Uni-Staff Services, Inc.

1315 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301

    (970) 259-1940           info@unistaff.net     

    

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1315 Main Ave # 107, Durango, CO 81301, USA

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Tips and Advice on Resumes & Interviews

Some Resume and Interview Pointers, On Us
Plus Dressing For Interviews

Uni-Staff has years of experience and deep knowledge of the Four Corners Job Market.  We know that a well written and polished resume is key to getting that interview you want.  Once you have your interview set, there are several Do's and Don'ts all applicants should follow.  And, of course, don't forget to "Dress for Success"

Resume Tips!

Your resume must stand out in order to get you the results you want. Here are twelve ways – some unconventional, some tried and true – to create an irresistible resume.

Customize. What’s the single best way to get interviews? Tweak your resume to reflect the job you’re responding to. Don’t misrepresent yourself, but if you have relevant job experience that’s not listed on the standard version of your resume, make changes. The more your resume matches up with what an employer is looking for, the more likely it is you’ll hear from them.

Make it easy to read. This may mean cutting up to a third of the words, and also formatting it correctly. For example:

  •         Margins need to be wide enough for the interviewer’s notes.

  •         The typeface needs to be large enough for an older person to read (not as big as a large print book, but as big as    the type in your typical hardcover bestseller).

  •         Job titles should be in bold.

  •         Sections of the resume need to have full line spaces between them. The text should not look like a solid block.

  •         Try to use bullet points instead of sentences. They take up more space but are more likely to be read.

  •         Worried about what words to cut? Cut all the information that is not related to the job you are applying for.

  •         Include all your contact information including LinkedIn profiles (but maybe not your Facebook page).

  •        Spell check. Spell check again.

  •         Read your resume out loud. This will help your sentences be clearer, and it will show you where you start sounding overly promotional or unprofessional.

  •         Show results. Do not just give your job titles and job descriptions, also show how you made a difference. Did you reduce mailing costs by 20%? Did you write a customer service manual that cut down response time? Include anything you did that made a difference. Use action verbs wherever possible.

  •         Include keywords. Use the Google Ad Words keyword tool and find six to ten keywords that match up with your experience and skills and the job you want to find. Do not overuse these terms, but sprinkle them in where they sound appropriate.

  •        Choose the right format: chronological, targeted or combination. Research which one is best for your resume and for the job you want to find or the industry you want to be in.

  •        Skip the obvious. You don’t need to include phrases like “available for interviews” or “references available upon request”.

  •        Dress it up. Buy some nice quality paper. You do not need card stock but use a high quality printer. And always bring an extra copy (or three) of your resume to the interview.

  •       Avoid pronouns. No “I”s or “me”s, please.

  •       Do NOT get creative with fonts. Keep it simple and readable.

Advise on Interviews

Interviews are always stressful. The best approach is to see them as your chance to size up the employer, just as they are sizing you up. A first interview is just to see if there’s a fit.

While some jobs are secured based on just one in-person interview, most employers like to meet with an applicant two or even more times before they decide to make a job offer. That’s ultimately good news for you: you’ll be able to learn a lot about whether the position will work for you.

Here are some fundamental rules:

  •     Don’t be late. Ever. If possible, go to the employer’s office a day or so before the interview so you don’t have to find it when the pressure is on. You don’t want to arrive rushed or harried.

  •     If a disaster occurs and you must be late, have the courage to call and let the person you’re meeting know how long you’ll be delayed for.  Take responsibility and respect the person’s time.

  •     Arrive about five minutes early (but not more than ten).

  •     Research the company and the position prior to the interview. Even 20 minutes spent on the company website before your interview will be very helpful.

  •     Do some web searches for the company name, or the name of the person who will be interviewing you. Look at the company’s LinkedIn profile, their Facebook page, and search the local newspaper websites for their name.

  •     Referring to this information during the interview shows that you prepare for meetings, you know how to find information and that you care enough about the job to think ahead.

  •     Remember to ask the interviewer specifics about what the job’s responsibilities are, to whom you’ll report, and how the last person who did the job handled things.

  •    You may be asked to fill out an application that duplicates the information that is on your resume – many companies require this for legal reasons. Do this completely and legibly. Do not just write “see resume” on the form.

  •     Be friendly and open, but not too friendly. It is in your best interest to appear approachable and positive. Never talk badly about a past employer.

  •     Don’t be too chummy with the person who interviews you, even if you hit it off immediately.

  •     Be prepared for awkward questions, such as “What’s your biggest weakness?” and “What about this two year gap on your resume?”. Have professional, accurate answers ready. No one is perfect, and how you frame your weaknesses can actually make you look good.

  •     Bring a portfolio or work samples if that’s appropriate to your career. Being able to show some of your past work is better than just talking about it. This applies even if you’re not a designer or a writer – having a brochure of an event you organized helps to convey what you can do.

  •     Write a thank you, or send a thank you email depending on the company culture. Job-seeking pros bring blank stationary to all their interviews. After an interview is over, they will stop for a coffee and write the thank you note, put a stamp on it, and drop the note off in the mail so that it is postmarked the same day as the interview.

  •     If you are asked to consent to a background check (criminal, financial or otherwise) and know something negative will be revealed, explain what happened in advance. Be prepared to give detailed answers. It will be your best chance to show yourself in a good light.

Dress for Success!

Dress codes in the Durango area are all over the board but can be a bit more conservative or even more relaxed than in some parts of the country.

 

Dress for Your Interviews

Before you say a single word to the interviewer, you have already made an impression based on how you’re dressed. Every company has a different dress code; how you dress at the job may have very little to do with how you dress for an interview.

Remember, your interview with UniStaff is as important as with our client. If you don’t impress us, then we probably won’t send you to one of our clients!



MEN

 

    Dress in a manner that is appropriate to the position for which you are applying. We will guide you based on our clients’ requirements. If your job is industrial, it may be more about safety than style. When in doubt, go conservative. But here are some basics to follow:

  •     Avoid loud colors and flashy styles.  Clothing should be neat and clean.    

  •     Shower or bathe the morning of the interview.

  •     Wear deodorant. Don’t wear cologne or aftershave. You don’t want to cause an allergic reaction.

  •     Make sure you have fresh breath. Brush your teeth before you leave for the interview.

  •     Don’t eat before the interview.

  •     Don’t smoke right before an interview.

  •     I know this is Durango, but try to keep your hair neat, clean, and conservative.

  •     It’s much better to be too dressed up than too casual. A good rule of thumb is to dress like your boss.

  •     Shoes should be clean and in good condition, not scuffed or run-down at the heels.

  •     Unless you have a full beard, be sure to shave the morning of the interview.

  •     Full beards or a moustache should be trimmed and neat-looking. This may sound like a lot of rules, but these are the generally acceptable guidelines you should follow when deciding what to wear to an interview. Dressing professionally shows respect for yourself, the interviewer, and the company. You may not have to dress like this every day, but you are more likely to be taken seriously when you present yourself in a professional manner and take the time to attend to details.



WOMEN

    For administrative jobs, generally, you might consider a suit with a skirt or pants.  When in doubt, be more conservative. For other jobs, we will guide you according to our clients’ dress codes. For some jobs, it may be a matter of safety rather than style.

  •     Your clothes should be comfortable and fit you well.   

  •     Interview clothes should be simple and dark in color.   

  •     Anything tight, bright, short, or sheer should absolutely be avoided. Wear a conservative blouse with your suit. Do not wear bright colors, animal prints, or anything lacy, sheer, or low-cut. Knee-length skirts are suggested. Very long skirts, while modest, are also considered too trendy for an interview.   

  •     Make-up and nail polish should be understated and flattering; shades that are neutral to your skin tone are generally advisable. Avoid bright or unusual colors or very long nails.

  •     Keep your jewelry and hair accessories to a minimum, and stick to those that are not flashy, distracting, or shiny. One ring per hand is best.

  •     Shoes should be conservative and fairly low-heeled. They should be in reasonably good condition, not scuffed or run-down at the heels. Don’t wear shoes with an open toe or back; any shoes you would wear on a date or to a club are probably inappropriate.  Your hose should be neutral (matched to your skin tone).    

  •     Your clothing should always be neat, clean, and pressed.   

  •     Shower or bathe the morning of the interview. Wear deodorant. Don’t wear perfume: you don’t want to smell overpowering or worse, cause an allergic reaction.   

  •     Make sure you have fresh breath. Brush your teeth before you leave for the interview, and don’t eat or smoke before the interview.

  •     Your hair should be neat, clean, and conservatively styled. You may want to wear your hair in an up-do, pull it back into a low ponytail. The idea is to look polished and professional, not to advertise what a creative genius your hairdresser is.

While it may be appropriate to dress more casually for a second interview, you must still dress professionally. It’s much better to be too dressed up than too casual. This may sound like a lot of rules, but these are the generally acceptable guidelines you should follow when deciding what to wear to an interview. Dressing professionally shows respect for yourself, the interviewer, and the company. You may not have to dress like this every day, but you are more likely to be taken seriously when you present yourself in a professional manner and take the time to attend to details