Preparing yourself and your resumé for an interview

Be pro-active. Dress well. Lose the funky email address. Don’t lie

I was shock02-192015Dawn williamsed to hear from a customer recruiting a Sales Manager that not one of the four candidates researched his company in preparation for the interview. This is quite interesting since these are sales positions. Should this not be one of the first things that one does when going for an interview, especially a sales job? As a sales recruiter these are the cornerstones of success.
Nothing beats good preparation.
I once had a candidate go to a prospective employer’s distribution centre, talk to employees, then went to speak to suppliers in preparation for a job interview. He really wanted the job and got it after demonstrating his pro-activeness. I had another candidate prepare an unsolicited business plan; he got the job.
Recruiting is unique in that it tells me through the interview process how the candidate is likely to perform. Do they listen well? What kind of questions do they ask? How prepared are they for the client’s objections? Do they ask for the “order”, i.e. the job? And how is that done? Is the timing done properly?
I have another client who will not give the job to a candidate that has not asked for the job nor picked up his buying signals. This is the president of the company speaking.
Preparation also includes the manner in which you are dressed. Better to be over-dressed than under- dressed. You should actually do a drive-by or ask. If you cannot, err on the side of caution and dress corporately. It could be a question in the interview, or ask your business associates. Most of all do not assume and show up in a golf shirt and chinos or for women, that great outfit for Saturday night. As a recruiter, I will let the candidate know, but the candidate should get into the habit of asking.
Your resumé is a reflection of you. I have read thousands and you need to assume that the employer or recruiter reads hundreds or thousands. You have got to make yours noticeable. We have all heard the expression, keep it simple. Some resumés read like novels. It’s important to let the recruiter or employer know where your strengths lie. This can be done in point form. Your time is valuable so you want to be in front of the right employers and they want the right candidates in an interview.
Assume that not all recruiters and employers read your resumé from top to bottom at first glance. You need to get your resume noticed. Ensure that you list your accomplishments, prizes and promotions.
I once interviewed a 43-year-old guy who had a one-page resumé that showed three jobs. I spoke to him on the phone, liked what I heard then interviewed him face to face. He was great. I told him that his resumé was like a black and white TV and he, in person, was like an HDTV. If you have a few years of experience, feel free to go beyond one page.
If you are not an expert on the computer program, “Word,” then please use the templates that are provided for free as part of Microsoft Office or hire a professional.
Another thing, get rid of those funky email addresses that you once had in university, such as funkygirl@ or partyguy@; it doesn’t look professional. Most resumés are emailed and read by a computer so make sure that you have key words that indicate your skills in yours.
Most important tip: DON’T EVER LIE ON YOUR RESUME; it always comes back to haunt you. When a hiring manager discovers a lie it leads to doubt about you and could lead to a missed opportunity.
With her over 20 years of sales management experience, Dawn Williams recognizes what it takes to succeed in sales. She started her sales career at Xerox Canada and has held managerial positions at Allstream/ACC, Medisys Health Group and Pitney Bowes. Today, she owns her own recruitment firm, Sirius Personnel, and specializes in recruiting sales and marketing individuals for corporate customers.
The recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, Ms. Williams also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Montreal’s Concordia University and earned her MBA from Athabasca University.