You are ready to find your dream job. You know how wonderful you are, now you have to communicate that to employers. There are two main tools that are used when marketing yourself to employers, and convincing them that you are the right person for the job.
- Resume and Cover Letter
When job searching, you want to communicate to an employer that you have exactly what they are looking for. A resume and cover letter gives an employer an accurate view of your skills and qualifications. The GCDS’s Career Specialist can help you create a resume and cover letter that will help you stand out from the crowd, effectively marketing your skills and qualifications. If you would like your resume reviewed, please email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org (“Resume Review” in subject line).
Attachment: Resume and Cover Letter Guide and CV Guide (PDF-408kb)
You've found the perfect job. You've sent in a truly outstanding resumé and cover letter (if you do say so yourself) and now the employer wants to meet you. YOU HAVE AN INTERVIEW! You know you are the best candidate for the position...now you just have to convince the employer.
The GCDS’s Career Specialist can help you prepare for an interview, by providing you with tips and techniques that will help you recognize and communicate your potential.
Want real practice? Schedule a mock interview with the Career Specialist.
- It will reduce interview anxiety by familiarizing you with the situation.
- It will boost your confidence about the things you are doing well.
- It will allow you to preview any interviewing weaknesses you have.
- It gives you the opportunity to receive constructive feedback from an interviewing professional.
A. What is an interview?
It is an exciting opportunity to take a positive step on your career path. Previous experience or education is not enough to convince an employer that you are the right person. The outcome of a job interview is entirely dependent on how well you sell yourself.
B. Objective of an interview.
- The employer wants to know if you're a good fit for his/her company. The interviewer is interested in three things:
- Can you do the job?
- Will you do the job?
- Will you fit in?
- You want to sell yourself as the ideal candidate and you want to know if the company is suitable for you and your career goals.
- An interview is your opportunity to tie your skills and experience directly and enthusiastically.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- How are you suitable for this job?
- An interview is also your opportunity to assess the company:
- Is this the kind of place where you want to work?
- Can you contribute?
- Will you acquire new skills?
- Is there a possibility to advance?
- Will this position open doors for you?
C. Interview Tips
- Gather information about the job and company
- Reflect on what you have to offer and how you are a match for this position
- Know why you want to work for that company- being able to communicate this is BROWNIE POINTS in an interview!
- Prepare some answers to common interview questions
- Prepare some questions (2-4) to ask the interviewer
- Print copies of your résumé, including your references
- Have a small folder that you can take with you, for paper, pen and copies of your resumes
- Make an appointment for a mock interview with the GCDS’s Career Specialist
- Find out the name of the person(s) who will be conducting the interview
- Clear your schedule the day of the interview to allows yourself plenty of time
- Clarify exact location of the interview and know how long it will take to get there
- Avoid “clothing mishaps” the day of the interview, try on and set up your outfit the day before
- The night before, make it an early night, rest up
Remember, your interview really begins as soon as you arrive at the place of the interview, or even before. Who knows, the person you are sitting beside on the bus on the way to the interview might work for the company! Maintaining a professional attitude even as you leave your house will not only help prevent any potentially embarrassing moments before you get to the interview, it will also keep you in a good frame of mind.
- The opinions of other employees often influence an interviewer's judgment. Sooooo…be friendly, polite and courteous from the moment you walk in the door until the moment you leave.
- Know who you are going to see. Introduce yourself and ask for them by name.
- Greet the interviewer. Sounds simple, but many people forget this basic courtesy.
- Shake hands firmly and warmly
- Smile. A sincere smile can do a lot to put both of you at ease
- Stand until the interviewer asks you to sit down
- Be prepared to make small talk to put both of you at ease
- Make eye contact when speaking
- Speak in a firm, clear, confident voice
- Maintain a positive attitude throughout the interview
- Be prepared to tell the interviewer more about your:
- education, training, and skills
- desirable personality traits
- work experience
- Let the employer have control, don’t ramble on
- It's okay to ask for clarification if you don't understand a question
- For most questions, the interviewer wants more than a simple "yes" or "no" answer
- Shake hands and express your sincere thanks for the interview before leaving
D. Interview Do's and Dont's
- Have a positive tone. Smile and speak positively about you and others
- Collect information about the company before the interview
- Focus on what you have to offer, not what you want
- Be sincere~ mean what you say, because you will have to back it up
- Sell yourself without bragging
- Be natural, allowing your sense of humor show
- Think before you answer~ it is quite acceptable to pause before responding in order to organize your thoughts
- Be a good listener~ ask for clarification if you're not sure what's being asked
- Be calm and poised
- Be aware of your nervous habits and try to keep them under control
- Avoid discussions about family or financial problems
- Don’t talk about your troubles~ the employer already has enough “troubled” employees
- Lie on your resume (If you can’t speak Russian, don’t say you can. Just in case they want to send you to Russia as their rep.)
- Beg for a job
- Exaggerate or compare yourself to others
- Cross your arms across your chest…negative body language
- Give just "yes" and "no" answers~ one-liners are conversation stoppers
- Argue with the interviewer (yes, it happens)
- Criticize your old job or boss (BIG NO-NO)
- Do not stray from the interview topics
- Talk about money in the first interview…unless the employer brings it up