5 candidates. How to stand out from the competition First impressions count! It is estimated that a hiring manager or recruitment agent will spend no more than 15 -30 seconds reading through your CV before either deciding to continue reading or pressing delete. Unfortunately there is not one secret that will guarantee your CV will stand out from the competition, but there are many factors that will get your CV deleted. In my experience the first thing I look for in a CV is professionalism. Spelling Mistakes and bad grammar It is an unforgiveable sin to have any spelling errors on your CV . Spelling mistakes and bad grammar send out a negative signal that that the candidate is careless, does not take pride in his or her work and lacks the professionalism that the client demands. Without even reading through more of the CV I would delete this CV. Layout and Presentation It is an undisputed fact that if a hiring manager has two CVs sitting on the table, they are instinctively going to be drawn to the CV that is professionally presented and easy to read. No matter what the CVs say, the first impression is already made. If both candidates share similar skills and experiences, just take a guess at which CV the hiring manager is going to choose. When you sit down to write your CV, remember one thing. Your CV is your representation. This 2-3 page document is all you have to prove to the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job. Present a professional picture and make sure that you stand out above your competition.
10 seconds for your resume to shine
Resume writing
Make my resume stand out
One of my favourite books is the "The E Myth Revisited" written by Michael Gerber. In the book Michael speaks about the marketing strategy. He quotes "In a television commercial, we're told; the sale is made or lost in the first three or four seconds. In a print ads, tests have shown, 75 percent of the buying decisions are made at the headline alone. In a sales presentation, data have shown us, the sale is made or lost in the first three minutes" Same is true for your resume - Reports suggest that a hiring manager will spend no more than 10 seconds reading through your resume before deciding to read on or delete. Less and less time is being spent reading a persons resume. In today's society, hiring managers are more interested in eliminating candidates before they begin their pursuit of finding the perfect candidate. When it comes to writing your resume, remember the golden rule of highlighting your achievements and putting them on the front page. No matter how good your achievements, skills, experience and knowledge if the hiring manager has not found them within 10 seconds than your resume will be deleted - and once it is deleted from the inbox it will never be read again. Your resume is a marketing document - it's your marketing tool to sell yourself. First impressions count for a lot and if your resume is being deleted than it will be impossible for you to get the job Do the small things right and your already half way there to your new job!
My recently viewed articles
You haven't viewed any articles yet
Select a category for your question
Select category
Characters left: 500
I give LinkMe permission to send my name and email address to RedStarResume. (Your details will not be used for any purposes other than to respond to your question).
Disclaimer: All responses will be sent directly from RedStarResume and LinkMe takes no responsibility for the content. Due to the high volume of questions received, RedStarResume may not be able to respond to each question individually.
This month's top rated article
How to handle the telephone interview (and reach the face-to-face interview stage)

So you've found an ad for your dream job and submitted a thorough and thoughtful application. What's next?

If your application makes it through the screening round, the process of securing the job is likely to involve a series of interviews, initially on the telephone, followed by a number of in-person, face-to-face meetings. Many people underestimate the importance of the initial telephone conversation: the recruiter's goal is to determine your suitability for the role, so if you don't make a great first impression, you're unlikely to proceed to the next round of interviews.

Most of the time, you'll receive a phone call from the advertiser (this could be a Recruitment Consultant or someone from the company's HR/Recruitment team). There's usually no warning of the call, so be prepared to shift into interview mode quickly. If you happen to miss the call, it is common courtesy to return the call promptly (which is also likely to help your application).

While the phone interview is relatively informal, this is still an interview. A few points to consider:

1. Be proactive. You could consider contacting the advertiser proactively - either from the details in the advertisement or through your own research into the company. This leaves no doubt about how keen you are about the role. Not all advertisers encourage this approach, particularly for roles which are likely to attract a large volume of applicants. Be prepared to be told to apply online and don't be overly pushy if this is the case.

2. Don't rush. You won't be judged for taking the time to consider the question and answer it properly. Stay calm, composed and think your answers through. If you've reached this stage, it means the recruiter genuinely wants to understand who you are and discover why you're suitable for the role. This means that even if you have a lot to say, the recruiter is unlikely to hang up on you and you don't need to worry that you're wasting their time.

3. Be direct in your answers. Being cagey or not giving the full answer doesn't help your cause. Remember that you are competing with other candidates and will likely to be asked the same questions as they are. Listen carefully for clues about whether your answer is on the right track. For example, if the recruiter needs more detail or is confused about your response, she may try to ask the same question in a different way.

4. Listen. As the saying goes: "You have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice more than you speak."

The conclusion of the call will usually be close when the questions end, and either a description of the role or being asked if you have any questions comes up. Simply enquiring about the next stage or a couple of questions about the role itself (team size, how this position fits into the team, etc.) will also be a good way for the interviewer to determine how keen you are and serve to leave them with a good impression. Both of which are key in hopefully securing your first stage interview.

Read full
Popular questions
Should I have an objective statement on my resume? Are there other ways to make my resume stand out from the crowd?

Replacing the Objective Statement with a Qualifications Profile on your resume

Does your current resume begin with a generic objective statement telling the reader what type of jobs you are looking for? Let me guess that it reads something similar to this:

"I am seeking the opportunity to expand my skills, knowledge and experience in a challenging professional environment. I am honest, reliable, eager to learn and open to tackling a range of tasks. I am a strong and empathetic team player and always complete tasks to a high degree of quality and to deadlines"

If this is how your resume begins, it's time to make changes. In the competitive job environment where hiring managers may receive upwards of 500 applications for a single position, an objective statement is more likely going to lead to your resume being deleted. From a hiring manager's perspective, they are not interested in a non-specific, all-purpose statement that adds no value to the resume and provides them with no reason to want to hire you. You may have the best skills and be the perfect fit for the job however, you may never get this opportunity because your resume has already been deleted.

What is a Qualifications Profile?

A great way to introduce yourself on your resume is by creating a qualifications summary or career summary. Rather than telling the reader you are seeking an opportunity to expand your skills, rather promote what skills you actually can bring to this specific role. A targeted resume including a targeted profile will encourage the reader to continue reading the resume as opposed to pressing the delete button. For example, if you are applying for an IT job that requires programming skills, list you're programming skills within your introductory profile. That way, the reader will straight away be interested to read on as they know that you have skills that are required for this position.

How long should my Qualifications Profile be?

The last thing you want to do is turn your qualifications profile into an essay! Statistically, a hiring manager will only spend between 15 to 20 seconds when initially reading your resume. If they open your resume and see a half page profile they are more likely to be turned off as they won't be bothered to read all this information. A well written profile should be no longer than 2-4 sentences. It needs to be targeted and present value.

Final thought:

When you begin to write your new resume, don't forget the number one rule. Your resume is a marketing document. The more you can showcase your skills and achievements the greater chance you will have of being selected for the interview stage.

Read full
Need a professional resume?