As real estate professionals know, the key to increased home sales is an increase in consumers who are able to buy. More jobs = more folks able to achieve their dream of homeownership. The job market is getting stronger every day and more and more people are starting to feel more confident about gaining new or better employment.Job seekers need to continually polish their resume and interviewing skills to keep pace.
Recently I was asked for a referral for a resume writing service. Here are some tips that I got straight from an HR pro:
Your resume should not be more than 2 pages long unless you are a subject matter expert (Ph.D. or Engineer types).
You should not pay someone just to write your resume for you. "If someone else writes it, I can sniff it out once I start talking to (the interviewee)" says our expert. "The professionals will charge good $$ for that because then they will do mock interviews to make sure you're saying all the right things." You're better off if your resume is in your own words. And its easier to rehearse your answers in your own words.
Gaps in a resume (if you have not been unemployed) cause some HR folks to ask "Why? What are they trying to hide?"
The pros suggest that the only way to "appear" more savvy is to "be" more savvy. And you gain that by experience and most of all confidence. Don't be held back by the belief that you can’t ask questions or appear as if you don’t know something. Granted there are things that have to do with your job that you should know. For example, as a real estate pro, do I know every single possible thing about real estate? No, that's not possible, but I should know what a short sale or a rent-back or a contingency is. If I hear a term or acronym that I don’t know, I just ask, “what is that again?”.
I was interviewed for a project management job, and three gentlemen were all throwing questions at me at once. It was my first interview out of grad school and I was nervous. Previous to that, I had gotten every job i had ever interviewed for. But despite that, and my newly acquired degree, I had no confidence in myself to be able to play "with the big boys" in the DC contracting world. I did not get that job because, for the most part, I came off as unable to handle stress. I didn’t even realize that I could have controlled the interview myself by asking questions for clarification, asking them to slow down, etc.
There are books on “business speak” that can be bought, but in the end, its all about confidence. If you try to fake it, they will know.
If you don't land the job, the only way you are going to know why an interview failed is to ask them why. Nothing wrong with calling them and saying, "I appreciate your time but could you tell me why I was not considered, I’d really like to get some feedback on my interview style, what the interviewer thought, etc." Most of them will probably not tell you, but once in a while you get one to do it.
Looking for a job is a full-time proposition and has to be treated as such. No cutting corners and getting the job has to be on the top of the mind always. As the economy improves, job hunting will be slightly less competitive, and more and more people will be able to find more work.