Looking for a great job in the Lehigh Valley? Part of the process will almost certainly include interviews. In addition to placing people in career opportunities with some of the leading companies in Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, Allied provides our candidates a crash course in interview preparation. Here are what we consider our top 3 tips to prepare you for an interview.
Always research the company and the position.
The Internet provides the means for gathering extensive information on a company. Visit the company’s website to read up on their history, their product line, and any current news. Many smaller companies also profile members of their management team. A company website will likely also offer a full description of the available job and may even include general information on the benefits offered. LinkedIn is also a great resource to learn more about the company, as well as the person who will be interviewing you. By doing your research ahead of time, you will also be better able to formulate intelligent questions during your interview.
Be courteous to everyone you meet.
We always encourage candidates to be friendly to the first person they meet when they walk in the door of a company. Many interviewers will ask the person at the front desk or at the security desk for a quick first impression. If you were rude, if you were talking on your cell phone, or if you were pacing nervously, they will share that information with the interviewing/hiring manager so it is important to not get off on the wrong foot. Greet everyone with politeness and wish them well when you leave, turn the cell phone off in the car (vibrate isn’t good enough – it needs to be off), and sit calmly while waiting. Consider your interview starting the moment you arrive at the company.
Even if it seems like common sense, think about it.
Most people look at us oddly when we provide this advice but you would be surprised how often simple common sense errors trip up an otherwise decent interview. Before you walk in the building make sure your sunglasses are off of your head and that your suit jacket lapel isn’t folded under. Make sure you’ve left food and drink in the car (this includes gum and mints). Always take at least three extra copies of your resume in case you meet with more than one person, and ensure those resumes are neat and are free of coffee stains, folds, and pen marks. Make sure you have reference information with you including the person’s full name, phone number, and email address. And most of all make sure you know who to ask for when you arrive!
Despite low unemployment rates, the job market in the Lehigh Valley is always competitive and employers will be considering multiple candidates when hiring. If you’ve done your research, remember your manners and pay attention to the common sense details, you will absolutely have a leg up on the competition. Rest assured, we’ve seen enough people stumble to know what gets you noticed in a positive way.
Good luck with your search, and be sure to check out Allied’s available jobs regularly.
As 2016 winds down, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year and gear up for 2017. It is also the perfect time to give your resume a refresh. If it has been a while since you updated it there may be significant changes in your skills and experience that aren’t reflected. Here are a few tips to help guide you through the process.
Review the past year. Have you completed any significant projects? Do you have any added responsibilities? What new skills have you acquired? Looking through your calendar for the past year is an easy way to remember your accomplishments. If you received a performance review take a look at that also, as it should include some details that might need to be added to your resume.
Update your keywords. Strategically using keywords throughout your resume is essential to ensure that employers find you, and also that your resume makes it through the automated resume screening tools that many companies utilize. Your objective or summary statement at the beginning is an easy place to include keywords, and it’s also an easy area to edit when applying for specific positions.
Consider a redesign. While you are editing the content of your resume you should also think about updating the style. A new format might allow you to better highlight some of your recent achievements, or it can help your resume stand out in a crowd of others. Be careful not to overdo, however; keep it professional and remember that sometimes less is more.
Get an objective opinion. Ask a friend or colleague to look at your resume and give you their honest feedback. It can be helpful to seek the opinion of both a person who knows you well and also of someone who doesn’t know you very well. Comparing the feedback of both can help make sure that you’ve crafted a resume that speaks to who you are and what you’ve accomplished.
Need an objective resume review? Talk to one of the staffing professionals here at Allied. Working with a staffing firm is the perfect way to begin a job search and we would love to help you with your 2017 resume refresh!
While technology and the internet have dramatically changed the way we search for jobs, one thing still remains constant: the resume. Even if you are conducting your job search entirely online, your resume is still a necessary component in the process. You may have updated it to include all of your career accomplishments, training,awards and certifications, but there are also several things you need to make sure that it doesn’t include.
• Leave overly personal information off your resume: no social security numbers, marital status, family blogs, pictures, or information unrelated to your skills and work experience.
• References and salary requirements should not be included on your resume. If an employer requests this information, references should be presented on a separate page and salary requirements can be included in a cover letter.
• Limit the use of jargon or specific industry terms unless they are directly relevant to the position for which you are applying.
• Limit your use of bolding, italics and underlining – too much of these can clutter the content. Use a standard font like Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman and use that font consistently throughout all documents.
• Your resume should be free of all spelling and grammatical errors. Always have someone read your resume before sending it. Attention to detail can very easily put your resume on the top of the pile; failure to fix errors quickly moves you to the bottom.
• Present yourself accurately at all times. Never lie. Companies have the time and resources to verify your background information including education and employment history.
If you haven’t done it recently, ask a friend or colleague review your resume. Get their honest feedback and make improvements. You can also get constructive feedback on your resume from a staffing service. At Allied we always provide our candidates with tips and advice to help them improve their resumes and their chances of landing the job.
Attending a job fair can be an excellent way to get your job search started, or to re-energize a search that may feel stalled. It’s a great chance to get in front of many employers in a single day and see what companies are hiring. But in order to make the most of a job fair, it’s important to be prepared.
1) Research. Find out what companies will be there. Most job fairs include a list of employers in advertisements for the event. Visit the websites of those companies to check out current job openings. If there are opportunities you are interested in, take a minute to learn more about the company. Then when you speak with a recruiter at the job fair, you are able to talk about a specific opening or about their company’s business and really stand out from the crowd.
2) Prepare. This is the one time you won’t be able to customize your resume. Since you will be presenting it to multiple employers for various opportunities, make your objective specific to the way you’d like your skills to be used and to the type of work environment you prefer. For this occasion, this is better than trying to specify a position or an industry.
3) Practice. Do you have your 30-second commercial ready? This is one tool you absolutely must have ready for a job fair. Prepare it and practice it. A job fair is a great opportunity to end your commercial with a question; this will help you start a dialogue with the recruiter.
4) Attire. Going to a job fair is a lot like going to a bunch of mini-interviews, so dress as you would for an interview. Often the setting for a job fair is casual, but don’t dress for the venue. Dress to make a great first impression.
5) Prioritize. Rather than start at one end of the job fair and visit every single booth, determine your game plan before you arrive. Because you’ve done your research, you will know the employers you are most interested in visiting. Start with those. If the recruiters are tied up with a line of people waiting, it may be best to stop back. For some very popular employers, there may be no down time for the recruiters and waiting in line may be your only option.
6) Respect. At a busy job fair, you need to be respectful of the recruiter’s time. If there are a large number of job seekers, you may not get a chance to do much more than introduce yourself and drop off your resume. Don’t monopolize a recruiter’s time with excessive explanations about your work history or with multiple questions about their openings. You want to be remembered but not as the person who talked excessively.
7) Follow-up. Get business cards and contact information for the companies you are interested in and follow-up with them. A short, hand-written thank you note reconfirming your interest in the company or in a particular opening is a simple way to give a recruiter a reason to pull your resume out of the stack they have from the job fair.
Don’t be intimidated by long lines at job fairs or by the volume of resumes you see stacked on a recruiter’s table. If you play your cards right, you’ll be on the “first call back pile” and a new employment opportunity may find its way to you.
- “It’s okay not to include dates on my resume.”
MYTH! If dates are omitted, a red flag is raised to the person reviewing your resume. A recruiter will wonder what you might be hiding and may pass over your resume altogether.
- “My resume can’t exceed one page.”
MYTH! Ideally, resumes should never exceed two pages in length. One page is fine if you can fit all of the needed information without crowding the layout. Anything over three pages can be excessive and may be disregarded by a potential employer.
- “I can use the same resume for every job I apply to.”
MYTH! You need to look at the requirements of the position and your resume contents closely. While you don’t need a completely new resume for every application, sometimes you’ll want to tweak your resume to draw stronger attention to certain skills depending on the job. The best advice we can give is to customize it every time you send it.