Job hunting isn’t easy. There are a multitude of things that need to be considered when applying for a job. The resume should be perfectly crafted for the job we are applying for. The cover letter should be well structured and should highlight relevant skills. Once we do get the interview call, we need to be well prepared for the interview questions. From dressing up appropriately to answering interview questions, we should be able to present our best selves. This article will cover some of the skills we should have in order to ace our dream job

The Resume:

When applying for a job, employers would like to see that the applicant has a professional resume, they have the right skills and qualifications with relevant experience. The resume should not be more than 1 to 2 pages and should include the applicant’s most relevant experience. For instance, if the applicant has had experiences dating back 20 years ago and it’s not relevant to the job that they are applying for it is better to not include it in the resume. It’s very important to make sure that all the information is up to date

The contact information should be visible, easy to find, correct and up to date. Many times, employers run into situations where they call the phone number listed on the resume and it turns out to be incorrect.

The applicant should double-check to make sure that there are no spelling errors and that the format is easy to read. In Canada, it is not required for the applicant to include any personal information in their resume, such as address, date of birth, nationality, marital status etc. Make sure to have reliable references ready. 

In the majority of companies, the HR personnel scans a resume in less than 10 seconds. So in order for one resume to stand out in the sea of 100s or 1000s of resumes, it really has to be eye-catching for them to go into the details of the resume.

For instance, if the HR is looking for a health care aide resume the first thing they would look for is the health care aide certificate and if the resume is missing that then it’s very likely for that resume to go into the reject pile

Some key takeaways from the above information are:

  • Check for spelling mistakes
  • Make you resume is relevant and updated
  • Contact information is correct
  • It is not more than two pages
  • Have the references ready

The cover letter should be tailored to the job which the applicant is applying for and should be customized as much as possible according to the job qualifications.

The Interview

When the resume has been sent and the applicant receives the interview call, it is very important to note down the details of the interview like date, time, location and name of the person who will be conducting the interview

It’s a great practice to reach the interview location a little bit early and give yourself some extra time in order to avoid any unforeseen circumstances

In Exceptional situations such as Covid19 most of the interviews are being conducted online so it’s good to find a quiet, private, well lit place that’s free from interruptions and noise. Make sure that the internet connection is stable. At least 15 to 20 minutes before the interview,and your computer’s audio and the webcam are working properly. Remember to close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications to avoid any incidents or mistakes. Even if the interview is online, it is still really important to maintain a professional appearance and attitude, have a pen, notebook and a copy of the resume at hand. When listening, it’s good practice to nod and smile to show the recruiter that you are engaged and paying attention. And, remember to put your phone and any other noisy devices on silent.

A lot of recruiters will start the interview with the question “Tell us a little bit about yourself”, it’s important to remember that it is a professional interview, we don’t have to share our personal life stories but mainly focus on our skills and experiences which are relevant to the job. For example, we can say “Hi I’m Carmen. Thank you for interviewing me today. A little bit about me; I have a certificate in the medical office assistant program from ERP College. I have six months of MOA experience working at the Westlands medical office and I’m skilled at using computers and medical software.”  Keep it short, simple and to the point.

Interview Methods:

There are two main interview methods:

  1. Behavioral
  2. Situational 

The behavior approach to interviewing is based on the idea that people’s past behavior in a specific situation is the best predictor of their future behavior in similar situations. Behavioral questions focus on the past behavior. For behavioural questions, the answers should be very specific and the details as to how one responded to a particular situation should be mentioned.

Situational are hypothetical questions so the answer can be a little bit more general. The idea behind those questions is to measure how one will respond when placed in a hypothetical situation.

It is also important to ask the interviewer questions about the company and/or the position. This shows that the applicant has done research on the company and even on the interviewer. Majority of the recruiters can be found on LinkedIn these days. It is okay to go on their LinkedIn profile to get to know them a little bit better and the applicant can perhaps ask them some questions about themselves. Some questions which can be asked are;”how can I grow within the company?” “what is the team like?” “what does success look like in this role?” “what are the biggest challenges in this role?” etc.

Also very important is to thank either the hiring manager or the recruiter for their time and consideration. Restate your interest in the position, let them know that you look forward to hearing back. It is also good etiquette to send a note or an email to the hiring manager or the recruiter to thank them.

The applicant should never talk negatively about a previous employer or a job. They shouldn’t say “I don t know’, instead, they should take a minute to think of a response and it is also okay to ask the recruiter or the hiring manager to repeat the question. 

If a recruiter or a hiring manager asks a question, the applicant should not respond with “it’s on my resume” they should make sure to explain and give as much details as possible. They should avoid using any unprofessional language. They should never end the interview with “I don’t have any questions” and shouldn’t ask what the company does because these things should be researched in advance.

Our career advisors at ERP College are always here to guide anyone who wants to start a new career. We wish everyone the best of luck in their careers!