Preparing Your Resumé and Nailing the Interview
The experts at CapU's Career Development Centre share advice to help you land a summer job.
Applying for a job can be daunting, especially if you worry that your resume or interviewing skills aren't up to snuff. At CapU, our Career Development Centre (CDC) gives students great support to prepare for anything career- or job- related—like whipping that resume into shape and preparing for the big interview.
The CDC's amazing advisors have very useful tips for sharpening these skills.
Ready your resumé:
1.) One resumé isn't enough! You should customize your resumé for different kinds of jobs. (The CDC can advise on this.)
2.) Remember the old adage: "Don't say you have a skill; show that you have it." You can't tell someone you are funny; tell them a good joke! In the same way, demonstrate skills through your achievements.
3.) You can have a one- or two-page resumé, but make sure the important stuff is one the first page. The reality is, some employers only look at page one. Don't leave your Nobel Prize nomination for page two.
4.) 7.4 seconds! That's the amount of time the typical employer takes to review your application, so make sure the format and good content are up front and impressive. Rememberé7.4 seconds!
Nail the interview:
1.) An interview is a two-way street. They check you out and you check them out. Don't be afraid to ask questions and get familiar with the work environment.
2.) Do your homework! Usually interviews go sideways because you're not prepared, so review the job description, research the company and if possible, find out who will be interviewing you. With this in mind, have insightful questions ready to go. You will certainly be asked, "So what do you want to ask us?"
3.) You won't be asked questions unrelated to the job, so review (again!) the key skills and qualifications. Have a story that relates to those skills. People identify with a good little story.
4.) "Tell me about yourself." It's bound to come, and even though you are the expert on you, people stumble on this. Let's face it; they know your name and where you went to school. Think of your "present, past and future" as they relate to the job.
Get right to the skills and experiences that apply to this job. Good job on being a member of that cup winner soccer team in grade 10 but it probably doesn't relate to your application unless you make it. You may not have much work experience so "tell me about yourself" could be about your engagement with life and people as a volunteer, student leader, or a team leader. How did you interact with people? How did you make a difference?
5.) ALWAYS, ALWAYS follow up after that interview with an appreciative email within 24 hours. Send a simple "Thank you for your time" and "I'm excited about the prospect of the job." This shows character.
The CDC is here for all CapU students for the duration of your studies. If you want to learn more, get in touch with them once you arrive even if you don't have a job in mind yet. You will get value immediately—and they love being helpful!
Learn more about the CapU Career Development Centre in our YouTube video below!
Check out the CapU CDC