Span 588: Spanish American Poetry

Job Search Resource Guide
Office of Human Resources
Table of Contents
Introduction
2
Overview of the Steps
3
Getting Started_____
4
Conduct a Self-Assessment
5
Explore Options_________
6
Networking
Social Media
Develop a Plan
10
Apply for Positions
11
Writing an Effective Cover Letter
Analyzing a Job Description Worksheet
Sample Cover Letters
Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae
Writing an Effective Resume / Curriculum Vitae
Resume Preparation Worksheet
Action Words Resource Sheet
Sample Sections to Include on a CurriculumVitae
Sample Resumes
Sample Curriculum Vitae
Tips When Applying for Northwestern Positions
External Online Job Search Engines
Local Universities
Job Search Tracking Worksheet
Interview
36
Preparing for an In-Person Interview
Preparing for a Telephone Interview
Sample Interview Questions
Questions to Ask and Avoid During the Interview
Post-Interview Follow Up
Closing
Document last updated 8/8/2012.
44
1
Introduction
Northwestern University is committed to supporting employees with the tools and information necessary
to assist with a career transition. With this in mind, Northwestern’s Office of Human Resources has
developed a resource guide to support staff in the job search process. This guide provides a summary of
the key steps in conducting a job search, along with practical tools and resources for getting started.
Should you have questions regarding your job search, you may contact the Office of Human Resources at
847-491-7507 (Evanston) or 312-503-8481 (Chicago).
2
Overview of the Steps
Conduct a
SelfAssessment
Land Your
New Position
Explore
Options
Interview
Develop a Plan
Apply for
Positions
3
Getting Started
There are many components to conducting an effective job search. Before you begin, consider the
following:
пѓј Do you have a good understanding of yourself and the type of employment that interests you?
пѓј Have you identified industries, companies, and organizations that interest you?
пѓј Have you identified what positions are currently open within your target industries and
organizations?
пѓј Have you identified networking opportunities?
пѓј Do you have a cover letter and resume prepared?
пѓј Have you prepared for interviews?
пѓј Are you prepared to track your progress toward finding employment?
Being thoughtful about these components before you begin your job search can help to streamline the
search process and lead to a more successful outcome.
4
Conduct a Self-Assessment
Self-assessment is the first step in an effective job search. It is important to understand early on who you
are and what is important to you in a job. The following are questions to consider when thinking about
your career:
п‚·
What makes me happy?
п‚·
What things have I done in the past that I really enjoyed?
п‚·
What types of things interest me?
п‚·
What are my skills, abilities, and interests?
п‚·
What type of work environment do I like?
п‚·
What things are most important to me in a job on which I am unwilling or unable to compromise?
п‚·
What type of people do I like to spend time with?
п‚·
What type of management style do I work best under?
п‚·
What qualifications and education do I bring to the table?
п‚·
Do I value work / life balance and what am I willing to trade for it?
As you think about what positions, industries (e.g. manufacturing, higher education, service, technology),
and organizations you plan to target in your job search, consider them in the context of how you
responded to the questions above. For example:
п‚·
Are they a good fit given my skills, abilities, and interests?
п‚·
Will I find the work interesting and challenging?
п‚·
Will they provide me with the things that are most important to me and on which I cannot
compromise?
If you are looking for additional support in determining what career best fits your own skills, interests,
and abilities, there are a number of free self-assessment tools available on the Internet that you may find
useful. Additionally, the Office of Human Resources also has an assessment profile at no additional
charge to University employees called the CareerPortrait, available at Workplace Learning under Career
Planning Tools.
5
Explore Options
The next step in your job search is to explore options. Write down all your ideas for new possibilities.
What types of positions are you looking for? What industries are of interest? What potential paths would
you like to explore? A resource to help you explore various career paths is Beverly Kay’s seminal Up is
Not the Only Way.
If you are considering not only changing jobs, but also changing careers, there are additional
considerations you must address, such as:
п‚·
What type of experience is necessary to qualify me for a position in my career of interest? If you
lack the requisite experience, consider signing up for volunteer work or enrolling in a course to
gain exposure to this type of work.
п‚·
What skills do I need for the type of positions I am interested in? Do I possess these skills?
Consider that many skills are often transferable. Explore how to reframe past experiences to
highlight your transferrable skills rather than your specific work activities.
п‚·
Do I have a compelling story for why I want to switch careers? Since there will undoubtedly be
other job applicants who possess experience more directly relevant to the position, it will be
important that you have a compelling reason for changing careers and that you can clearly
articulate this to potential employers. Develop a brief, minute-long “story” highlighting your
reason(s) for changing careers. Also, ensure that your cover letters describe why you are seeking
to change careers and the ways in which your skills translate to the new career.
A recommended resource that can help you further explore the process of career reinvention is Herminia
Ibarra’s book Working Identity.
6
Networking
Career networking is a very powerful tool to leverage when you are in the midst of a job search. When
thinking about networking, it is important to remember that networking should not be a one-sided
relationship or only about you getting a job. Rather, networking is about creating long-lasting, mutually
beneficial relationships that allow you to tap into career opportunities that might not otherwise be known.
While it is essential that you are honest and relaxed when networking, you also shouldn’t wing it. Before
beginning to network, you will want to develop a list of potential contacts. Think broadly about these
contacts and consider individuals from all different parts of your life. These could include contacts from
Northwestern, previous employers, schools you attended, associations to which you belong, and those
within your community.
Once you have compiled your list of contacts, thoroughly research their backgrounds and work history.
Also consider forums for creating new contacts, such as business conferences, continuing education
classes, and volunteer opportunities.
There are several professional and social organizations within Northwestern that provide excellent
networking opportunities for staff, including:
п‚·
[email protected]
The Association for Higher Education Administrators' Development helps higher education
administrators establish and fulfill their academic, career, personal and social objectives, while
also providing support for navigating the potential challenges encountered.
http://www.northwestern.edu/ahead/
п‚·
ANUW
The Association of Northwestern University Women supports the professional development of
women in administration at the University.
http://www.northwestern.edu/anuw/
п‚·
GLUU
The Gay and Lesbian University Union is an organization for LGBT graduate students, faculty,
staff and alumni at Northwestern University.
http://www.northwestern.edu/gluu/
п‚·
NURAP
Northwestern University Research Administration Professionals supports research administration
professionals at Northwestern University and is open to all members of the Northwestern
University research community.
http://www.research.northwestern.edu/nurap/
п‚·
NUSAC
Northwestern University Staff Advisory Council is a group of volunteer staff members appointed
by the President to promote a positive work environment and serve as an advocacy group and
communication channel between staff and University administration.
http://www.northwestern.edu/nusac/
7
п‚·
University Circle
University Circle provides opportunities for Northwestern University women to participate in
service, scholarship and social activities that enhance the University community.
http://www.northwestern.edu/university-circle/
п‚·
The Women's Center
The Women’s Center serves as a gathering place for women students, staff and faculty across
lines of race, class and sexual orientation. It is a safe haven where NU women connect, as well as
an environment suited to enrich personal, professional and academic lives.
http://www.northwestern.edu/womenscenter/
Finally, PlanIt Purple, the University’s events calendar located on the main home page, is also a great
resource for staying abreast of events happening on and around our campuses.
8
Social Media
With the Internet buzzing with social media, there are many ways to use this in order to network and
augment your job search. Several of the most prominent social networking sites are included below. As
you use these sites, it is important to appropriately set your privacy settings and be mindful of how posts
and pictures may be perceived. You should represent yourself professionally on social media sites and in
a way that is consistent with your broader job search.
п‚·
LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site that allows you to build and maintain
professional connections with colleagues, business prospects, or others within your industry. It
allows you to create a professional profile detailing your professional expertise and work history
and provides a useful forum for seeking employment.
http://www.linkedin.com/
п‚·
Facebook
While Facebook is a social networking site more popularly used for connecting or reconnecting
with personal friends or other people you know, when used appropriately it can also be an
effective networking tool. It allows you to create a profile of personal information and to share
messages, photos, links, videos, and other information.
http://www.facebook.com/
п‚·
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables you to send and
read brief text-based posts. From a networking standpoint, Twitter allows you to connect with
other individuals based on a common interest.
http://twitter.com/
9
Develop a Plan
Once you’ve explored some options, set some targeted goals. Targets/goals should be S.M.A.R.T.:
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time-Bound
When setting targets, think about…1
п‚· How will you know whether or not you are on the right track?
п‚· Can the goal be broken down into a series of sub-goals that can be monitored to assure that you
are moving in the desired direction?
Evaluating Attainability
п‚· Is this a logical next step from the present position and salary grade?
п‚· What is the competition likely to look like and how will my qualifications compare?
Evaluating Relevance
п‚· Is the goal in sync with my recent position, skills, and abilities?
п‚· Is the goal a step in the right direction?
Your targets should reflect a match between the realities of the organization, the marketplace, and your
skills and aspirations.
Targets
By When
1. _______________________________________________
2. _______________________________________________
3. _______________________________________________
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________
For your top two targets, what actions do you need to take and by when in order to meet your target?
What new skills and education might you need to acquire?
1
Actions (Sub-Steps to Meet Your Target)
By When
1. _______________________________________________
2. _______________________________________________
3. _______________________________________________
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________
Adapted from Up is Not the Only Way, Beverly Kaye, 2001
10
Writing an Effective Cover Letter
A cover letter is an introductory letter that accompanies your resume when applying for a position. It is
important to include a cover letter each time you apply for a position, as it can be a great asset in your job
search. The purpose of a cover letter is to demonstrate that you are a viable candidate for the position and
to help you stand out from the other applications that have been received. The best cover letters are those
that are tailored to the specific position to which you are applying. The general components of a cover
letter are as follows:
п‚·
Begin the letter by indicating why you are writing and to what position you are applying.
Indicate how you learned of the position, particularly if it was through a personal contact. If you
are writing a letter of interest in which you are asking about what positions may be available,
specify why you are interested in working for this particular employer.
п‚·
In the next one to two paragraphs, outline your qualifications and match them to the requirements
of the position. Demonstrate enthusiasm and a desire to help the organization reach its goals.
Indicate why you stand out relative to the position or organization. Be brief but provide specific
examples, and relate relevant details about the organization so the employer knows you have
done research ahead of time.
п‚·
Include a brief final paragraph that indicates what action will come next. Direct the employer to
the enclosed resume, make your availability known for an interview and, whenever possible, let
them know that you will contact them to discuss the opportunity further.
п‚·
Close by thanking the employer for their time and consideration.
Consider the following tips when creating a cover letter: 2
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
2
Keep your cover letter brief and simple. A half-page cover letter is ideal and you should avoid
going over one page in length. Steer away from using buzzwords, acronyms, jargon, and overly
personal language. Use a font size that is simple and clear.
Grab the employer’s attention right from the start by pointing out how you can make a difference
in a way no other candidate can.
Rather than simply listing your past accomplishments and titles, position them in terms of how
they benefit the organization. Your cover letter needs to answer the question “What’s in it for the
organization?”
Always use spellcheck and have someone else check your cover letter for proper spelling,
grammar, and overall readability.
After sending in your cover letter and resume for a position, be sure to follow up. You’ll increase
your chances for an interview and demonstrate your enthusiasm if you contact the employer to
follow-up rather than merely waiting for a call.
Adapted from http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/careers-cover-letter/1599-1.html.
11
Analyzing a Job Description Worksheet3
Three key errors that individuals often make when applying for a position are: a) not thoroughly reading
and analyzing the job posting; b) not including a cover letter; and c) not customizing their cover letter and
resume for each individual job posting. Following these simple steps listed below will assist you in
customizing your cover letter and resume to a specific job posting:
1. Read every single word in the job posting.
2. Identify the key position requirements and write them down (using the left column below).
3. Identify the “implied” position requirements and add those.
For example: You read “minimal supervision” – that probably means they want someone who can hit
the ground running, make accurate decisions quickly, be self-directed without the need for much
structure, and deal with ambiguity. Does that fit you? If so, use those “read between the lines”
phrases that accurately describe you when writing your cover letter.
4. For each position requirement, write down the examples/evidence from your experience and
education that demonstrate your skill and ability to meet those requirements and competencies (using
the right column below).
Position Qualifications, Requirements
and Competencies
(Both stated and implied)
Your Evidence
1.
1.
2.
2.
3.
3.
4.
4.
5.
5.
6.
6.
5. Be sure all of your matching evidence for a particular job posting is highlighted in your cover
letter and included within your resume.
Clearly lay out what the hiring manager is looking for – that is, someone whose skills, abilities
and experience match what is needed for the position. Make it easy for the hiring manager to find
that information.
12
The example below demonstrates how you can use this exercise to develop a customized cover letter or
follow-up letter to an organization in which you are interested:
Dear Ms. Smith:
It is my understanding, through a friend who is employed at Northwestern, that your office is
reviewing applications for a Communications Specialist. I have submitted my resume for
consideration and want to reiterate my interest in the position directly to you. The responsibilities of
the position appeal to me, and I am confident that I could meet the challenges presented. For your
review, attached is a copy of my resume that details my key qualifications listed below:
Your Required Minimum Qualifications
My Qualifications
B.A. or B.S. in Marketing or related field
B.S. in Mass Communications with an emphasis
in Public Relations
3 – 5 years writing experience
3 years as journalist and 1 year as Editor for the
Beloit College newspaper
2 years as staff writer for Grainger, IT
Communications
Experience working in a collaborative, fastpaced environment
Experience with cross-functional teams meeting
tight deadlines
Ability to develop and present educational
information to a public audience
Developed and hosted bi-monthly TechTalk
series to large audiences (averaging 50 – 100
Participants)
I look forward to discussing the position with you in more detail. Thank you.
Robert Garcia
a Job Description Worksheet excerpted from Northwestern University’s Managing Your Career Series, Office of
Human Resources.
3 Analyzing
13
Sample Cover Letters
October 14, 2011
Mr. William Jackson
Delaney University
13764 Jefferson Parkway
Roanoke, VA 24019
Dear Mr. Jackson:
I am writing to apply to the Administrative Assistant 3 position with Delaney University advertised on
your organization’s web site.
I have a Certificate III in Office Administration and have spent over nine years working as a personal
assistant in leading companies including Build It Funds Management and Igloo Human Capital
Management. Overall, I have 12 years of experience working in office administration.
In my current role as Personal Assistant to the Vice President at Build It Funds Management, I am
required to manage a range of general administrative and specialized tasks in a timely and accurate
manner. This includes organizing meetings, distributing agendas, managing a complex and everchanging executive’s calendar, preparing presentations, and drafting correspondence. I possess advanced
Microsoft Office skills and have used them to help produce the company’s annual report and prospectus
that are available on the company’s web site.
I work effectively both autonomously and in a team environment. While providing high-quality
assistance to the company’s Vice President, I am also required to liaise with and assist 12 other staff
members. This requires excellent time management skills, as well as the ability to communicate
effectively and professionally.
I am confident and friendly and believe that my experience and skills would be an asset to Delaney
University. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I look forward to the opportunity
to meet with you and discuss my candidacy for the position.
Sincerely,
Layne A. Johnson
5542 Hunt Club Lane #1
Blacksburg, VA 24060
(540) 555-8082
[email protected]
14
November 12, 2011
Mr. Robert Burns
President, Research Management
MEGATEK Research Corporation
9845 Technical Way
Arlington, VA 22207
[email protected]
Dear Mr. Burns:
During my online research, I was more than enthused to find your recent opening for a Research
Technologist 1 at MEGATEK Research Corporation. I have just the right level of experience, training,
and expertise that you request in your advertisement for this position. I have been a Research Technician
for the past nine years at ATR International, Inc. and Precision Research Corporation and have extensive
experience in all aspects of lab work, research, analysis, and troubleshooting. I am proficient with all
tools and equipment related to the field and I am extremely knowledgeable about how to test and review
various specimens.
In both of my most recent positions, I have been responsible for the development and validation of
method testing for pharmaceuticals, and I also have significant experience in the handling, storing, and
distribution of pharmaceuticals. I have a deep understanding of the nature of a Research Technician’s job
and the high level of accuracy, efficiency, and industry knowledge required for success. In addition to my
relevant work experience, I also hold a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Eastern University and am
highly analytical, astute, and communicative.
I am confident that my background uniquely qualifies me for success in this position. Thank you in
advance for your review of my enclosed resume. I will contact you next week to discuss the possibility of
meeting in person to discuss this position further. In the meantime, should you need to contact me, I can
be reached at the telephone number below.
Sincerely,
Morgan Stevens
123 Ascot Lane
Blacksburg, VA 24060
(540) 555-2556
[email protected]
15
Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae
In addition to submitting a cover letter when applying to a position, you will also need to submit a current
copy of your resume or curriculum vitae, which is often referred to as a C.V. for short. You may be
wondering how these two documents differ.
A resume is a concise one- or two-page written summary of your accomplishments, abilities, skills,
qualifications, and experience. A C.V., on the other hand, is a longer and more detailed account of your
background. In fact, “curriculum vitae” is a Latin expression that can loosely be translated as “the course
of my life.” A C.V. frequently includes a summary of your education and academic background, teaching
and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations, fellowships, relevant
coursework, references, and other details. In the United States, a C.V. is frequently used when applying
for academic, education, scientific, or research positions.
16
Writing an Effective Resume / Curriculum Vitae
When creating a resume or C.V., it is important to keep the following tips in mind: 4
п‚·
Use a font and font size that are simple and clear. Standard fonts include Arial, Helvetica,
Universe, Times New Roman, Palatino, Century Gothic, and Courier. Standard font sizes range
from 10 to 14 points.
п‚·
Ensure the document is grammatically perfect and free of typos. Formatting within the document
should be consistent.
п‚·
To manage your job search and the correspondence you send and receive, open a new email
account that will only be used for your job search. This will be the email address you include on
your resume and that you use to post your resume or application to any job boards. Ensure the
email address you select is appropriate to include on your resume. Email addresses that are too
personal or that include your birth year should not be used.
п‚·
To help protect your privacy, consider having two versions of your resume – one that includes
your home mailing address and full contact information and another that includes only your
name, city, state, cell phone number, and email address. The general version can be used more
broadly, such as for applications you post to online job boards, while the more personalized
version can be shared on a more limited basis once you are further along in the selection process.
п‚·
Place your personal information, such as your name, city, state, phone number, and email address
into the header area of your resume or C.V. so that it prints at the top of each page. This will
prevent employers from losing a page even if they become separated after printing.
п‚·
Ensure the length of your document is appropriate given your work experience and background.
A resume is typically one to two pages in length. As mentioned previously, a C.V. is typically
longer and frequently spans many pages. With a C.V., it is more important to focus on the
document’s comprehensiveness than its length.
п‚·
In a C.V., the “education” section should either be the first section you include or immediately
follow a summary statement. In a resume, where you place the “education” section will depend
on the length of your prior work experience. Frequently, recent graduates or those with minimal
work experience will place the “education” section near the beginning of the resume, while those
with more work experience will place it near the end since it requires less emphasis.
17
4
п‚·
In a resume, it is important that the descriptions of your past experience are accomplishmentoriented and frequently they will be listed in a bulleted format. When listing accomplishments,
use action verbs to describe your experience and ensure that each bullet point you include
answers the question “So what?” A C.V., on the other hand, will place more emphasis on who
you worked with, where you attended school, and where you published.
п‚·
Consider including your grade point average (G.P.A.) for the institution(s) you attended if it
reflects favorably upon your academic history. You may want to leave this information off your
resume if it does not reflect favorably. In any case, after a few years of work experience your
G.P.A. is less relevant and does not need to be included.
п‚·
When you submit your resume or C.V. online, frequently the prospective employer uses a
program to scan the resume based on keyword content. Therefore, it is important that your
resume or C.V. uses enough keywords to define your skills, experience, education, professional
affiliations, and industry background. You may want to consider including a “keyword
summary” section to increase the likelihood of the computer selecting your resume or C.V. It is
appropriate to use jargon and acronyms specific to your industry in the “keyword summary.”
п‚·
If your resume or C.V. is going to be scanned or e-mailed, rather than the traditional printed
document on high-quality paper, avoid embellishments such as underlining, bold, or over-stylized
text.
п‚·
Tailor your resume or C.V. to the specific position to which you are applying. Ensure it indicates
your accomplishments related to the experience, skills, and competencies the organization has
listed in the job posting. Each of the requirements listed in the job posting should be included
within your document.
Excerpted in part from Ohio University’s “All About Resumes.”
18
Resume Preparation Worksheet
Full Name
Home Address and Telephone Number
Email Address
Professional Summary
Include a brief paragraph here that summarizes your professional experience. In this section, it is
appropriate to use either complete sentences or sentence fragments (e.g. “I am an experienced and
polished executive assistant” or “Experienced and polished executive assistant”).
Include bullet points outlining your experience, accomplishments, and skills just below:
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Professional Experience
Company Name and Location
Description of company/organization
Month/Year to Month/Year
Job Title
Summary of responsibilities and resulting accomplishments/benefits to the organization.
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Company Name and Location
Description of company/organization
Month/Year to Month/Year
Job Title
Summary of responsibilities and resulting accomplishments/benefits to the organization.
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
19
Company Name and Location
Description of company/organization
Month/Year to Month/Year
Job Title
Summary of responsibilities and resulting accomplishments/benefits to the organization.
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Company Name and Location
Description of company/organization
Month/Year to Month/Year
Job Title
Summary of responsibilities and resulting accomplishments/benefits to the organization.
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Include any additional previous employment history below. Ensure any gaps in employment are covered.
Company Name and Location
Month/Year to Month/Year
Company Name and Location
Month/Year to Month/Year
Company Name and Location
Month/Year to Month/Year
Education and Training
Include a list of your degrees and certifications here, beginning with the most recent. This should include
the degree or certification granted and the name of the granting institution.
Skills
Include a list of your skill sets, including technical, language, and soft skills.
Professional Affiliations
Include a list of your professional affiliations here.
References
Include a list of your references here. This section is optional.
20
Action Words Resource Sheet
Since it will be important for each point on your resume to indicate what action you took and what benefit
to the organization resulted, the following list of action verbs has been compiled to assist you as you
prepare your resume: 5
Management Skills
Communication Skills
Administrative/Detail Skills
Administered
Analyzed
Assigned
Attained
Chaired
Contracted
Consolidated
Coordinated
Delegated
Developed
Directed
Evaluated
Executed
Improved
Increased
Organized
Oversaw
Planned
Prioritized
Produced
Recommended
Reviewed
Scheduled
Strengthened
Supervised
Addressed
Arbitrated
Arranged
Authored
Corresponded
Developed
Directed
Drafted
Edited
Enlisted
Formulated
Influenced
Interpreted
Lectured
Mediated
Moderated
Motivated
Negotiated
Persuaded
Promoted
Publicized
Reconciled
Recruited
Spoke
Translated
Wrote
Approved
Arranged
Catalogued
Classified
Collected
Compiled
Dispatched
Executed
Generated
Implemented
Inspected
Monitored
Operated
Organized
Prepared
Processed
Purchased
Recorded
Retrieved
Screened
Specified
Systematized
Tabulated
Validated
Research Skills
Technical Skills
Teaching Skills
Clarified
Collected
Critiqued
Diagnosed
Evaluated
Examined
Extracted
Identified
Inspected
Interpreted
Interviewed
Investigated
Organized
Reviewed
Summarized
Surveyed
Systematized
Assembled
Built
Calculated
Computed
Designed
Devised
Engineered
Fabricated
Maintained
Operated
Overhauled
Programmed
Remodeled
Repaired
Solved
Trained
Upgraded
Adapted
Advised
Clarified
Coached
Communicated
Coordinated
Developed
Enabled
Encouraged
Evaluated
Exchanged
Facilitated
Guided
Informed
Initiated
Instructed
Persuaded
Set goals
Stimulated
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5
Financial Skills
Creative Skills
Helping Skills
Administered
Allocated
Analyzed
Appraised
Audited
Balanced
Budgeted
Calculated
Computed
Developed
Forecasted
Managed
Marketed
Planned
Projected
Researched
Acted
Conceptualized
Created
Designed
Developed
Directed
Established
Fashioned
Founded
Illustrated
Instituted
Integrated
Introduced
Invented
Originated
Performed
Planned
Revitalized
Shaped
Assessed
Assisted
Clarified
Coached
Counseled
Demonstrated
Diagnosed
Educated
Expedited
Facilitated
Familiarized
Guided
Referred
Rehabilitated
Represented
Adapted from Boston College Career Center with original development by the Employment Development Department of
Palo Alto, California.
22
Sample Sections to Include on a Curriculum Vitae6
Education
Dissertation
Master's Project
Thesis
Professional Competencies
Areas of Expertise
Areas of Concentration in Graduate Study
Internships
Teaching Interests
Teaching Experience
Research Interests
Research Assistantships
Postdoctoral Experience
Research Appointments
Research Experience
6
Publications
Abstracts
Scholarly Works
Books
Chapters
Editorial Boards
Professional Papers
Technical Papers
Refereed Journal Articles
Editorial Appointments
Articles/Monographs
Book Reviews
Research Grants
Funded Projects
Grants and Contracts
Patents
Professional Experience
Academic Appointments
Professional Summary
Related Experience
Administrative Experience
Consulting Experience
Awards
Scholarships
Fellowships
Honors
Activities and Distinctions
Professional Recognition
Prizes
Academic Service
Advising
University Involvement
Outreach
Leadership
University Assignments
Professional Memberships
Affiliations
Memberships in Scholarly Societies
Professional Organizations
Honorary Societies
Professional Societies
Professional Development
Professional Association Advisory Boards
Advisory Committees
National Boards
Professional Activities
Professional Certification
Certification
Licensure
Endorsements
Special Training
Conference Participation
Conference Presentations
Conference Leadership
Workshop Presentations
Invited Lectures
Lectures and Colloquia
Foreign Study
Study Abroad
Travel Abroad
International Projects
Languages
Language Competencies
Excerpted from the National Institutes of Health’s Guide to Writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) at
https://www.training.nih.gov/assets/Writing_a_CV.pdf.
23
Sample Resumes
Megan Brown
321 N. School
Chicago, IL 60001
Phone: 123.456.7890
[email protected]
EDUCATION:
University of Name, city, state
Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, June 2011
Majors: Biochemistry, Spanish Minor: Chemistry
GPA: 4.8/5.0
Relevant Coursework:
Immunology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry (I, II), RNase Structure and Function,
Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry (I, II), Experimental Medicinal Chemistry
EXPERIENCE:
University of Name, city, state
Research Assistant, Dept. of Chemistry
April 2008 - June 2011
 “Identifying nuclear protein targets of Angiogenin”
п‚· Used protein based techniques (Protein purification, Cell culture, Pull-down
Assay, SDS-PAGE, Co-Immunoprecipitation, 2D Gel Electrophoresis) to identify
protein-protein interactions of Angiogenin in cancer cells
п‚· Maintained various cell culture lines (e.g. A-549, HUVEC, HeLa)
 “Identifying novel Cyclooxygenase and Carbonic Anhydrase inhibitors based on
structure-activity relationships”
п‚· Chemically synthesized CelebrexВ® (anti-arthritic) to modify and test as an
anticancer agent
п‚· Presented research at various local and regional symposia
п‚· Trained less experienced research students in laboratory techniques
Nurse’s Assistant, Sumner Health Center
п‚· Performed basic pre-examination procedures
п‚· Maintained files and patient data
September 2008 - June 2009
Organic and General Chemistry Content Tutor
January 2010 - June 2011
п‚· Tutored Undergraduate students in the concepts of General, Organic, and Bio
Chemistry through teaching approaches tailored to the individual
24
Independent Research, Spanish Department
September 2010 - June 2011
 “Multi-dimensional bilinguality: A language immersion experience for a future in
medicine”
п‚· Studied abroad August-December 2009, Granada, Spain
Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club
Senior Leader/Assistant Director
June 2002 - September 2007
п‚· Directed a year round sports league for youth ages 6-15
п‚· Organized and directed an after school program at a Chicago Public School
HONORS:
 Named to Dean’s List all terms September 2007 through June 2011
25
Jane Smith
1234 West School Street п‚· Chicago, IL 60000 п‚· 312-111-1234 п‚· [email protected]
EDUCATION
Green University, College of Biological Sciences
Bachelors of Science in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development
September 2007 – May 2011
GPA: 3.8 / 4.0; Relevant Courses: General Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry with Lab, Biochemistry,
Genetics, Cell Biology, Human Genetics, Molecular Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology of Cancer, Immunology,
Endocrinology
EXPERIENCE
Green University, Department of Entomology
Undergraduate Research Assistant - January 2010 – May 2011
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Maintained laboratory equipment and greenhouse
Worked in MAES/MDH quarantine facilities which required proper decontamination techniques
Maintained exotic parasitoid and aphid strains in quarantine facilities
Performed DNA Extraction and PCR independently
Green University, Department of Pediatrics, BMT/Hematology/Oncology (PI Dr. Alex Brown, MD.)
Undergraduate Research Assistant - March 2008 – August 2009
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Independently maintained a colony of over 60 strains of mice including the daily breeding, weaning, and
genotyping in a Specific Pathogen Free environment
Performed laboratory techniques including PCR, Luciferase Assay, FACS, PBL Phenotyping, DNA Extraction on
research mice
Administered intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, and oral injections to research mice along with irradiation for the
study of Graft versus Host Disease
Extensive use of Microsoft Word and Excel to keep track of the entire colony of mice
St. David Home - Chicago, IL
Nursing Assistant - March 2005 – January 2008
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Administered personal care for Alzheimer’s residents including activities of daily living
Completed vital signs and charting daily
Dementia training
VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
Infant, Child, and Adult CPR, AED, and First Aide Instructor, May 2008 – January 2011
American Red Cross – Chicago, IL
Child Life/Nursing Services Volunteer, April 2011 – Present
Children’s Memorial Hospital - Hematology/Oncology Inpatient Unit
SKILLS
Laboratory Techniques – DNA extraction, PCR, Gel Electrophoresis, FACS, cell plating, basic microbiology
laboratory techniques (including yeasts and E.coli), reagent preparations, basic chemistry and organic chemistry
techniques, basic statistical analysis, Western Blotting, BLAST (sequence analysis software), computational analysis
26
Lisa Miller
567 Rosewood Lane пЃµ Colorado Springs, CO 81207 пЃµ (960) 555-1212 пЃµ [email protected]
Profile
Motivated, personable business professional with college degree and a successful 12-year track record of
administrative excellence. Talent for quickly mastering technology – recently completed Microsoft Office Suite
certificate course. Diplomatic and tactful with individuals at all levels. Accustomed to handling sensitive,
confidential records. Demonstrated history of producing accurate, timely reports meeting stringent accuracy
guidelines. Flexible and versatile – able to maintain a sense of humor under pressure. Poised and competent with
demonstrated ability to easily transcend cultural differences. Thrive in deadline-driven environments. Excellent
team-building skills.
Skills Summary
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Project Management
Report Preparation
Written Correspondence
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Computer Savvy
Customer Service
Scheduling
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Front-Office Operations
Professional Presentations
General Office Skills
Professional Experience
COMMUNICATIONS
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Prepare complex reports ensuring full compliance with agency requirements and tight deadlines.
Author professional correspondence to customers and vendors.
Design and deliver series of classes for local businesses and associations, providing ergonomic counseling and
educating employees on proper lifting techniques to avoid injury.
Conduct small-group sessions on meditation/relaxation techniques.
Communicate medical concepts to patients using layman’s terms to facilitate understanding.
Rapidly learn and master varied computer programs; recently completed Microsoft Office certificate course.
CUSTOMER SERVICE
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Oversee front-office operations and provide impeccable customer service.
Produced department’s strategic marketing plan.
Provide front-line response to all office inquiries and route office customers and visitors to the appropriate
designate within the office.
ORGANIZATION
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Effectively manage the President’s complex calendar.
Manage the room reservation system for the department ensuring that rooms are not overbooked.
Balance multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining the ongoing operations of the office.
Maintain files for all study-related materials housed within the office.
Employment History
ABC CHIROPRACTIC – Colorado Springs, CO; Pueblo, CO; Cheyenne, WY
Executive Assistant, 1993 to Present
Education
ABC COLLEGE – MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Bachelors Degree in Communication, 1991
GPA: 3.89/4.0
27
Sample Curriculum Vitae
Mike Davis
10 School Street
Chicago, IL 60001
Cell : 123.456.7890
Email: [email protected]
EDUCATION
Brown College, Brown, MA
п‚· B.A. French, *substantial coursework in Biology, Pre-Med, Fine Arts
Michigan University Pre-Health Professions Program
п‚· Courses to fulfill pre-med requirements
Paris College Junior Year Abroad, Paris, France
п‚· Attended the Sorbonne, with an art history focus
September 2003-May 2007
January 2009-May 2010
January-May 2006
SELECTED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Michigan State University
Research Projects Manager and Teaching Intern
July 2007-present
п‚· Assisted Dr. Joseph Rosen in biomedical engineering research, teaching, international medicine,
public health, and military government policy work, which included 6 major projects:
o Project I: Organized and planned college-level health care and technology courses at
Thayer School of Engineering and hosted visiting lecturers; served as TA
o Project II: Managed the Simulation Committee for Plastic Surgery Education that was
composed of surgeons and computer scientists for the Plastic Surgery Association.
Contributed to strategic planning, identified funding sources, created presentations,
promoted and explained work at conferences, and coordinated logistics
o Project III: Planned and attended government meetings, coordinated logistics and
contributed to report-writing for the Defense Science Board Improvised Explosive Device
Task Force to provide recommendations for improved medical care for wounded service
members
o Project IV: Coordinated a volunteer surgical trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, and managed related
telemedicine project, including fundraising and logistics for American medical team and
planning with Vietnamese counterparts
o Project V: Assisted in communication and delivery of supplies for Myanmar Relief Effort
post-Cyclone Nagris
o Project VI: Planned and managed 2008 Upper Valley Polytrauma Conference, including
directing the budget, planning the agenda, inviting speakers, advertising, planning the
exhibits
п‚· Gained an understanding of engineering problem-solving methods and engineering in medicine
solutions to healthcare on individual and public health scales; supervised 6 student workers
Chicago University
Research Associate and Projects Manager
July 2008-September 2011
п‚· Administered Years 1-3 of 5-year $50M Department of Defense program, the Armed Forces Institute
of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) Rutgers-Cleveland Clinic Consortium. Overall goal was to
develop new clinical regenerative therapies for wounded soldiers. Remote work included 4 major
responsibilities:
o Responsibility I: Member of COO Management Team: Contributed to overall
management of 30 regenerative medicine research projects across 20 institutions nationwide. Planned review processes and inclusion of new partners. Performed website
development, communicated with investigators
28
Responsibility II: Managed CranioMaxilloFacial Program Portfolio of projects, including:
bone, soft tissue, and Composite Tissue Allograft and Immunomodulation projects. Aided
investigators with seeking leveraged funding, contributed to report-writing, informed
investigators of leadership decisions
o Responsibility III: Managed the Clinical Advisory Board for clinical evaluation of planned
products and research programs; facilitated product reviews
o Responsibility IV: Engaged synergy communication with colleagues in parallel $50M
AFIRM grant (Wake Forest-Pittsburgh Consortium)
Wrote a $1M pre-proposal for nerve regeneration work which was accepted by the Defense Medical
R&D Program
Prepared presentations for senior leadership (i.e. Army generals) and internal DOD and public
reports
Gained an understanding of translational research projects, learned about the dynamics among
government, industry, and academia
o
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Columbia University
September 2009- February 2010
Laboratory Assistant
п‚· Performed PCR analysis to assist with skin regeneration research such as underlying causes of scar
formation
п‚· Contributed to writing and submission of grant proposal entitled: "Smart Robotics-based
Automation to Tissue-Engineering In Situ"
п‚· Wrote animal protocol for skin regeneration testing in the Duroc pig
п‚· Learned methods for performing genotyping and histological preservation, including work with mice
Chicago University - Mailman School of Public Health
January 2007
Selected Intern
п‚· Wrote laboratory protocol for H.I.V. research study on Mother-to-Child transmission and familybased care
п‚· Observed H.I.V. care at Harlem Health Clinic
Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator, Division of Rheumatology
Summer & Winter 2004
п‚· Oversaw clinical trials for Dr. Nancy E. Lane, Principal Investigator
п‚· Consulted with glucosamine/chondroitin and parathyroid hormone study patients: recorded vitals,
organized questionnaires, dispensed study medication and answered questions
п‚· Trained new research coordinator, updated lab data, and maintained files
SELECTED LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
Brown College
Selected Resident Counselor
Academic Years 2004-2005, 2006-2007
п‚· Provided informal advising & a community-building for dorms of over 30 residents
п‚· Planned and led educational and social programs
п‚· 70 hours of training related to eating disorders, alcohol, diversity, depression, etc.
Selected Laboratory Teacher’s Assistant for “Molecules, Genes and Cells”
п‚· Encouraged and aided students during weekly biology labs
п‚· Prepared and set-up for labs
Fall 2005
SELECTED CLINICAL EXPERIENCES
Shadowing at Institute Arthur Vernes, Paris, France
п‚· Observed surgeries and the medical care system in France
June 2006
29
Amherst College Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
February 2004-December 2005
п‚· Provided on call service, four 12-hour shifts per month
п‚· Administered emergency care for urgent medical situations on campus
Shadowing in the Emergency Department, Mills-Peninsula Hospital, CA
Summer 2004
п‚· Assisted Dr. Christopher White with basic tasks & conversed with patients, total of 40 hours
SELECTED COMMUNITY SERVICE
Selected Emergency Room Volunteer, General Hospital Summers 2004 & 2005, Winter 2005 & 2006
п‚· Advocate for patients (conversing, providing meals and clothes)
п‚· Transported patients, ran for lab samples, patient charts, provide equipment
Selected Tsunami Relief Volunteer, Sri Lanka
п‚· Planned programs for children orphaned by the Dec. 26th tsunami
п‚· Aided in beach clean-up and basic construction
п‚· Provided emotional support to families in refugee camps
Summer 2005
PUBLICATIONS AND INVITED PRESENTATIONS
п‚· Include list of publications and invited presentations here
AWARDS & HONORS
Charles Hamilton Houston Fellowship - Brown College
May 2007
п‚· Recognized as the graduating senior who best personifies a commitment to realizing his/her humane
ideals
Tom Gerety Fellowship for Action - Brown College
January 2005 & 2006, Summer 2005
п‚· Three-time award recipient for domestic and international service work
30
Tips When Applying for Northwestern Positions
Although you are already familiar with Northwestern, it is important to prepare for your internal job
search much the same as you would for your external job search. Specifically, consider the following
additional tips when applying for internal positions:
п‚·
Northwestern is an expansive institution that is engaged in broad and diverse activities. Given
this, it is important to learn more about the specific department or school to which you’ve
applied. Become familiar with the research they are working on, what initiatives or projects they
have underway, and any current news that may help you to understand their business better.
п‚·
Be aware of general University news and read a local daily newspaper. Regularly visit the home
page for Northwestern University and its Schools.
п‚·
Ensure that your email signature block and outgoing voice mail message project a professional
image.
п‚·
While an employee at Northwestern, carry your business cards at all times and always be
prepared to meet new people and make new connections.
п‚·
Take advantage of Northwestern seminars and associations that provide opportunities for
networking with other members of the University.
п‚·
Since you never know when you’ll have an opportunity to “sell” yourself, prepare an elevator
speech. As it relates to finding a job, an elevator speech is a brief, but compelling, summary of
your professional skills, interests, and goals. The idea is you should be able to “sell” yourself in
the amount of time it takes to ride in an elevator with someone.
п‚·
Set up informational interviews with contacts in your field of interest. Use these interviews to
gather valuable information regarding the industry, career planning, and job search strategies.
п‚·
Project a positive image and dress for the position you want.
п‚·
Speak with confidence when sharing your professional background and goals with others.
п‚·
Apply for Northwestern positions as a current employee via Self Service while your Net ID is
active, rather than accessing positions as an external applicant. Regardless of whether your
Northwestern email is still active, it is recommended that you use a personal email address rather
than your Northwestern email address when applying online. This will ensure you continue to
receive communication regarding your applications once your Northwestern email account has
expired.
п‚·
Submit a cover letter with each application that is customized to the specific position to which
you are applying.
31
п‚·
Ensure your online applications and resumes have accurate job titles and work dates listed. If you
include more descriptive titles on your resume than those formally approved by the University,
acknowledge your official titles in parentheses.
п‚·
Identify references who can attest to your professional history, including at least two current or
former supervisors. It is Northwestern University’s practice to notify you if your references will
be contacted. However, it is a good idea to let your references know ahead of time they may be
contacted so they are not surprised if they receive a phone call. If you are selected as a final
candidate, your supervisor will be notified.
п‚·
If you are applying for jobs after your most recent position has been eliminated, account for the
time since you last worked. Identify those ways that you have continued to maintain knowledge
in your field of expertise, such as attending a course or an industry conference.
32
External Online Job Search Engines
Employment web sites are useful in identifying open positions within the job market you are targeting.
Several of the largest employment web sites are listed below, along with those that target job seekers in
non-profit and higher-education.
п‚·
CareerBuilder.com
CareerBuilder.com is one of the largest employment web sites in the world. It allows users to
find job openings that match their skills and location.
http://www.careerbuilder.com/
п‚·
Monster.com
Monster.com is another of the largest employment web sites in the world. It allows users to find
job openings that match their skills and location.
http://www.monster.com/
п‚·
Non Profit Job Board
NPO.net is the leading non-profit job board in Illinois. In addition to posting job opportunities in
the non-profit community, NPO.net also posts opportunities for in-person networking within the
Chicagoland area.
http://www.npo.net/
п‚·
HigherEdJobs
HigherEdJobs posts faculty and administrative positions at colleges and universities. It is a
leading source for job and career information in academia.
http://www.higheredjobs.com/
33
Local Universities
There are a number of local universities within the Chicagoland area that you may want to explore
regarding any available career opportunities. Listed below are several of these local universities:
п‚·
DePaul University
http://www.depaul.edu/
п‚·
Illinois Institute of Technology
http://www.iit.edu/
п‚·
Loyola University Chicago
http://www.luc.edu/
п‚·
National Louis University
http://nlu.nl.edu
п‚·
Northeastern Illinois University
http://www.neiu.edu/
п‚·
Roosevelt University
http://www.roosevelt.edu/
п‚·
Rush University
http://www.rushu.rush.edu/
п‚·
University of Chicago
http://www.uchicago.edu/
п‚·
University of Illinois at Chicago
http://www.uic.edu/
34
Job Search Tracking Worksheet7
Organization / Company:
Organization / Company Profile:
Contact person and telephone number:
Position(s) applied for:
Date application submitted:
Date of interview:
Follow-up date:
Organization / Company:
Organization / Company Profile:
Contact person and telephone number:
Position(s) applied for:
Date application submitted:
Date of interview:
Follow-up date:
Organization / Company:
Organization / Company Profile:
Contact person and telephone number:
Position(s) applied for:
Date application submitted:
Date of interview:
Follow-up date:
Organization / Company:
Organization / Company Profile:
Contact person and telephone number:
Position(s) applied for:
Date application submitted:
Date of interview:
Follow-up date:
7
Excerpted from Florida International University’s “Outplacement Services Toolkit” at
http://hr.fiu.edu/uploads/file/outplacement/Follow%20Up%20Post%20Interview%20Letter%20Tips%20and%20Tools.pdf.
35
Preparing for an In-Person Interview
While the thought of interviewing is often daunting, interviewing is the primary way that employers and
candidates evaluate each other. Therefore, it’s important to know how to interview effectively. Below
are tips to assist you in preparing for an interview: 8
п‚·
For each interview, think through and write down responses to the following questions:
пѓј What skills are required for the position?
пѓј When have you demonstrated those skills in the past? List specific examples, such as
projects, tasks, and accomplishments.
пѓј What special knowledge do you possess that would be useful for this position such as
Oracle, budget reconciliation, etc.?
пѓј List your self-management skills (that is, how you do your work), such as patience,
dependability, time management, and organization.
пѓј What transferrable skills do you possess such as being a good listener, writing, computer
applications, presenting, data analysis, customer service, etc.?
пѓј What skills and experience required for the position are you lacking?
пѓј How can your transferable skills help to fill in any gaps?
 What is your “story”? Your story is the experiences you have had and decisions you
have made that lead logically to the position for which you are applying. Your story
helps the interviewer to know very clearly why you want this position and why you are
the best candidate. It needs to be authentic.
п‚·
Prepare appropriate responses to especially difficult questions regarding salary requirements,
gaps in employment, short-term employment, and lay off situations:
пѓј Review your resume and note any red flag areas that could translate into a difficult job
interview question.
пѓј Ensure your responses to these tough questions are positive and professional and are
conveyed in a calm and confident manner.
пѓј Be brief but ensure that you have addressed any concerns on the part of the interviewer so
that the interviewer can move on.
п‚·
Prepare questions that you want to ask the interviewer about the organization, the job, and the
manager.
п‚·
Be sure that you have appropriate interview attire based on the culture of the organization for
which you are interviewing. Set your clothes out the night before and ensure they are clean and
pressed.
36
8
п‚·
Set out the things you will need to bring with you to the interview, including directions, extra
copies of your resume, a nice pen and notepad, your references, and prepared questions that you
would like to have answered.
п‚·
Practice, practice, practice. Being prepared for an interview and the tough questions you receive
is one of the most important steps.
п‚·
Research the organization to which you are applying before the interview. Visit the
organization’s web site and read current news about the organization. Learn as much as you can
about the business, industry, current initiatives, and key leaders within the organization.
п‚·
If you are interviewing for a position involving research, do your homework to ensure you
understand what projects and initiatives are underway and what research has been published from
the area within which you would be working.
п‚·
Make a practice trip to help you find the interview location and gauge the time it will take to get
there.
п‚·
Keep in mind that everything and everyone counts. Ensure that you are professional and
courteous to everyone you come in contact with as part of the interview process, whether this is
the interview scheduler, the receptionist, or simply the person who gives you directions within the
building if you are lost.
Excerpted from Northwestern University’s Managing Your Career Series, Office of Human Resources and Ohio University’s
“New Job Seekers Resource Guide.”
37
Preparing for a Telephone Interview
Many employers use telephone interviews to screen potential job candidates, particularly during the early
stages of the interview process. While preparing for a telephone interview is similar to preparing for an
in-person interview, there are a few additional points to keep in mind. The simple tips below will assist
you in ensuring you’re prepared when the phone rings:
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Ensure you take the call from a room that is free of noise and distraction. Treat the room as you
would your work space and turn off the television and radio. Ensure that pets and children will
not interrupt your call.
Keep a copy of your resume by the phone so that you can refer to it during the call. Also ensure
you have note paper and a pen handy so that you can take notes during your call.
If you use your cell phone for telephone interviews, ensure that you have adequate reception. If
you have poor reception on your cell phone, you should use a land line instead.
Smile during your phone interview so that you project positivity.
Do not eat or chew gum during the interview.
Answer each question succinctly and ask for clarification if you are unsure of what the
interviewer is asking.
38
Sample Interview Questions
One of the most important parts of preparing for an interview is to practice. Below are interview
questions that have been complied to help you prepare. It is quite likely in your job search that you will
encounter a type of interviewing known as “Behavioral Interviewing”. The principle behind “Behavioral
Interviewing” is the belief that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. Typically, during
this type of interview, you will be asked questions that ask for real-life examples of times when you have
demonstrated the skills and competencies required for a position. Behavioral interview questions will
start with phrases like “Can you tell me about a time when…” or “Can you describe a situation where.…”
When responding to these questions, be specific in your responses. One helpful approach to answering
these questions is to use the STAR approach:
S – Situation:
T – Tasks:
A – Actions:
R – Results:
Describe the situation
What task or goal were you working towards
What actions did you take to resolve the issue
What happened and what were the positive outcomes
Listed below are a number of sample interview questions to help you prepare for your next interview. 9
You’ll note that many of the questions below follow the Behavioral Interview format.
Can you do the job?
п‚· Can you tell me about a time where you worked effectively in an environment in which the
parameters changed frequently?
п‚· Have you ever had to go the extra mile to satisfy a customer? What did you have to do?
п‚· Describe a situation where you were able to successfully coach an employee to better
performance.
 Explain a situation you’ve been in where multiple demands have been placed on you. How did
you handle it?
п‚· When working on a project, how do you decide what gets top priority? Can you give me an
example?
п‚· Tell me about a significant achievement in your life.
 What prompted you to study….?
п‚· Tell me about a time when you had to work towards a deadline. Did you meet it? If not, what
would you do differently next time?
п‚· Tell me about a time when you were given difficult feedback at work and how you handled it.
п‚· What would your current (previous) boss say about you?
п‚· Give me an example of a time when you demonstrated initiative.
п‚· Tell me about a situation in which you had to adjust quickly to changes over which you had no
control.
п‚· Give me an example of a project or task for which you were responsible that did not go well,
either in terms of outcome or process.
п‚· Tell me about your most difficult management challenge.
39
Do you want the job? Do you want to work in this organization? Are you ambitious?
п‚· Why do you want to work for us?
пѓј Here and throughout the interview, a good answer comes from having done your
homework so that you can speak in terms of the organization’s needs. Your homework
should include learning enough about the organization to avoid approaching places where
you wouldn’t be able – or wouldn’t want – to function. Since most of us are poor liars,
it’s difficult to con anyone in an interview. But even if you should succeed at it, your
prize is a job you don’t really want.
п‚· What do you know about our company/organization/business?
 Let your answer show that you have taken the time to do some research, but don’t
overwhelm the interviewer, and make it clear that you want to learn more. You might
start your answer in this manner: “In my job search, I’ve investigated a number of
organizations. Yours is one of the few that interests me, for these reasons….”
п‚· What important trends do you see in our industry?
пѓј Be prepared with two or three trends that illustrate how well you understand the industry.
You might consider technological challenges or opportunities, economic conditions, or
even regulatory demands as you collect your thoughts about the direction in which the
business is heading.
п‚· What are your short-term and long-term goals?
п‚· Why are you leaving (did you leave) your present (last) job?
пѓј Be brief, to the point, and as honest as you can without hurting yourself. Do not mention
personality conflicts and never concoct a story for an interview.
п‚· What do you find most attractive about this position? What seems least attractive about it?
пѓј List three or four attractive factors of the job, and mention a single, minor, unattractive
item.
п‚· What do you look for in a job?
пѓј Keep your answer oriented to opportunities at this organization. Make your answer
oriented toward opportunity rather than personal security.
п‚· How long would you stay with us?
пѓј Indicate that you are interested in a career with the organization, but that you would have
to continue to feel challenged to remain with any organization. Think in terms of “as
long as we both feel achievement-oriented.”
Will you fit in?
п‚· Can you describe a time when you formed an ongoing working relationship with someone from
another department or organization to achieve a mutual goal when it wasn’t part of the culture or
wasn’t easy to do so?
п‚· Can you give me an example of a time when you had to work with someone with whom you
didn’t get along?
п‚· Describe a time where you had to work with a group of people to achieve a common goal.
п‚· What were the best and worst aspects of your current (previous) position?
п‚· What do you think of your boss?
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п‚·
пѓј Be as positive as you can. A potential boss is likely to wonder if you might talk about
him in similar terms at some point in the future.
What is your management style?
 You should know enough about the organization’s style to know that your management
style will complement it. Possible styles include: task oriented, results oriented,
paternalistic, or participative.
Are you the best applicant for the position?
п‚· Tell me about yourself.
пѓј Since this is often the opening question in an interview, be careful to keep your answer to
a minute or two at the most. Cover four topics: early years, education, work history, and
recent career experience. Remember this is likely to be a warm-up question, so don’t
waste your best points on it.
п‚· Why do you think you are the best person for the job?
пѓј Talk about your record of getting things done, and mention specifics from your resume or
your career accomplishments.
п‚· What skills and qualities can you bring to this position?
п‚· What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
Developing responses to questions such as these can be challenging, but with careful preparation you will
be ready with concise and professional responses when these tough questions come up in a job interview.
9
Excerpted from Northwestern University’s Managing Your Career Series, Office of Human Resources and “Parting Company:
How to Survive the Loss of a Job and Find Another Successfully” by William J. Morin and James C. Cabrera.
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Questions to Ask and Avoid During the Interview
A good interview should provide a two-way exchange of information. In addition to the employer
learning about you as a candidate, interviews also provide an opportunity for you to ask questions to learn
more about the organization and its people. The questions you ask during an interview both provide you
with insightful information into the position and how well it fits with your personal objectives, and also
demonstrate your interest in the position to the prospective employer.
The following are a number of questions to ask the hiring manager during an interview, as well as a
number of questions that you want to avoid asking.
Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager:
п‚· What skills and attributes are you seeking in a successful candidate?
п‚· How is performance measured for this position and within your organization?
п‚· What professional development opportunities are available? How is continuous learning
supported?
п‚· Why is this position open?
п‚· How would you describe the culture of the department?
п‚· What is the greatest challenge facing the department?
п‚· What is the projected future of the industry?
п‚· Where is the department headed? Are there any anticipated changes?
п‚· What are the goals of the department and the organization?
п‚· Who would my peers be and what are their job functions?
п‚· What is your supervisory style? How do you foster teamwork?
п‚· What is it about the organization that keeps you here?
п‚· What are the work cycles?
п‚· Do you have a timeframe in mind for making a hiring decision? What are next steps?
Questions to Avoid Asking the Hiring Manager:
п‚· What does this organization do? (You should already know this from your research).
п‚· I already have a vacation scheduled. If I get the job, will I be able to take the time off?
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Post-Interview Follow Up10
Following up with thank you letters after your interviews is critical to your job search success. At the
conclusion of each interview, be sure to ask for the interviewer’s business card so that you have the
appropriate information to write a thank you note.
Within two days of an interview or contact with a potential employer, write a letter expressing your
appreciation and thanks for their consideration and/or assistance. Email is appropriate if that has been
your means of contact throughout the process. Otherwise, direct mail is best suited for this type of
follow-up.
A thank you letter or email should follow the general format below:
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
п‚·
Your contact information, the date, and the interviewer’s mailing information.
The introductory paragraph should thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.
Mention your interest in the job and your enthusiasm for it.
The second paragraph should include the reasons why you are an excellent candidate for the job.
List specific skills that relate to the job. Include information that you learned during the
interview so the prospective employer knows you were engaged during your time together.
The closing paragraph should mention anything you did not bring up at the interview that you
would like the prospective employer to know. Reiterate your appreciation for being considered
for the job and let the interviewer know you are looking forward to hearing from him or her soon.
Your closing and signature.
Be sure to send a separate thank you note to each of the individuals with whom you interviewed.
Keep in mind, this is also a good practice to follow when networking. Each time an individual spends
time meeting with you, be sure to send a follow-up note thanking them for sharing their time and
expertise with you.
Excerpted from Florida International University’s “Outplacement Services Toolkit” at
http://hr.fiu.edu/uploads/file/outplacement/Follow%20Up%20Post%20Interview%20Letter%20Tips%20and%20Tools.pdf.
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Closing
We hope these materials are helpful to you as you plan your next career step. If you have any questions
regarding the job search process for Northwestern staff positions, you may contact the Office of Human
Resources at 847-491-7507 (Evanston) or 312-503-8481 (Chicago).
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Office of Human Resources
2012
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