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Job Resumes, and Interviews, whats the best possible advice you could give?

HarpyFeather

Writting Commissions Are Open <3
I've been looking for a more stable job, and to do that resumes and interviews are all a part of it. However, I never had someone older than me to sort of guide me through the process of it with actually good advice. I have had...advice, but it's the kind you get from someone who's never actually had a job. It would really help me take my life in a better direction to have something stable, and who better to ask then an entire community of people with so much talent and creativity.
So I was hoping because our community spreads all across all sorts of walks of life, that anyone out there who knows something helpful could help me out. Thanks in advance!
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
Know your strengths and what you bring to the job, why you want the job. Don't tell them things like "I need the money" - tell them things like "the rate of pay is attractive and seems commensurate with the listed duties" - maybe not quite in those words, but you get the idea. Don't just tell them "I'm good at X", tell them "I think my skill with X will be an asset to my employer and coworkers in this job". For lack of a better way to phrase this, you're selling them on the idea of you as an employee who will approach the tasks described with enthusiasm, and isn't just looking for any old paycheck. This gets harder the more menial the job seems, but it's a useful talent. Know your VALUE, and if negotiation is on the table try to drive a hard bargain for your work but be prepared to make a concession here and there (especially if it promises better results later).

Remember that even a shitty, menial job is a learning experience. It's a lesson I don't like people having to learn for a NUMBER of reasons, but it can make later jobs look that much better when you look back, give you a good idea of what you DON'T want to do, and arm you with knowledge going forward up to and including forging connections with individuals who can provide good references. We don't live in a perfect world, we live in a world where we know things SHOULD be better, but we have to make the best of what we can get when we get it sometimes while we work towards something better. This applies across all walks of life.
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
Also, present yourself with calm confidence, eye contact is good (try not to stare but try to avoid things like averting your eyes), a light smile and pleasant demeanor will take you a LONG way. Dress for the job to some extent, never go lower than business casual and groom yourself as neatly as you can.
 

Sam Wamm

I'm a goat plushie
Getting a job isn't about you being smart enough, it's about you being the same kind of stupid as your employer.
 

Punji

Daedric Prince of Secrets
Don't tell the interviewer you don't have any weaknesses, or act like a strength is a weakness. Tell them about a weakness you have and how you've improved on it.
 

Miles Marsalis

The Last DJ.
I hope you don't mind me splitting this up into three sections for ease.

Resumes
I don't really know you, but it looks like your 21, so I'm assuming whatever your educational background is, you're looking for an entry-level position in whatever industries you're searching. So the good news is, your resume isn't going to be too complicated and should be short. The main objectives you want hit with your resume are:

1.) Listing your related, and possibly unrelated, job experience in previous positions.

2.) Explaining the skills like foreign languages and programming languages along with any certifications you'll bring to the organization.

You also want sections detailing your academic career (preferably before the section detailing your career experience), volunteer experience (if you feel comfortable listing it), and any awards or distinctions you may have received.

I'm assuming you know how to format a resume, but in case you don't this link should be helpful, though I was looking for the MLA Resume format link originally to give you.

One important to remember for writing your resume is that your stage in your career, you want to keep it under one page because even though the job market is pretty sweet right now, most employers, and particular their HR departments, want to read resumes quickly and ignore fluff. Play with the font and the margins, reasonably, if you have to, but follow that guideline. Your cover letter, which you should also be submitting and tailoring with every resume you send, needs to be one page as well too.

Speaking of cover letters, yours should be frame as an introduction to your resume, introducing and explaining your experience and skills that are related to the position as well as providing your employer with your outlook and interest in the position. For every position you apply to, there should be a different cover letter specifically tailored to that position. It might be annoying, but it pays off in the long run.

I'd also recommend applying directly to employers on their web sites or through their offices since job search sites can often lower you chances for finding certain positions at the entry level. Applying directly will often put you ahead of the pack and make you stand out, especially if the employer uses automated systems for processing applications from sites like Indeed or, to a lesser extent, The Ladders.

Another thing about submitting at the entry level that you need to get good with is that you'll probably need to submit a lot of resumes before you get interviews. Prepare for that.

Interviewing
For any interviews, have your clothes laid out the night before so you're not rushing in the morning and dress professionally, preferably in a suit or other business attire. Not everywhere has suits as part of their workplace attire, especially tech, but suits still stick out in most employers' minds and it signals that you look the part most interviewers. If you're wearing a suit, go with black or navy blue only since those colors are generally more in now and don't look garish to most people likely to be making hiring decisions. Definitely wear a tie, if you are wearing a suit that goes with a tie, and make sure the tie is either red and blue, preferably blue since if you're meeting with an employer who subscribes to the psychology of colors, blue is calming and they'll know that. If you're asking what difference the tie color makes, red and blue ties are traditional, safe tie colors that are unlikely to be offputting. Wear business shoes that have been properly polished as well too. Also, wear a mask regardless of your vaccination status, most of employers don't want to worry about at outbreak in their workplace and showing that you don't have a problem with safety guidelines by masking up and having your vaccinations in order will streamline you.

During breakfast and on your way to the interview, review the questions you want to ask and your answer to potential questions they may ask you. You everything to fresh in your mind beforehand, so consider practicing this well before the interview.

Be early for the interview, not just on time. If you arrive just on time, you're as good as late because it will probably take the interviewers some time to get set up for you once they confirm your there and you may need to get settled in too. An early arrival for an interview also signals that you are conscientious and want the position. It also allows to you potentially see who else is applying for position and, if observe or talk to them, how you stack up to them.

I don't know what positions you're considering applying to, but generally I say try to be relaxed, but not too casual and know the answers to the standard important interview questions like:

1.) Why you do you want to work here?

2.) Why you want this job?

3.) Why should we hire you?

4.) What will you bring to the organization?

5.) What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Those are the big ones most employers ask, but if you can reasonably answer the 50 questions on this list, you should be in good shape.

There is a good chance your employer could ask you about either your current or potential salary during your interview. Well before the interview, you should researched what the average salary in for the position in the industry and what constitutes a reasonable salary based the position while remembering whatever life expenses you have. Be armed with that knowledge, though a lot of times, employers don't negotiate wages until they've decided to extend an offer. That said, it may be wise to slightly inflate the number over your current salary since employers generally can't verify this so if they lowball you, you have some breathing room. If they don't, you have a higher salary. Just don't price yourself out of the position.

If they ask you during the interview, when can you start, that is a good sign potentially, but this is a tricky part where a lot of applications screw up. Most employers want applicants to be able to start as possible and relatively immediately. Many applicants will waffle at this point and give themselves some time off between their old job and their potential new one, which can be jarring if the employer is looking to fill the vacancy or opening quickly. I haven't had this problem with any of my hires, but I've had clients and friends who hired employees before come across this at times and it is a turn-off across the board. Make sure that when you are applying for positions you're able to start on your future employer's timetable. If you foresee anything that forestall immediately accepting a position, rethink applying until you can resolve that.

If you ultimately do get position you want to accept, respond promptly within day thanking the organization extending for the offer. You can always decline later if you decide you don't want the position because something better came along later. You may want to send e-mails respectfully declining some of the offers you didn't want, but were attracted by to a lesser degree since you may apply to those organizations for positions in the future.

Good luck on the job search and remember it's a marathon, not a sprint.
 
Last edited:

Rimna

Well-Known Member
It depends on what job you're applying for, and what your relevant experience is.

Is it a corporate job, like customer service in an office? IT? Car mechanic? Driver? Fast food restaurant employee?
Is this your first job? What's your education and does it matter in the context of the job?
Do you have any gaps in your resume, e.g. graduated in 2017 but started your first job in 2019.

When it comes to talking about money - make sure you've done your homework and you know what the average is for the position you are applying for. Everyone knows that we all have a price, but it doesn't necessarily have to be monetary. I'd talk about money last, if they are offering average or above average for the position, accept it after giving some reasoning - "oh, this salary seems fair, given the average in the sector. It's reasonable to me but I'd like to know what options are there for developing myself in the company", something like this.

Also, if you happen to get the names of the people who are interviewing you prior to the interview itself, see if you can find info about them. Maybe they have LinkedIn profiles. Don't be a creep about it, but maybe you can discover that you have a common interest with them. I'd bring up that interest without mentioning I've looked their profile up, if they ask me to tell more about myself.

It's mostly trial and error - reading people is a plus. You should also be ready to ask them questions. It often pays to read on the company you're applying for prior to going to your interview.

It's true - your goal is to "sell yourself" to them but remember - they are are interested in "buying". If you've been invited to an interview, then they are already considering you to some degree. Employers too are a dime a dozen, so this is a two way street.
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥oteTastic
I've been looking for a more stable job, and to do that resumes and interviews are all a part of it. However, I never had someone older than me to sort of guide me through the process of it with actually good advice. I have had...advice, but it's the kind you get from someone who's never actually had a job. It would really help me take my life in a better direction to have something stable, and who better to ask then an entire community of people with so much talent and creativity.
So I was hoping because our community spreads all across all sorts of walks of life, that anyone out there who knows something helpful could help me out. Thanks in advance!
Hmm.... there was another lady on here a few months ago, that had a similar thread, where I (and some others) gave her some advice: https://forums.furaffinity.net/threads/job-seeking-advice.1676187/#post-7166401

I don't know if the information on there is helpful to you, or not.... but it may be worth taking a look at.
-----------
But seeing that it *sounds like* you have no experiences.... a good place to start (I think) would be any entry level job out there, that's willing to take you in... and give you a chance to work for them..... and, this is usually in not very glamorous places..... like McDonald's, WalMart, etc.

While they may not be the ideal places to work - they usually offer up good experiences, and some sort of paycheck as well, which is better than nothing.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
It might help if you give some indication of what type of job you are seeking.
A CV for academics might be quite different to one for industry, for example.
Some employers will provide feedback about why your application was rejected, but you may need to ask for it. This feedback could help you improve your future applications.

Websites such as 'stackexchange' and 'stackoverflow' are likely to hold lots of useful advice about CVs.
I think an important part of managing your CV is to make sure you update it regularly, so that you get better practised at it. I've updated mine 4 or 5 times over the last summer.
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥oteTastic
Hmm.... there was another lady on here a few months ago, that had a similar thread, where I (and some others) gave her some advice: https://forums.furaffinity.net/threads/job-seeking-advice.1676187/#post-7166401

I don't know if the information on there is helpful to you, or not.... but it may be worth taking a look at.
-----------
But seeing that it *sounds like* you have no experiences.... a good place to start (I think) would be any entry level job out there, that's willing to take you in... and give you a chance to work for them..... and, this is usually in not very glamorous places..... like McDonald's, WalMart, etc.

While they may not be the ideal places to work - they usually offer up good experiences, and some sort of paycheck as well, which is better than nothing.
Oh... you're asking about resumes, not work itself.... (my bad). ☺ (It was late when I wrote this posting, above).

Well..... I *do know* that there are resume writing books, in the local library, where I live.... that people often use as a template for creating cover letters and resumes for themselves, based on their own skill set, professional field, etc.... and so - perhaps looking at the local library might be a good idea, for you.... or even - the local employment office.... where, they actually hold resume writing and job interview seminars on site.... which - are great ways to figure out about doing it for yourself.
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
I've been looking for a more stable job, and to do that resumes and interviews are all a part of it. However, I never had someone older than me to sort of guide me through the process of it with actually good advice. I have had...advice, but it's the kind you get from someone who's never actually had a job. It would really help me take my life in a better direction to have something stable, and who better to ask then an entire community of people with so much talent and creativity.
So I was hoping because our community spreads all across all sorts of walks of life, that anyone out there who knows something helpful could help me out. Thanks in advance!

Be honest. If you don't know something just say "I don't know but I'm willing to learn". They'll see right through BS anyway so nothing to gain.

Also, let them lead the conversation. They probably have many interviews to do, so now's not the time to go into meandering stories about yourself. Stick to the points, and whenever possible say something positive about yourself relevant to the question.

If confronted by trick questions (real example from my own interview decades ago, "Your mother is poor and has no food this week. Would you consider taking money out of the petty cash knowing you will replace it the next few days to help her?") still be honest, even if the answer is "yes". There is no good answer for this for example, as the correct answer always makes you look like a suck-up corporate flunkie...they are testing your character and honesty here. So give it to them and explain your moral reasons...in this example's case I told them no harm was being done and the books will be balanced, but then I stated I'd probably ask permission first from my supervisor! (shows you respect the chain but also have a strong moral center). I got the job.
 

Kinguyakki

Alignment: Chaotic Stupid
Learn as much about the company and job as you can before going to interview. Don't get hung up on asking how much they will pay you, but don't undersell yourself, either. Pay attention to the person interviewing you, and the general feel of the place when you walk in. I've interviewed in places that sounded great on paper, but when I went for my interview I saw a lot of stressed, miserable people who looked like they were about to walk out.
 

Minerva_Minx

Explosion loving skooma cat
Seen it multiple times: certs and knowing what you're worth
Abso-fucking-lutely.
Certs show me your training is sufficient you can pass a test. Book smart is good because I want to know you can be taught. I will accept certs in lieu of degrees as long as you are moving forward or have that experiemce time. I have seen some stupid people with degrees and some brilliant people who would never make it in school.
Know what you're worth. Median salary for me is $70K/yr as an engineer. I am well beyond that because I have advanced IT certs most engineers don't have and have worked jobs they wouldn't take for experience. What this does is allow me to combine different specialties (networking and wireless) and request a larger salary because I can do more. Employers don't have time to figure out what they want to pay you so they start at $0. Your salary is up to you.

Don't tell yourself you can't do a job.
There are some jobs that pay well and they will train you. I see $50-$80K jobs that require a high school degree and you can get on the job training. Yes, there are some critical jobs that happens. Government jobs especially.

Know what the trend is and where:
Government
Usajobs.gov
Indeed.com
Linkedin.com
Monster.com

Private sector
Glassdoor.com
Ziprecruiter.com
Angellist.com

And get to know people who work there during your interview. On several I made sure to meet at least 1 -2 people. The ones that liked me and kept in touch followed my skills and pointed me to opportunities.
 

Dirt Mom

pic is not my persona, see my signature
don't try to "be" friendly.

just treat the employer like a friend.

be natural.
 

Khafra

Heave away, haul away
A good quality cover letter also might help. Don't be afraid to exaggerate a little - put in stuff that shows you as someone interested in whatever the company is doing and looking forward to a promising career. There's many examples online of cover letters, so you can use those as help. Depending on your workplace, your application might have to appease the HR people first, and then your actual future boss, so make sure it looks nice in the eyes of both. HR will be more interested in a nice presentation and image of the person, while the boss will pay more attention to stuff relevant to the job.
 

Ennui Elemental

Eat shit and die, tankie assholes
Banned
just treat the employer like a friend.
This can be incredibly dangerous.
A good quality cover letter also might help. Don't be afraid to exaggerate a little - put in stuff that shows you as someone interested in whatever the company is doing and looking forward to a promising career. There's many examples online of cover letters, so you can use those as help. Depending on your workplace, your application might have to appease the HR people first, and then your actual future boss, so make sure it looks nice in the eyes of both. HR will be more interested in a nice presentation and image of the person, while the boss will pay more attention to stuff relevant to the job.
Yeah HR gobbles up flowery bullshit. Certain kinds, anyway.
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
A good quality cover letter also might help. Don't be afraid to exaggerate a little - put in stuff that shows you as someone interested in whatever the company is doing and looking forward to a promising career. There's many examples online of cover letters, so you can use those as help. Depending on your workplace, your application might have to appease the HR people first, and then your actual future boss, so make sure it looks nice in the eyes of both. HR will be more interested in a nice presentation and image of the person, while the boss will pay more attention to stuff relevant to the job.

I always was taught (paraphrasing a little from memory but not much), "Think of the person doing the interview like a person selecting a movie to watch. They're about to dedicate their time and effort to it, but in the store they see literally hundreds. So they first go to their category but still see hundreds to choose from. But they've seen lots of movies so they can whittle it down at a glance to those that have something special to them. All others get tossed before they even give them a chance to explain their plots"

"The cover itself must shine completely on it's own and a well-crafted one will invite further curiosity, but too busy a cover will scream desperation and lies and trickery.
Do NOT be like those movies that get shunned on sight like "Vampire diary" or "Christmas family reunion". Your cover letter has to be like a well crafted trailer, showing at a glance that it's worth it to the employer to bother reading more. If it's too bragger-y or too verbrose, you'll bore them and it gets tossed aside with no further thought. If it feels generic, tossed for the same reason as they have lots to go throgh...they want something that has spark and life, not "employee from college #23, hard worker, willing to learn, entire resume straight out of the corporate manual on what to say to managers 101". This isn't the time for details, this is the time for basic hype and sincerity. They will learn your skills if they read more, the cover letter is to tell them WHY they should bother to read more and nothing else."
 

Simo

Professional Watermelon Farmer
Maintain a sense of humor!
 
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