Preparing for a Resume Interview
Download and read through this memo to prepare for a resume interview and its aftermath. It is not necessary that you take care of all of the items in this memo prior to your resume interview.
By far the most important elements of preparation are first having the factual information on the Experience (Employers, Title, Dates in whole years) and Educational (School/College University, Certificate or Degree, Completion Date).
Second, that you have thought through your Experience not only in terms of the description of the jobs you held and the responsibilities they required (i.e. traditional “fact sheet resume” information). But, more important the “narrative” of your career (i.e. the logic of your job changes, the background on your employers and what was going on while you worked for them) and any highlights of your work time (especially examples of you at your best – imagine you are answering the question ‘ “What accomplishment or contribution that you made during this time are you proudest of?”
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What to do After a Resume Interview
This has some of the same information as the “Preparing for a Resume Interview”, but also has additional information on how to proceed and what you can do to be productive while your Core Documents are being prepared.
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Linking is a really powerful tool. There are two levels of what you can do here:
Download “Finding and Creating Links”. Review the categories of linking. Do some online research and find links to your obvious linkable items. These are: your employer(s) and the educational institution(s) you attended. I suggest you get an MS Word file and name it (LastName/FirstNameLinksDate). So mine would be BrubakerJohnLinks100314). Put those links at the top and tell us what they are for.
Think of this as “Show and Tell”. That is to send over any additional linkable content. These can be certifications. It can be files (Excel, Powerpoint). It can be scanned documents (pdfs),etc. Get whatever links you can. “Extra Credit” is if you learn how to use Bitly.com. It is cool – and a good little upgrade for you.
If you have the time and interest, and want to learn more – you can watch this webinar – where I go into some detail about how to do this. The bitly.com stuff starts at minute 29 – so if you just want to see a demo of that, go to that point.
The purpose of this exercise is to identify some possible job types – or templates. We would like to have you send us over – ideally by cut and paste, but if not by link – as many job descriptions as you feel will help us cover the major job types you are interested in.
Because we are looking for job “types” instead of actual positions to apply to, I recommend that you do NOT use a zip code on the indeed.com website. Do a national search – which will broaden the universe and enable you to find something that is – we hope – nearly perfect.
When you find a job that is a good fit, the easiest thing for us is if you will cut and paste it into an MS Word file. You can put multiple ads in a file. The reason we ask to cut and paste is that sometimes the ads come and go quickly – and a link today may yield nothing tomorrow.
If you don’t find satisfaction on indeed the other two ideas are to go onto the search jobs function of linked in – or to simply give me links to websites of a couple of target companies – and sketch out the job type/title you think would be a good fit.
The Markup Exercise
This is an exercise that will help us customize your resume and cover letter, giving you a MUCH better ranking in the computer software rankings.
Here is what we want you to do:
1. Cut and paste the ad content and the link to the ad onto an MS Word file.
2. Name the file. We suggest that you use the same format we use at Professional Resume Plus: Last Name, First Name, Company Name, Position Name and Date. So, if today is July 2 and this was for me I would name the file: BrubakerJohnCVSHealthRegionalOpticalFieldMgr070218.
3. Mark the ad up using these three styles:
4. Email the file to BOTH of Allison and to John, using the “reply to all” option in your email
Key for Markup
Short Phrases – three words or less – highlight in RED
Long Phrases/Sentences – four or more words – highlight in GREEN
Knowledge/Skills/Attributes You DON”T Have – Strikethrough (from Font Menu)
Why we do this:
It will enable us to create a CUSTOMIZED resume and letter – using the precise phrases which are used in the ad. That will give you a HUGE advantage on both their computerized software screening systems as well as the human screening – those who read it will recognize their own precise wording in there and will love it.
Download the File for an Example:
Star Achievement Exercise
This exercise comprehensively reviews the entire concept of achievements in a resume – what they are and how to present them. The work you do to provide us information on your achievements has multiple benefits. It helps us write the “jump off the page” content that will really “sell” you, not just “tell” about your background. And it helps you prepare for your interviews.
Here is what we suggest you do:
- Either read or print out “Achievements in Your Resume”. This gives you an overview of achievements, and various categories of achievements. It gives a specific example of how one of our clients, my brother Chris Brubaker, upgraded his resume early in 2012 – and landed the greatest job of his career (50%+ pay raise) six weeks later!
- Now think through your own background and make notes on the approximately 3-6 anecdotes – stories – where you really shined professionally and made a positive difference. Be sure and explain those to the person from Professional Resume Plus who interviews you to prepare for writing your resume. If you are pressed for time and can’t do more, that is fine.
- If you have the time and interest in doing a “deeper dive”, then take a look at these three “Star Achievement Examples”. They are actual drafts of achievements I wrote from my own career during two recorded webinars. You can see the flow of the material – how the STAR system works. Then take your notes on one or more of your successes, and translate them into the STAR formula using the “Star Achievement Blank Sheet”. We suggest that you use the following formula in naming your file:
As an example:
We will take the file(s) you send us, review them, edit them, name them – and then put them into a pdf and put them on the cloud. We will then condense your success story into a “bullet” achievement for your resume – and link to this longer version. You will have a very powerful, dynamic “cloud computing” related presentation function which has helped a lot of our clients differentiate themselves positively.
Webinars You Can Watch
If you are motivated to want to write up some of this content yourself – and have the time, then I would suggest you watch one or both of these webinars. I took a time in my career – early in it – my first book published – and dug in and showed how to create this type of content using the two formats: the “narrative” approach and the “STAR” methodology. These are great examples I have of this approach and methodology.
The Myers Briggs test, also known as MBTI – is the best established “personality typing” test – used for years by HR people – to help a person understand their predispositions – to help slot them into a good career path, to help build strong teams. I have used it myself – and found it very valuable – and I have used it in conjunction with clients on and off for years. Below is a link to a good, solid, free online Myers Briggs type test. if you want to take it, you may find it a useful experience.
Here is the site:
It s about 70 or so questions – takes 10-15 minutes. This is one of those items that could really “accelerate your learning curve”.
When you are done, you will receive a four letter code identifying your type and some statistical information relating to that four letter “type.” We recommend that you send us the results, as we can use it in our thinking about designing your material and your search strategy. The other useful thing is to type that four letter code into a search engine (for example, “ENTJ” is one of the types.) You will then be directed to a number of possible resources which explain the type, and in many cases will give you some useful things to think about regarding both your past career experience and your future direction.
High Growth Companies
This is the least important – but has potentially huge impact. To identify companies that might be “under the radar screen, but tremendous companies to join, perhaps the greatest strategy is to target high growth companies. As you will find if you look through this, a large percentage of these companies are “under the radar screen.” They haven’t established their “brand” yet. Also – high growth companies, partly because many of them are CREATING new products, new niches and even new industries, they put a lot LESS emphasis on “years of experience in our industry” and a lot MORE emphasis on “prove to me you are an innovator, a collaborator and a contributor.” This should be part of your early job search research. If/when you find companies to target, you can then go to the “Direct Marketing Exercise” content in this site. If you are in a company that is growing 20%, 40%, 150% or more per year – there is an entirely different mentality than if you are working for a large “established” company which is pure status quo.
If you are set on seeking employment with a large, stable organization – and that the high growth environment is not for you – then skip this. But if not – check it out. The Inc 5000 is the 5000 fastest growing companies over the past three years – released annually by Inc. magazine. You can use the Connecticut link – or the national link. Many of our clients have been VERY motivated to learn of companies that they never even heard of – and are now on their target list. Here are those two links: