Use these Resume Writing and Interview Tips to Prepare for a Job Search
The Local 68 Training Center now offers a six-hour (two-day) Resume Writing and Interviews Skills class. To register or for more information, call 973-227-6426 or 609-484-8528.
Every Local 68 member should have an up-to-date resume available and stored online on the Career Opportunity Section of the Local 68 website. Your resume is a description of your professional qualifications. You should aim to keep your resume to one page, but if necessary, it can be two pages.
Many Local 68 members have been at their jobs for many years and have never had to create a resume. If you are not sure how to organize your resume, use this worksheet to organize the information you should provide on your resume.
As part of the Resume Writing and Interview Skills course, you will receive a professional review of your resume. You will come away with a polished resume appropriate to use on job interviews. Click here for Sample Resumes.
Organize your resume into these parts:
Personal Data: Your name, address, phone number, and email address.
Objective: Brief description of the type of position you are seeking and may describe your key skills and experience.
You can also include a "Summary of Skills" which lists the most important skills you have to offer. Think about the skills that the employer will need for the position that is open - list these skills right up at the top.
Licenses: List any licenses you hold, such as Blue Seal Refrigeration, CFC, Black or Blue Steam, etc. Here you can also include First Aid, CPR, Confined Space, Certified Pool Operator, BOMI, Pesticide Applicator, CDL, and any other professional licenses you may have.
Work Experience: List each job you have held and the name of the employer. List the dates you were employed. Use a bullet list to describe your job responsibilities. Try to list things that you have done that your new employer would be interested to know – relate your experience to the next position you are seeking.
- Tip: Start with your most recent position and work backwards.
- Tip: Avoid using the words “I”, “me” or “my” on your resume.
Education: List the name of the schools you attended. List the dates you attended and any degree that you received. If you are enrolled in the Local 68 Training Center, list this and any classes you have completed or are enrolled in. List any certifications that you hold or continuing education classes you have taken.
Additional Information: You may have additional skills or experience that do not fit into the above categories. You would then list that information in a separate section. For example, here you can list military experience or community service activities (e.g., volunteer firefighter). If you do not have any additional information to list, then leave this section off of your resume.
- Tip: Only list additional information that relates to your professional skills and would be attractive to a new employer.
Don’t forget to proofread your resume!
If you know the job you are applying for, it is a good idea to customize your resume for the particular job. Click here for directions about how to customize your resume for specific job openings: How to Customize Your Resume
Some companies are now requiring you to complete a Web-based employment application when you submit your resume or before you go for an interview. Be sure to use proper spelling and don't type in all lower case. These applications can take time to complete, don't get frustrated! Be patient and take your time. In some cases you will need to provide supervisors names and phone numbers so have that information ready in case you need it. If you need assistance, please call the Local 68 Training Center.
Tips on Preparing for a Job Interview
Before the Interview:
- Practice out loud how you will answer common interview questions. What you want to say in your mind and how it comes of your mouth are often two different things. Practice out loud! Coming Soon: List of common interview questions and examples of answers.
- Be able to describe yourself and what you have to offer a new employer in two minutes or less.
- Research the company you are interviewing with. Go to www.google.com and type in the company name. Find the company website and read it. If you don’t know how to do this, sign up for the Computer Skills class at the Local 68 Training Center.
At the Interview:
- You do not have a second chance to make a first impression: Arrive early, be positive, smile and make eye contact, offer a firm handshake, speak clearly.
Be sure to tell them first about the best skills you have to offer (verbally communicate your summary of skills). Don't tell them about your kids or how old you are or how long you've been married here.
- The interviewer will decide within the first 20 to 30 seconds whether or not they are interested in you.
- Bring extra copies of your resume with you to the interview. Make sure you print your resume on nice paper.
- Wear a business suit. Shine your shoes.
- Never, ever say anything negative on a job interview!
- Don’t underestimate anyone you meet. Assume that each person you meet may have a say in whether or not you get hired
- Be prepared to ask some questions, such as: Do you offer tuition reimbursement? What is the reporting structure? What will be my opportunities for career growth? What will be the main responsibilities of my job? DO NOT ask when your first wage increase will be. DO NOT ask about the days off.
- Ask for a business card from the people you meet and thank them for their time.
After the Interview:
- Send an email or handwritten thank you note immediately. Send it to the address on the business card. You can buy plain white or ivory thank you notes in an office supply store. Click here for a sample thank you note.
Reasons Why People Don’t Get Hired:
- Fails to sell the employer on their abilities
- Poor appearance
- Sloppy resume
- Lack of interest and enthusiasm
- Overemphasis on money
- Vague responses to questions – unprepared
- Complains about past employer or makes excuses
- Late for interview
For more information, sign up for the six-hour (2 sessions) Resume Writing and Interview Skills Course offered at the Local 68 Training Center, call 973-227-6426 for West Caldwell or 609-484-8528 for Atlantic City.