A neat resume and firm handshake go a long way

Published 2:21 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2006

By Staff
With the Niles reporter leaving for a public relations position, I found myself presented with the task of finding someone to fill that role in our office.
A stack of resumes came in many forms, from e-mail to those sent registered receipt.
I really admire these young people who are willing to leave their safe comfort zone and travel across country to a place where they know no one, without family and friends.
Their lists of accomplishments in school are extensive and I am glad I am not competing with them.
Still from my wisdom gained with age, I would offer some tips to those who seek to find a position in this competitive world we live in today.
First of all, more is not necessary better.
The longer the resume doesn't mean you have done more and are more qualified than anyone else.
I read once a resume should be only one page. That is good advice. A concise, clear one page document is easier to read and the reader will be able to retain information.
The next tip might not apply for other jobs, but for those who are sending in examples of their work, offering those which can't be read because of poor copying is pointless. Also, those clips which are extremely old makes one wonder what the applicant has been doing lately.
Your appearance is importance also. Look good. Wear clean neat clothes, nothing flashy. Wear what you would expect to wear should you be chosen for the position.
Don't expect your tattoo of an eagle which goes around your neck into your hairline to go over well. Realize piercings and tattoos may not even be allowed.
Cover letters are good. They should state why you are the best person for this job, not be a general letter to every job you are applying.
Don't over do though. You really need to back up what you say you can do.
If you watched a certain program on the computer, but never actually sat down and used it - you are not proficient and shouldn't even mention it. That might just come back and bite you.
Then again if you are good at picking up new programs, tell your prospective employer of that skill.
Don't forget to check your spelling on your resume, especially the name of the place where you are applying.
Nothing beats confidence. If you can convey to the person who is interviewing you that you are the best man or woman for the job, there is a good chance the job will be yours.
Look the interviewer in the eye. Answer questions clearly and completely. If you don't know - say so. Don't hem and haw and try to fake it.
You are not expected to know everything, nor should you be expected to have had experience in all areas.
What the interviewer does expect is some enthusiasm. Show your interest. Ask good questions.
Most importantly - offer a good firm handshake. No one wants to shake hands with a fish. If you are going to be representing the firm or company, they want someone they aren't embarrassed to send out to meet the public.
Nothing beats a good handshake and thank you letter after the interview.