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Resumes and interviews are very important

There are many important aspects of seeking and obtaining a good  job. Two of the primary ones are the interview and resume.  Resume writing is an art and can make the difference in where the applicant stacks up among other candidates.  It can make the candidate stand out and has the potential of getting the applicant an interview.  Some tips for writing a resume follow.

1. It should be no longer than two pages.

2. Identify and quantify accomplishments in prior jobs.

3. Tailor the resume for the job you are seeking.

4. Do not leave any gaps in dates on the resume.

5. List skillsets important to the job for which you are applying.

6. Ensure that it is grammatically correct. Proofread carefully.

7. Avoid using buzz words.

8. Include educational background and all previous jobs held.

9. Emphasize your strengths.

10. Use bullet points.

11. Have someone knowledgeable review your resume.

12. Consider getting professional assistance or take a resume writing class.

Using the tips above will ensure your resume is read and considered rather than being thrown into file 13.  Keep in mind that hiring managers often receive multiple resumes for each job opening and they will only spend a short amount of time reading your resume.  The objective is to get to the next step by landing an interview.

Many hiring managers make their decision on who to hire based mainly on the interview. There is preparation that should be done prior to  the interview. Following are some guidelines that are important for a job seeker in making the most of the interview process.

• Conduct research on the company prior to the interview.

• Dress for success, i.e. appropriately for the job you are interviewing for.

• Arrive on time or early prepared for interview.

• Remember you only have one chance to make  a good first impression.

• Try to relax and be yourself.

• Answer questions candidly and concisely. Do not ramble.

• Be aware of your body language.

• If provided opportunity to ask questions, ensure they are insightful and pertinent.

• Sell yourself, but avoid over selling.

• Practice with someone experienced in interviewing.

• No tattoos or body piercing should be visible.

• Do not take a cell phone with you to the interview.

• Thank the interviewer at the conclusion of the interview and then follow up with a written thank you note promptly.

Ensure you assess your skills and abilities. Match them up with positions you are applying for where you have a good fit and possess the necessary qualifications. Competition is keener than ever. Look upon the job search as a learning experience and guard against getting discouraged. Use your experiences to better prepare yourself for success on the job. The more effort you put into your preparation the more successful you will be.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.