Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Guest Post on Resume Interview Preparation Part 2: The Psychological Effects

By Professor Kevin

So, what did you learn in your last employment?  Write down all you learned.  Maybe you had a bad boss; what did they teach not to do?  This seems like such a simple question, but it derails many of my students—they just seem to get stuck.

So, I ask a second question:  How does it feel not to have a job?

After the surprised looks disappear, I get answers like: I feel awful, scared, less of a person, miserable, I feel depressed etc...Good, the elephant in the room has just been revealed—the biggest obstacle for a job seeker crafting their resume and preparing for the interview are these debilitating feelings.  And until the job seeker puts these feelings aside they cannot hope to adequately or even accurately describe their employment skills because they can’t see them.

Write down your feelings on your resume preparation piece of paper.  How do you really feel about not being employed or underemployed?  Now, dismiss those feelings with a long walk, some exercise, talking to a friend, saying a prayer or whatever else you do to feel good about yourself. When my students move past this obstacle they are able to focus and identify those resume gems in their work experience and express them in a clear unequivocal manner.  Their interview answers change from wandering comments to definite, positive and confident statements of who they are and what they will do for their new employer.

I haven't dreamed any of this up.  This is what I've learned from thousands of resume and interview preparation workshops I have given to aerospace workers, unemployed teens, long-term unemployed, welfare recipients, homeless, students with MBA’s and even ex-prisoners fresh out of Folsom prison.
Get rid of the feelings of being unemployed and the negativity that it hangs around your neck.
Good, now let’s move on.

Your name, address, phone number and email address need to go at the top of your resume.  Most place it at the center of the page.  Remember to get a professional sounding email.  That cute, hot sounding email you created in high school—don’t use it.

How you stylize your heading is your call, just don’t run it down the side; put it on the top.The first statement on your resume needs to be a statement of your goal.  This has been termed as: objective, goals, employment goal or employment objective.  This one to two sentence statement is critical for your resume and needs special attention because it is usually the first comment your reviewer will see and read.

The trick to this statement is to craft your goals so that they fit into the goals of the company you are applying to.  Where does this company envision itself in the twenty years?  What are the interests of this company?  What are the values and corporate culture of this company?  You can find all of this on their web page.  What goals and aspirations do you personally share with this company?  What the company emphasizes on their web page as their future is what you highlight as your goals for employment.

Our next installment will focus on your work statement and explaining your skills.  And here is a question for you:  What is the most important skill you should put on your resume?  Hint:  Most resumes, I’d say 90%, fail to do this.

All questions and comments are welcome!

2 comments: said...

This is a great tip to start with first clearing the air about not having a job. Ans yes, your golsa have to be aligned to those of the employer for you to be an irresistible job applicant.

Carla Max said...

Excellent Post! I just noticed this change a few minutes ago and made a short post about it. I will include your post in it, Thanks for the suggestions.
funny interview questions.