Which Of These Has To Be On Your Resume?


  • Assertive
  • Loyal
  • Hard-working
  • Customer-focused
  • Client-centered
  • Empathetic
  • Cooperative
  • Self-starter
  • Experienced
  • Proven leadership

Looking over the 10 bullets above, you’ll see that each one of the traits described is likely to be perceived as a positive quality to have by many employers. This being the case, does it really matter which ones you include in your résumé and which you choose to omit? Or, as their all good, why not just include them all and remove the guess-work out of your decision altogether?

The simple answer to what to include and what not to lies in finding out what exactly the employer is looking for in the first place. So in the end, you might include some, all or actually none of the above. This is a basic principle that some who look for work don’t understand. Then there are job seekers who get the idea but don’t really see the value in taking the time to find out because it just seems like too much effort. After all, it would mean making alterations to their resumes each and every time they applied for a job and who has the energy to be fiddling with it given all the jobs they apply to?

Can I be direct with you here? It’s my goal after all to help you find your next job, and both you and I know you’d like that to be as soon as possible. I’ll pass on some advice and if you don’t like it, you’re in full control here. You can skim, read in-depth, re-read or click delete at any time.

Start by looking at a job posting. Please don’t overlook this most critical step and make some generic resume that you assume will appeal to many employer’s. Making a general resume and handing it to several employers makes about as much sense as a restaurant owner serving guests food without first asking his/her customers what they’d like to order. It may all be good food, but it depends on what the customer feels like eating on any given occasion.  You might figure everybody likes pasta, but some might want seafood or a wrap. Staff have to find out what the customer wants and then prepare it to their individual tastes.

With a job posting in front of you, use a highlighter or pen and identify all the words that describe the qualities, skills and experience this particular employer has identified as what they want. Okay, now that you’ve done this, your job is to make sure that these important words appear throughout your résumé. The more you do a good job of matching what they want with what you have to offer, the greater the odds of you getting an interview.

As I’ve said many times before however, it’s not as easy as just plunking down these key words in your résumé. A good and vital first step yes, but you’re far from done. A strong resume will add proof and not just make a claim. So anyone can say they are cooperative, but you’ll need to add proof in your document so it becomes more than just an idle claim. Take these two below as examples:

  • Team player
  • Excel at working cooperatively and productively with co-workers when working towards common goals and deadlines
  • Recognized as an enthusiastic and vital contributing member of the sales team for personally achieving 12% above designated performance targets

The first bullet simply makes an idle claim. Anyone can write this down; even someone who dislikes working with others intensely. There’s no proof, and it shows no real understanding of what working in a team means.

The second bullet is an improvement because it shows you understand that working in a team requires cooperation and productivity comes about as a result. It also is an upgrade because it adds the concept of working with other people to meet common goals; what everyone should be working towards.

The third bullet works best in showing how you go about working with others, in this case with enthusiasm; the number one thing an employer wants in those they hire. It also adds some descriptive words such as, ‘vital’ and ‘contributing’ and then goes on to add the proof – 12% above the targets a previous employer set. So you have the bare minimum but unimpressive, better and best in order.

Look again at those 10 qualities and traits that started this piece. See leadership up there? That’s got to be a keeper right? Well, not necessarily. If you’ve had positions of leadership before where you supervised others, it might not be as desirable on your résumé if the position you’re now going for is an entry-level job. In this job you’re applying for, you are the one being supervised, so your supervisory experience might actually work against you. Sure maybe once you land the job and are looking for a promotion it would be good to bring that supervisory experience of the past up for discussion, but not now.

What to add in? What to leave out? What to stress and how to prove it? These are the right questions to be asking yourself each and every time you sit down to apply for a job. Perhaps it seems like a lot of work. It’s actually not as much as you’d imagine it to be. In fact, because your résumé matches up well, you end up doing many fewer. Why? Because you land more interviews!

Advertisements

What Your Resume SHOULD Do


Let’s put the question of whether you have a good resume aside for the moment. Rather, let’s talk about what your résumé should be doing.

For starters, your résumé is a marketing document. It should lay out clearly what you offer and entice the person reading it sufficiently to meet you face-to-face. The best resumes are custom-made for the jobs they are submitted for; one unique resume made specifically for that single job. As the reader looks it over, they should be struck with how what you offer aligns with or meets their own needs. The more effective you are at making this potential match clear and the benefit they’ll receive in having a conversation with you, the more likely that is to happen.

Now let’s look at this idea of your specific resume being a marketing document. At this point, it would be an excellent idea if you pulled out your résumé so you can look it over as you read on.

Looking at your résumé, does it communicate how the organization you are applying to will benefit from bringing you on board, or does it focus more on how you want to benefit from working at a company? In reality, a good fit will ultimately benefit both you and the organization you ultimately work for, but on paper you put what you’ll bring to the company ahead of your own interests.

This is where many fail. So often I pick up a résumé and/or an accompanying cover letter and all I read is how the person hopes to grow or advance with the company, learn more skills or use the skills they picked up in earlier work places.  “Seeking a full-time job where I can grow with the company and develop my customer service skills” is such an example; and a bad one too.

You see, this sentence in the previous paragraph is all about what the person wants and says nothing about what they’ll contribute or add. Companies aren’t in the business of charitably developing people’s talents as their primary business. Organizations are looking for skilled workers who fill an immediate or emerging need. Rather than what can we do for you, they read your résumé asking themselves the question, “What can this person do for us?” Fail to clearly communicate this key information and your résumé will fall by the wayside.

Now, even though you’d like to think otherwise, you don’t have their full attention very long. If they look at your résumé for 8 – 20 seconds on first glance, you’re getting the typical once-over. So how do you make sure that the hour you pour into making this résumé and cover letter are going to get more than 20 seconds of their time? Better Marketing.

Think of any ad you see on television, hear on the radio or read in print. Take a car commercial as an example. Depending on the product, the company will pitch the lifestyle that goes with the car. Whether it’s being environmentally responsible by consuming less gas and emitting fewer emissions, being surrounded by laughing, happy friends or getting away from it all on open, curvy roads where yours is the only car on a scenic roadway, they pitch much more than the metal and steel you buy. Buy the car and you’ll live the experience.

This is a very different approach than asking you to buy their cars so they can stay in business and make more profit selling more cars. That pitch would fall on deaf ears. Why should you buy a car to help a big company make more money? But this is exactly what many people do on their own resumes; maybe even you. The pitch on paper is … hire me so I can develop and grow while you pay me. Again, no sale.

Your résumé, cover letter, thank you letter, emails and interview(s) should all communicate the same thing; hire me and here’s how YOU benefit. If you’re unclear after re-reading your own resume how a company would benefit from hiring you, it’s a safe bet they won’t figure it out either.

Okay still with me? So now you may be wondering how you can guarantee that what you offer will be what they want even when you do make it clear. Good question! The answer is in the job posting itself and in what you uncover from a little research. Sometimes a company will even say, “Here’s what you bring:”, or they list qualifications required and, “What you’ll do”.

One of the very BEST things you can do when preparing to send your résumé is something that very few applicants bother with, because it actually takes some initiative. What is it? Have a conversation with an employee who is doing the job you are interested in. Find out:

  • What personal characteristics are most desirable to succeed?
  • What are the challenges in the job?
  • What qualities do people have that excel in the job?

Research takes some initiative and it separates the go-getters who want to stand out from those who aren’t really all that motivated. If you’re looking for an edge, there are few things you could do better than reach out to an employee and ask to sit down with them and hear about what they do, what they like, the job challenges etc.

A line in your cover letter could start with, “Having done extensive research before applying, including meeting with __________,”

“Apply For A Job I Don’t Truly Want?”


There are the jobs we’d love to do; the one’s that get us really excited at the prospect of being offered the opportunity as the preferred candidate. Then there are the jobs which we are qualified to do, but don’t really turn us on to the same degree; they might be a little to far away for our liking, not quite pay what we want, or perhaps aren’t in the size of the organization we’d like. So should we apply for both kinds of job with the same commitment?

From an employer’s point of view, the answer is probably a big, “No!” After all, it hardly seems fair to them if some of the job applicants applying for the job opening aren’t truly invested in the application. If they ended up being offered the job only to then turn it down, that would be a lot of time, energy and yes money invested in the hiring process only to have to go back to other applicants.

From your point of view as a job seeker, the answer is less obvious. On the one hand, we all only have so much time and energy. Your time is no less valuable than an employer’s, and so you could argue that your focus should be clearly and only on jobs you really want; jobs you’d happily take if offered.

However, there are compelling reasons to apply for jobs that you’re not on fire for. Suppose for example you’ve got a criminal record. It’s from 8 or 9 years ago – maybe even further back in your past – but it’s still sitting there should a criminal reference check be done. In such a situation, you probably dread the inevitable question in an interview that could scuttle your chances at getting hired. In fact, you’ve probably already lost out on jobs for this very reason, so you’ve got good cause to feel anxious; for no matter how qualified or well you present yourself, that conviction always seems to get you in the end.

To help yourself, you’ve sought out help from someone at a local employment centre and you’ve had a mock interview or two to practice your answer. Your dilemma is wondering if the first time you try out your new response to the question should be at your dream job. After all, if practice makes perfect, a mock interview palls in comparison to a real interview with a real employer where a real job is on the line.

In such a situation, yes, you might be wise to consider applying for a job which you’re qualified to do, but doesn’t hit all the required boxes to qualify as your dream job. If as you’d hoped, the response you give is well received and results in a favourable outcome, this will bolster your confidence in future interviews, because you have proof that you can get past this previously impossible barrier. The same would apply if you’ve been terminated, you have no employment history whatsoever, you’ve got a large gap in your résumé, you’re feeling old etc. There are all kinds of situations where you might feel vulnerable, easily exposed and as a result, don’t present well in an interview. For these situations and more, going through a live interview to practice and testing out new approaches could be excellent advice.

The interesting part is that sometimes you might get offered a job and as much as you don’t believe it’s possible now, you do actually accept the job. After all, hey, it’s a job! Taking this position will be something current on your résumé, you’ll get new references should you do well, your past criminal record might diminish in importance if you prove you can work as expected. Put in enough time to repay the employer for their confidence in hiring you and you then apply for your dream jobs, knowing you’ve got some income at present and your sights can rise on a better fit.

Of course you could turn down the job if offered to you just as well. Hey, it happens. I don’t suggest you apply and interview for 76 jobs you have zero interest in which is an extreme waste of your time; you only need perhaps one interview with an employer to try an answer to get past your dreaded question. There’s no substitute for the real thing.

Experience in all its many forms is a good thing. Be they good or bad, every experience is a learning opportunity. Some people will tell you that jobs they took out of necessity and came to dislike or even dread were in some ways good for them. They may have learned to avoid certain kinds of work or work environments, to steer clear of certain kinds of supervisors, or to restrict their job search to a certain distance. The experience of going to interviews is no different as you learn what answers work for you and which don’t.

Now lest you be alarmed I’m recommending job seekers everywhere to flood employers with applications for jobs they have no interest in at all, I’m not saying this. What I am saying is that in certain situations, and on an individual basis, there are  times when it’s sound advice to hone your interview skills in a real interview; not for your dream job where you’ll feel the extra pressure, but first perhaps in a job with less on the line, so you can prepare yourself for that job of jobs!

Before Submiting Your Resume


Writing a résumé would seem to be something most people should be able to do on their own; which is precisely why so many people often take to doing it themselves. I mean, it doesn’t seem overly complicated requiring the services of a professional. It’s just something that many people feel they have the skills to do; it is after all just words on paper, and who knows a person better than themselves?

And to be fair, when one professional can’t agree with another about what to add, what to leave off, the layout and the formatting, one’s left wondering if the one they’d make themselves might not just work as well. While the best advice I have to offer is to enlist the help of a professional who will work with you face-to-face, there will always be those who insist on doing it for themselves and saving time and money into the bargain. (What they believe is the case at any rate.)

Over the weekend I had some time and went looking online for the help of a résumé writing service, not because I would actually employ their services mind, but to see what was on offer. This is what I do in part for a living myself, but I thought it might be interesting to see what services are out there. I started looking on Kijiji;  where I know  some people begin their search for such help.

It didn’t take long actually. Here was an ad which seemed to say a lot of the right things. It promised quick results, whether a person wanted a résumé, a cover letter or both. It mentioned three times in the ad that the writers are all English; which immediately made me suspicious. It was just an odd thing to add in an ad that is written in English to begin with. As I read on, the choice of words started to fit together less and less appropriately. It started sounding more and more like the writer spoke and wrote English as their second language.

The ad advises people to send them a deposit to get started, plus their old resume or all the things they’ve done in the past if they don’t have one. Then the service will send them a picture of the completed resume, and once the balance is paid, the completed document(s) will be sent; satisfaction guaranteed. They claim to have, “lot of happiness from others.” See what I mean? One can just imagine an entire resume with this rather crude sentence structure. The price? $40 per resume.

I also went looking at a few job search websites; seeking jobs that I’m not qualified or interested in applying to personally. I wanted to see what guidelines or expectations employers had in the resumes they expected to receive. One ad asked for applicants to include their hobbies and interests outside of work; something typically left off resumes these days. Another ad instructed applicants to apply directly via LinkedIn; so without a profile on that platform, don’t bother to apply. A third ad requested that applicants should clearly state why they want the job they are applying to at the top of the résumé.

So the advice I give you is before submitting your résumé, read the ad wherever you find it and carefully look for anything specific the employer requests. Failing to add or drop things as the case may be, could end up terminating your chances of success before you even send your application. Of course there are other guidelines to look for; send an accompanying cover letter or don’t, include a job reference number if one is provided, and instructions on whether resumes can be faxed, emailed, hand-delivered or mailed. Does anyone actually mail resumes anymore?

Employer’s websites often give specific instructions on the right font style and size they expect, the size of paper, number of pages permitted and whether they want every job you’ve ever done or just the relevant bits. I imagine at least some of the people reading this piece are still mass producing their single resume and distributing it to many employers in the hope that something sticks. By the way, stop doing this; it’s annoying and it doesn’t work effectively most of the time. Or continue to do this as you wish; sure, you might get lucky.

The bottom line of my message is that before you start a résumé – whether you do it yourself or you enlist the help of someone else, read the post and see if the employer has left you some guidance with respect to their expectations. You would be wise to go and read the employers website too if they have one. A lot of the time you can find information on their submission guidelines there; it’s like a reward for those job seekers who bother to check out the employer and separates these from those who don’t see the value in doing so. Resumes that don’t follow the employer’s expectations may be immediately trashed because after all, if the applicant can’t be bothered to even check out the employer’s publicly posted webpage, how invested are they going to be doing work for the company when they don’t invest in doing work for themselves?

Go at this résumé thing any way you like of course; it’s your future after all. Please don’t think you get what you pay for; not in this case.

Writing A Cover Letter


No the cover letter is not dead; nor has it fallen out of practice. Yes you will come across job postings that ask that you only include a résumé, but don’t take these directives as justification for not writing one as your usual practice when applying for a job. Put in the effort required and include a cover letter as the rule.

The first thing to look for in a job posting is whether there is a job number to quote in your cover letter. Typically an ad will instruct you to put this in the subject line of an email when applying, and likewise it’s good practice to put this at the beginning of your cover letter and underlined for prominence. This courtesy just ensures your application gets to the right hiring people for the job in question as it may be just one of many they will interview for.

The question now comes up as to whom the letter should be addressed. ‘To whom it may concern’ might be your standard opening, but I strongly discourage this generic opening. We have social media, company websites and of course the phone; do some digging and get the name, proper spelling and job title of the person you want your cover letter and resume to end up with. Sure some employers go out of their way to hide this information from job seekers, but do your best. If this information can be tracked down with a phone call or a visit to their website, applicants who address their letter to the person in question stand out from the pack right off the top.

Now, how to begin? Well, let’s put ourselves in the place of the reader of your mail. “Who is writing me and what do they want?” Two obvious questions. Your name at the top and bottom of the letter will explain the who, so your opening line should get right to your motive for contacting them. You do after all, want the résumé and cover letter you submit to lead to a job interview, correct? Right; so ask for one.

It is with genuine enthusiasm that I request an interview for the position of _______.

Oddly enough some people think this is too aggressive. Well, it’s not; it’s assertive yes, and it respects the time of the people who read the cover letter, right from the Receptionist, Human Resources staff and the specific Hiring Supervisor. Everyone who reads your opening knows what you’re after. Please don’t dance around what you want and dither about just hinting at what you want. Too often I see people write things like,

Please find my attached resume. I believe I have the qualifications you are looking for and I would appreciate the chance to meet and discuss how we can benefit each other

There’s just so many things wrong in a paragraph like the one above. The language is passive and weak, and if you can’t just come out and tell them what you’re after, that’s an issue. After all, you do want an interview don’t you? Of course you do!

So what’s wrong with that opening? Okay, first off, why are you asking them to find your résumé? Did you hide it? Do you have the qualifications or don’t you? If you do, then saying, “I have the qualifications you are looking for” is the right thing to say instead of inserting the word, ‘believe’ which literally means you’re not sure you have the qualifications needed, but you think you do. While we’re at it, substitute the word, ‘opportunity’ for the word, ‘chance’. This is an opportunity – for both you and the company. ‘Chance’ sounds risky, and you don’t want to sound like a risk at all. Finally, while it’s true that both you and the company will mutually benefit each other if/when hired, in your opening greeting, you should concentrate on what you’ll do for the company and not speak about what you’ll get out of things.

Okay so you’ve asked for the interview right up front. Now move to their needs and how your combination of skills, education, experience and attitude fit their needs. Research you’ve done will clue you in about what to speak to. Without some digging, you’re just guessing.

Your cover letter should include words from the posting but not just be a rehashing of what’s in the resume itself. Consider speaking to your motivation here, possibly stating why you’re entering the workforce, returning to your field of choice, you’ve just relocated to the area, etc. but whatever you speak to, don’t place yourself as a charity case; it’s not about what they can do for you but rather how your background qualifies you uniquely. Sell and market yourself to their needs.

When you do close off your cover letter, reiterate your request for an interview.

As stated in the opening, I am requesting an in-person interview to best demonstrate my strong candidacy for this opportunity.

Anyone skimming your cover letter can’t miss your intention. Assuming they know why you’re writing and that’s it’s obvious or a given would be a mistake. If you haven’t the courage to simply state what it is you want, how will you perform if they actually hire you?

When you close off, stand out. Drop the, ‘sincerely’ and ‘yours truly’.

With enthusiasm,

Enthusiasm after all is the number one trait employers want.

Interviews: The Key Fundamental


We’re living in a world that’s become increasingly sophisticated; (feel free to substitute the word complicated for sophisticated if you wish).

While progress is often a good thing, it can completely intimidate some, leaving them far behind when it comes to interviewing. All these new interview formats and techniques have interviewees feeling overly stressed, resulting in many not interviewing at their best. Few people love interviews and so it’s easy to understand few take the time to improve their interviewing skills. After all, if you don’t like interviews, it’s not likely you’ll invest time voluntarily participating in the experience.

For you then, here’s the key to a successful experience; for no matter how complicated things seem to be, this one fundamental will help you reduce your stress levels and compete better. What is it?

See the interview for what it is. An interview is a conversation between two or more people. That’s it. You have conversations – and therefore interviews – many times during the day. Those are not high stress interactions. You’ll notice that although I’ve intentionally omitted the word, ‘job’ to this point, you’ve probably inserted it as you’ve read along. Thus you read, “See the job interview for what it is.”

A job interview is at its heart just conversation between two or more people where the agreed upon subject is an opportunity. Indulge me by re-reading that again. A job interview is a conversation between two or more people where the agreed upon subject is an opportunity. I’d remind you that this opportunity is not solely for the person applying for the job, but also for the organization conducting the job interviews.

If you are fearful and intimidated by the job application process; if you wish you could bypass the job interview and just get hired, it’s likely you perceive the interview very differently than those who embrace them. Yes, it’s likely you see the job interview as this unpleasant experience you must endure where the job interviewer judges you and decides your fate, most often rejecting you personally. If so, is it any wonder that even the subject of job interviews gets your stomach churning and you view them as a necessary evil to be avoided at all costs? No wonder there are people right now who hate their jobs but refuse to quit because it will mean choosing to put themselves through more job interviews!

Seriously, it’s just a conversation about an opportunity. In a conversation, participants contribute to the discussion; not always equally if you think about it, but both sides do contribute. A job interview is no different. The employer represented by the interviewer or interviewers, wants to learn about you, what motivates you, what you might bring and contribute to their organization. They ask about your experience, education and skills in order to flesh out as best they can who you are and most importantly how you align with what they know to be their needs.

You however? You’ve got a stake in this too. Your after information on perhaps the working conditions, the culture of the organization, the management style of the person you’d be reporting to, the autonomy the position demands, the benefits of working with the company, how they view the consumers of their goods and services. You’re likely to want to know the expectations they have, and in short whether this move would be a good fit for you for the foreseeable future. Hence, they’ve got questions and so should you.

Now think please of the first time you meet people. Back to the beginning when you two introduce yourselves. If the person you are meeting looks stressed and clearly uncomfortable, it’s probable that you’re first impression isn’t favourable and you’ll remove yourself early, ceasing to invest more time with them. You’ve sized that person up pretty quickly based on the limited information you gathered and you excused yourself.

Those who interview job applicants do exactly the same thing. Hence, it’s extremely important to make that all important good first impression. Get past the first 30 seconds with a smile, a friendly, “Hello, it’s very nice to meet you”, and an expression of gratitude for meeting with them and you’re on your way.

As you settle in, you’ll be asked questions and this is your opportunity to market yourself to their advertised needs. Doesn’t it stand to reason that those who best show that they’ll bring what the company said they want will be the best fit and get the job offers? They may ask the majority of the questions I grant, but you get to do the bulk of the talking as you phrase your replies. Remember to focus your answers on the questions asked, and the only way they will know you can do what you claim is to demonstrate via specific examples that prove to them you’ve got what it takes.

Essential to remember is that your body, at least as much as your words, communicates. Look engaged, interested, focused and dressed appropriately.

Instead of an interrogation where you voluntarily go to be executed, the job interview is your opportunity – and theirs – to determine if the match between the employer and you is a good fit for both. This fundamental shift in your thinking; how you perceive the job interview, may be the one thing you do that changes how you perform.

It starts in the mind!

 

 

The Right Attitude For The Interview


Congratulations! You’ve been offered and accepted a job interview with a company you’re really interested in working with doing a job that you’d sincerely love to do. While it’s taken longer to land this interview than you ever thought it would, you’re grateful for it nonetheless. This is the job interview!

There’s a lot riding on this one isn’t there? It’s your one big chance to show them how great you are and how great you’d be in the position. What to wear? When to leave for the interview so you get there early but not too early? What to research – is there time for more research? And what about – hold on there partner! Slow down. Breathe. Focus.

Sometimes we get over excited about the interview don’t we? I mean it’s one thing to be happy and excited about an upcoming job interview that we really want but it’s quite another to go overboard and see it for what it isn’t too. It isn’t your only shot at a job you’d be great at and love doing that’s going to pay you well. I’m glad it is by the way, but on a broader scale it isn’t the only job of its kind nor is it probably your only shot at this job with this company.

I do understand that in the present moment; at this time, this is your shot however and that’s what you’re understandably focused on. I’m happy for you and I’m here in your corner for you.

Let’s start with some basic information; what we know to be true. First of all, it’s clear that up to this point, you are in the running for the job. You’ve impressed them enough, presumably with your resume at the very least, and you’ve already made it to the short list of applicants beating out those whom applied and didn’t get an interview. If you submitted a cover letter with the resume, it too is a fairly safe bet that (assuming they read it) whatever it contained motivated them enough to want to hear more from you. The two documents together have resulted in the interview. It’s important to recognize this because if you don’t land the job, you’ll want to stick with what’s working when applying for other jobs, and clearly these two did what you hope they’d do for you.

You’re understandably nervous to some degree at the prospect of the interview but more importantly what the interview represents. It represents your chance to be offered the position itself; and attaining the job fulfills a pretty significant goal of yours. You may also be seeing this opportunity as more than doing something you’d love with an employer you’d love to work with. This perhaps could be your chance to start paying down debts with the income it will provide, move in different social circles, prove to other people you’ve rebounded and have made something of yourself, and of course it will take a huge weight off your shoulders and you can shift from job searching to employment.

With all that riding on this job interview,  no wonder you’re feeling the heat! Could I suggest a few things? First, acknowledge to yourself that you’re now down to say 3-6 people from perhaps 75 – 100 who have applied for the job. Your odds of getting hired are actually very good. Sure you’re now competing with just a few others who are feeling the same way, but we’re focused on what’s within your control and that’s you not them. Think positively and let’s own this interview.

Let’s answer some basic questions here well ahead of the interview. Why do you want this job with this employer? The sum of your previous experiences (life and work experiences) has made you the person you are so, why are you right for this job based on your past? This will be a combination of your education, skills, experience, values, personal suitability and the intangibles you bring that are unique to you from the other applicants.

Look at the job posting you initially applied to again. The things you’ll be responsible for and the qualifications they said they are looking for are going to make up the bulk of the interview questions. You need answers that contain specific examples from your past that p r o v e you have the skills and experience you claim to have. Get these together now.

Your attitude? Desperation isn’t attractive; its – well – desperate. I’m pretty much guessing they want someone positive, upbeat, good to be around and have around. Being assertive but not cocky or aggressive is usually on the mark more than it’s not, but your homework into the role might tell you otherwise. Maybe it’s aggressive they want because your income is based 100% on sales? If so, shift your approach to fit. Maybe they want someone low on socializing and more on the, ‘there’s work to be done so let’s get to it’ mentality, so again emphasize your work ethic.

Go  on get excited! You should be! We can celebrate together after the interview when – successful or not – you’ve done your best to shine and given it your best. The ultimate decision is out of your hands but you hope to influence that decision-making process with everything you’ve got. Like an athlete, leave nothing unsaid that you want to communicate.

The right attitude? Communicate “I want this job with your organization; I’m the right person for the position.”