a highway exit sign that says "DREAM JOB NEXT EXIT"

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As I proceed to prepare for a new job, I had to take a look at my resume in its current form. Big problem! My resume is designed for a totally different profession and needs a total makeover. A career change is never easy and the problem is where to start. This can be a challenge but not impossible. So, if you’re facing this, or even if you’re just starting out, here’s where to start:

  • Don’t start with your resume. The very first thing to do is to carefully look at the job that you intend to do. Don’t just look at one but look at several. What are the specific skills required? Your resume should be designed for the skills of the job and reflect every job detail.
  • Only then should you consider your experience. Of course, it may not exactly be the same but your experience should match the skills needed for the job. For example, a job in communications requires social media maintenance. Well you may not have this on the job but you can start your own social media postings. Create a blog or start posting regularly on social sites. The main goal is make your resume fulfil the job skills.

So if you’re like me and changed careers or if your degree isn’t relevant to the job you are applying for, don’t worry. Many people start out in one field and then change or get a degree in one field and end up doing something quite different.

It’s all about skills and experience.

Remember: Plan ahead to get ahead!

Preparing for Interviews

the cover of a book called "the essential guide for Hiring & Getting Hired"

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As I get closer to graduating, I know how important it is to prepare for interviews. In fact, I was reminded that interviewers make judgements within the first five minutes of an interview. It’s been a long time since I went on an interview and I have so much depending on me getting a job. So I came across this checklist as a place to start my preparation and maybe it can help you too.

Adler, L. (n.d.). Essential guide for hiring & getting hired.

Preparing for the Interview Checklist

  • Be Prepared. Don’t wing the interview. Prepare as much as you would for any important management presentation.
  • Don’t look at your resume during the interview. Looking is a sign of nervousness or fabrication. You need to know everything on the resume without hesitation.
  • Use the SAFW format to answer each question. A complete 1-2 minute answer is the sweet spot for length and content.
  • Get the interviewer to describe real job needs. Force the interviewer to ask about relevant topics.
  • Focus on the opportunity, ignore the compensation.  Compensation increases will follow great performance.
  • Demonstrate interest and acts about next steps. Get the interviewer to commit to something, and if he or she hesitates, find out why and respond.
  • Demonstrate how you develop solutions rather than giving the solution. Most problem-solving questions are designed to understand how a person develops a solution, rather than the actual answer.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Everyone gets a little nervous during the interview. To get through the initial two minutes of discomfort, practice getting nervous by answering questions to a friend or family member.

My biggest takeaway is that it is important to be in control of the interview. That means, answering in such a way that you feel in control. Also you should make sure that you absolutely know what is on your resume and know all your accomplishments. Who knows you more than you know yourself?