• It should tell a story
• Do your homework…customize resume for the opportunity
– Tools: Google, Hoovers, WSJ, BusinessWeek, trade publications
• Make it easy for them to remember you and find you.
– Save file as Lastname_Firstname_Resume 3_11_10
– Look at the job description, other posts from same company on
Monster/CareerBuilder for similar positions
• Separate Responsibilities from Accomplishments
• Don’t make stupid mistakes:
– Print it out to review for format, spelling errors: remember, spell
check is necessary but not sufficient!
– Have someone else read your resume AND your cover letter before
you send it out.
• Most important WIIFM!
• What’s in it for me?
• Read between the lines
• Try to determine their point of pain/need.
Be Specific, Use Numbers
• Instead of... "Experience working in fast-paced environment"
Try... "Registered 120+ third-shift emergency patients per night"
• Instead of... "Excellent written communication skills"
Try... "Wrote jargon-free User Guide for 11,000 users"
• Instead of... "Team player with cross-functional awareness"
Try... "Collaborated with clients, A/R and Sales to increase
speed of receivables and prevent interruption of service to
These Sound Nice, But Are
Its function is to screen out, not screen in
Objective: should you include one?
Only if it contributes to the “story”
“A challenging position that allows me to utilize my
skills and experience to add value to the company.”
Résumé “Misteaks” to Avoid
Typos and poor editing communicate carelessness
•Instrumental in ruining entire operation
•My ability to complete projects on time is unspeakable
•Education: Curses in liberal art
•Personal: Married, 1992 Chevrolet
•“ I have an excellent track record although I am not a horse.”
•I am a rabid typist
•Personal interests; donating blood, 15 gallons so far!
• Google yourself
• Clean up your Facebook and MySpace
Do Your Homework
• Research the company/division/function
• Understand their needs and interests
• Do they write a blog, have they been
published, given a speech
Cover Letter is Critical
• Use the cover letter to highlight your USP…
what makes you different, but more
importantly what makes you uniquely suited
to the job.
• Don’t repeat your resume, distill it.
• If you respond by email, ALSO send a written
cover letter and resume with a handwritten
note saying “Second Submission; I’m very
Don’t Make Stupid Errors
Says: sloppy, don’t care
Don’t Make Stupid Errors
Says: sloppy, don’t care
Don’t Make These Errors
You don’t know me, Dear Mr. Soandso would be more
Don’t Hide Behind E-mail!
• Look ‘em in the eye
• Firm handshake
• When offered a drink say “YES”
• Use the time to LOOK and SEE
– Things that decorate the office tell you
things they want you know/think about
them: Kids pix, hobbies, interests
Come Prepared to Lead the
• Most people are lousy interviewers
• You can guide them
– BUT you need to have a plan
– What do you want them to know about you?
• Have a plan, what 3 things do you want them
to know about you?
• What do you want them to say about you
when you leave?
– Orient your answers…and your questions to those
• “Do you mind if I take some notes?” (says “I recognize what you
have to say to me is important.”)
• 2 objectives for this meeting:
– Having just graduated, I don’t have first hand knowledge of the
opportunities out there, so I’m looking for help identifying the types
of jobs that would fit my interests and background
– I’d like to ask for your help in referring me to folks you know in
those business to whom you think it would be good for me to talk.
(Implicitly communicate you recognize the person has to make a
value judgment about you before giving reference)
• Make sure for each reference that you have:
– Name, phone number and permission to use the referees name.
• Make sure to ask the “Three Questions”
• FOLLOW UP EVERY INTERVIEW WITH A PERSONAL
NOTE…with a lagniappe that says, “I listened”
Objective for the Meeting
• To get the NEXT meeting
• So don’t leave it to them to take the
next step, they won’t.
1. You’ve interviewed and hired a bunch of other people
for other positions…what has separated the ones you
hired from the ones you didn’t?
Of the ones you did hire, what separated the great
employees from the simply good employees?
2. Which competitor do you most admire and why?
3. Five years ago you might have been asked where you
thought your company and the industry would be in
five years. What would you have predicted?
And if you were to look out to the next five years, what
do you think your company and industry will look like?
Typical Questions You’ll Get
Prepare for them!
• Tell me about yourself?
• What are your most significant
• What are your weaknesses/How would
others describe them?
• Why are you qualified for this position?
• What are your career goals?
After the Interview
1. Close with defined next steps:
• I’ll get back to you on XXX with YYY
• I will report back on how the referral meetings went.
• I will check back with you by email re: ZZZ
• Would it be ok if I followed up by email in two weeks to fill
you in on these things?
2. Send personalized follow-up note, ideally handwritten, or at least
neatly typed on good paper using a real stamp, not a postage
• Refer to something in the conversation
• Include a lagniappe, cartoon, quote, news clip relevant to a
topic in the conversation.
• Don’t hide behind email
• Be bold
• Be prompt
• Be groomed
• Be prepared: pen, pad, resume, cards
• Don’t expect feedback, or even
• Follow up with handwritten or neatly typed letter
• Stay in touch, even if they don’t