ONE CRUCIAL TIP TO HELP YOU GET MORE JOB OFFERS

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.

SHOW DATE: NOVEMBER 13, 2013

When you’re sending your resume out, save all that pretty formatting—the boxes, the graphs, the shading—for the resume you print out and physically hand to employers.

When you send your resume out to large companies, or even a medium-sized one, they have something called the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This is how HR manages the thousands of resumes they get.

This tracking system reads the resumes electronically—and all those little boxes and shadows and fancy lettering stop the program from properly reading your resume. This is a big reason you haven’t been getting as many job offers as you should be. The system just can’t process the awesomeness of your resume.

So here’s what you do: have two versions of your resume. One to physically give to someone in an interview, or to mail out, or to attach as a PDF. But then you’ve got your ATS-friendly resume.

If you have to upload your resume to a system, make sure you attach a version stripped of all the fancy formatting.

YOUR INTERVIEWER WILL LOVE YOU FOR ANSWERING THIS QUESTION

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SHOW DATE: SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

You send your resume out to dozens upon dozens of companies, to the far reaches of earth, utilizing myriad job boards and craigslist postings in the arduous process. So how the hell are you going to remember where you found a particular job when your interviewer brings up that all-too-common inquiry: “So, how’d you hear about our company?” “Um, Monster.com?”

Here’s the deal: answering this simple question can make your interviewer love you. And the great thing is, when was the last time you didn’t hear this question in an interview? (Also, unlike some dreaded, torturous questions, it’s pretty easy to answer.)

Don’t assume that the interviewer knows where you found the job. Usually, the person who sorts through incoming resumes is not the same person who does the interviews—often, it’s two completely separate processes.

Find a way to organize your job applications if you can’t recall where you found every job you applied for. Better yet, head over to our Tools page and check out JibberJobber, an excellent all-in-one job-search management tool.

You’re basically spitting in your interviewer’s face when you can’t remember where you found out about their company. They’re not going to sympathize with your intense, multitudinous job search efforts. All they’re going to be musing is, “This schmuck thinks our job isn’t important enough,” and, “If he’s way too disorganized to even have a functional job search process, he shouldn’t even be working here.”

It really stokes the interviewer’s ego when they hear you say not only where you found their listing, but how much you really liked the job description and how excited you were to apply for the job. Don’t lose their attention (and the job opportunity) by missing these crucial little details.

HOW TO ANSWER INAPPROPRIATE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

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SHOW DATE: JUNE 12, 2013

So what religion are you? Are you gay? Who did you vote for in 2012? When do you plan on starting up a family? Do you have any health-related issues I should know about?

Chances are you won’t hear any of these questions during a job interview. Not only is it inappropriate to ask such questions—and pretty creepy—but it’s downright illegal.

Despite this, such questions still make their way into interviews. Usually it’s a genuine mistake—for example, you and your interviewer get chatty about how you grew up in a strict Mormon household, and he asks what religion you practice now, simply out of curiosity. Other times, the person interviewing you is inexperienced and doesn’t know what kind of questions are off the table. And once in a blue moon, you’re actually being interviewed by someone who knows better but doesn’t care, because they ain’t working with none of them kind of peoples. You know the ones.

Regardless of how and why the inappropriate question rears its ugly head, there’s only one way to answer it. You should never attempt to challenge the question or educate your interviewer—that will make you look combative and them look stupid, neither of which are going to bode well for your career prospects. Instead, you should say the following:

“That’s an interesting question, and I’d be happy to answer it.  But can you tell me how that relates to the job?”

With this response, you nip the question in the bud through mere curiosity. In other words, instead of seeming offended, annoyed, or cagey, you show that you are always thinking about the job and how to best do it—and that’s exactly what the best professionals do.

HOW TO ANSWER “WHY SHOULD I HIRE YOU?”

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SHOW DATE: May 8, 2013

One of the most dreaded interview questions is, “Why should I hire you?” But this is a great question for the interviewee—if you know how to answer it. Your answer should always touch on one of two areas: fit or experience. If you have a natural fit with the company (either because you know people there, you have a synergy with the company culture, or you love the responsibilities your position requires), you should stress that. If you have significant experience in the job you are applying for, then stress that. And as a last resort, if you have no direct experience, discuss how your past experience has served as a the perfect preparation.