By Angela Darchuk, CSM, LSSGB and Melissa McManus, Ed.D, SHRM-CP, CSM, LSSGB
As HR for KAI Partners, a growing company, we interact with a lot of job applicants each day. Over the years, we’ve seen the best of the best…and the not so best. We thought we’d share with you our best practices when job-seeking—these tips may just put you above and beyond the competition in your next job search!
Resume Dos and Don’ts
Resume writing best practices change often (has there ever been consensus on the one-page resume rule?). Here are some tips straight from someone who reviews resumes day in and day out:
- Avoid spelling errors by always proofreading your resume—even more, ask someone else to look it over for you
- Include your name contact information—at least an email address and phone number (yes, we’ve received resumes with no contact information!)
- Say what you need to in as few words as possible—a concise and to-the-point resume speaks volumes
- Be targeted—include only those skills and experiences that best speak to the position you are applying for
- Use a customized resume for every position you apply for—generic, cookie cutter resumes can come off as lazy to the reviewer
- Avoid narratives unless specifically asked for—bulleted lists are the best way to present your information in a way that is clean, easy to read, and pleasing to the eye
- Keep your resume up to date—if there are gaps in employment, be prepared to explain or discuss why
- Eliminate all fluff from your resume—it should be a few pages as possible
- If you are submitting your resume electronically, it is best to save the file in rich text format (.rtf) to help ensure that your formatting stays the same and does not become lost in translation—you want the reviewer to see what you see!
Job Fair Best Practices
If you find yourself at a job fair—or even on a phone or first interview—make sure you employ these tips to stand out above the rest!
- Do research—if possible, look up the companies that will be in attendance so that you can be prepared to dazzle them with your knowledge…and to be able to explain why you would be a good fit
- Ask questions about the company—use your research to form questions and let the company you are truly interested
- Be ready to list some highlights about your experiences—you only have a few minutes to make yourself stand out!
- Have your resume printed and ready to hand out
- Dress professionally—think of a job fair as a series of quick interviews and be dressed to make a good first impression
These are just a few tips to assist you in applying for jobs that could help you get to the next step of the hiring process. Is there another HR topic you’d like us to cover? Let us know in the comments and we’ll tackle it in a future blog post!
For those of you in the Sacramento, CA region, check out our current list of job openings here and here!
About the Authors: Angela has a background in book-keeping and office management. She worked for Dept. of Child Support, EDD, and the State Treasurer’s office before making the jump back to private sector where she feels more at home to voice her opinion and help grow a company. Angela is currently the Administrative Services Director for KAI Partners.
Dr. Melissa McManus is the Human Resources Manager for KAI Partners. Melissa is passionate about human behavior and knowledge transfer and believes that human capital drives any organization to success. Melissa is a CSM, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and SHRM-Certified Professional. She holds a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with a focus in Human Resource Development. She is ardent about life and describes herself as an avid bookworm. Melissa enjoys reading (a lot), going to the movies and wine tasting.