You just applied for a job and I WANT you to get it.
I truly do!
I want to help you lock that job down (or that certain someone in your life who is going through this process) but you have to read further (or share!) to understand what will get you a giant step forward to doing so.
If you apply for a position and want to be taken seriously, this article is gold and I am taking time out of the day to write this, not for my benefit, but for yours.
Alright, here we go… the all-important resume. The first date. The make-or-break moment of whether you advance to the next round. When we post a career opportunity, that’s exactly what it is… an opportunity. One that allows you to elevate, move forward, learn and more. As I mentioned that first date is as important as any.
Let’s say you have a chance to spend time with a certain someone you have been hoping to see. This is your shot. The coveted night out that you have been longing for with this special someone at a nice restaurant with hopes of this continuing on past this one-time encounter. Would you go in flip flops and a tee shirt? Would you forego time primping, prepping, working on your best “you?” If you answered “Yes!” Stop reading and unfollow me immediately… seriously.
If you answered, “Of course not!” Then there is hope for you… Continue, please.
A resume is your first date. It is the key to your advancement, and I find that for every 100 resumes I see… 80% of them have glaring, painful and AVOIDABLE issues. Here are things you can easily do to assure your CV is taken seriously:
Don’t just glance over your resume…SCOUR IT!! Check for inconsistent grammar (past and present tenses), check for inconsistent punctuation (i.e., periods at the end of some sentences/bullets but not at the end of others.). Check for spelling (the #1 thing that jumps out at me when reading.) I’m mortified for some people as I review and see “I’m detail oriented” yet they spell their employer, position and sometimes even universities incorrectly. Zero lies told.
Links. Do your links work for your email, portfolio, demo reels or whatever your position calls for? They do!? GREAT… because I have recently emailed (against my better judgement) candidates whose links did not work or were nonexistent. Again, embarrassing and highly avoidable.
Length. Been in the business for under 10 years? Keep it to a page. Max at 2 pages if you have worked for a decade plus, have incredible experience and possibly have cured cancer.
Be Selfish. Work on this resume as you would anything that means the world to you. That means taking time to assure this is your masterpiece. Do, redo, and re-redo it. It must be perfect.
An Extra Set of Eyes. Then when you think you’ve done your very BEST job… send it to the most discerning critic you know, someone who is going to criticize it and find a hole in it. You can send it to your best friend and have them hold your hand and give you a participation trophy… or you can get real feedback like the world expects of you. Your call.
OK… mission accomplished, and your resume is amazing. It reflects everything you have worked towards and the struggles you have overcome. Now you get the call up to the majors… you get a face-to-face interview!!
In person or via teleconference, there’s no difference. Let me repeat, NO DIFFERENCE.
Do not mistake a camera on your computer for a casual meeting. It is not. It is a meeting and a point that you will and should be judged on. I am sure you can Google “Best ways to Zoom for a business meeting “and it will get you better information, but here are my 5 tips.
What Are You Wearing?? I will get contested on this, but I am the one hiring so I will stand on this hill and shout it loud. I believe that when you interview, you should look the part. Dress for where you are going… not for where you are. My suggestion, for a male applicant, nothing less than a suit and button up shirt is acceptable. Again, this includes a video call. For a female applicant, professional attire can come in many forms, and I am not a fashionista at this level, but the field remains level. Look the part.
Background Check. What can I tell about you from your Zoom background? A ton! Are slovenly, is it blown out because of backlighting… are there people wandering about? All things I have seen and all things that make me think that if you can’t handle your small details, you can’t handle mine.
Swivel Chair is a No No. No explanation needed. Static chair, static camera. ‘Nuff said.
Elevate Your Camera. Looking down on someone is bad anyway you say it. Eye level camera positioning is also more flattering. Cheap ways to elevate your camera include stacking books under it, or even a yoga block… or jump on Amazon and buy a laptop stand. They make the shot gorgeous and engaging as well.
I Love Pets Too… but not when I am in the middle of assessing you as a valuable piece to my company’s future. Kennel that pup or find a room that will not have them barking at the mailman, neighbor, or pesky squirrel. If you have a cat… having them walk into the shot as you are selling yourself would be as acceptable as having them walk into an in-person meeting while you are doing the very same thing.
That’s a lot of info and I can only say that you just applied for a job, and I WANT you to get it.
I truly do, but you have to want it more.