How to edit your resume like a professional resume writer

It’s very hard to write your own resume because a resume is a macro view of your life, but you live your life at the micro level, obsessing about daily details that have no bearing on your resume. So I recommend to a lot of people that they hire someone to help them. After all, spending money on a resume writer is one of the few expenditures that will have good return right away.

But some of you will be able to do a decent job rewriting your resume on your own. The first thing you’ll have to do is make some mental shifts. You need to rethink the goals of a resume, and rethink the rules of a resume in order to approach the project like the best of the resume professionals.

Here are three ideas that guide professional resume writers and should guide you as well:

1. Don’t focus on your responsibilities, focus on what you achieved.
A resume is not your life story. No one cares. If your life story were so interesting, you’d have a book deal. The only things that should be on your resume are achievements. Anyone can do their job, but only a small percentage of the population can do their job well, wherever they go.

The best way to show that you did your job well is from achievements. The best achievement is a promotion.It is an objective way to show that you impressed the people you work for. The next best way to show objective measures is to present quantified achievements.

Most people do not think in terms of quantified achievements when they are in the job, but on the resume, that’s the only part of the job that matters. No one can see that you were a “good team player” on your resume unless you can say “established a team to solve problem x and increased sales x%” or “joined under-performing team and helped that team beat production delivery dates by three weeks.”

If you are only putting achievements on your resume, you are going to be hard-pressed to fill a whole page. That’s okay. Anything on your resume that is not an achievement is wasting space. Because you don’t know what a hiring manager will look at first—and if you have ten good achievements and three mediocre lines about your life story, the hiring manager may only read those three lines—so remove them.

2. Don’t make your resume a moral statement; it’s a marketing document.
Think about when a company announced the launch of their product. First of all, the product is not done. Second of all, it has bugs. And third, the company is probably showing photos of prototypes and the real thing will look different.

All this stuff is fine. It’s accepted practice for marketing. The company will tell you that they are doing their best to get you the information you want in the way they think is best for letting you know what your consumer options are.

You need to take the same approach with your resume, because a resume is a marketing document. The best marketing documents show the product in the very best light, which means using whatever most outrageous tactics possible to make you look good. As long as you are not lying, you will be fine.

Here’s an example: You join a software company that just launched a product and the product had so many problems that they had to hire someone to handle the calls. You start doing the tech support, and you work tons of overtime because the calls are so backed up. You clean up the phone queue and then you start taking long lunches because there’s not a lot to do, and then you start job hunting because the job is boring.

Here’s how you summarize this job on your resume: Assumed management responsibility for tech support and decreased call volume 20%.

How do you know 20%? Who knows? It was probably more. But you can’t quantify exactly, so err on the safe side. But if you just say “Did tech support for a software company” no one knows you did a good job.

There is a fine art of almost-lying-but-not-lying on a resume. You need to talk about it a lot in order to know where you fall on the spectrum. Here is a sample of my own family discussions about what is lying and what isn’t.

3. Don’t give everything away in the resume.
The idea of a resume is to get someone to call you. Talk with you on the phone. Offer you an interview. So a resume is like a first date. You only show your best stuff and you don’t show it all.

Some people dump everything they can think of onto their resume, but a resume is not the only chance you’ll have to sell yourself. In fact the interview is where the hard-core selling takes place. So you only put your very best achievements on the resume. Sure, there will be other questions people will want answers to, but that will make them call you. And that’s good, right?

For those of you who can’t bear to take off the twenty extra lines on your resume because you think the interviewer has to see every single thing about you right away, consider that we have statistics to show that people don’t want to know everything up front. It does not make for a good match. Of people who got married, only 3% had sex on the first date.

 

Posted in No image, Resumes
69 comments on “How to edit your resume like a professional resume writer
  1. Dan Schawbel says:

    “Of people who got married, only 3% had sex on the first date.”

    I just shared this with 20 college friends and they were all shocked, but also agreed. A few of them broke this rule and told me that those relationships deteriorated.

    I think a resume is a necessity for proactive job seekers, but the goal with personal branding is to become reactive and have the jobs come to you, without needing a resume.

    :)

    • Dude says:

      Clearly the 3% was a made up figure. You’re just as gullible as the people who are hiring this guy.

  2. Alec says:

    Great advice and surprised I hadn’t thought of it. It’s 4.40am but I feel the urge to postpone sleep and rewrite my resume now! Thanks again =D

  3. Jim C says:

    This is a good column.
    One thing to remember is that successful resumes don’t get jobs for you; they get you interviews.

    * * * * * *

    Yes. This would be a good sentence to have opened the post. It’s an important point and I think once you understand this fundamental resume piece, then the other stuff falls into place.

    But then there’s the next issue: That people spend tons and tons of time on their resume but very little time rehearsing answers to interview questions out loud.

    –Penelope

  4. MargaretW says:

    Huh. I hired a professional to rewrite my resume a few years ago; it was a total disaster. It read like a template from CorporateSpeak 101, and was not appropriate for my skillset or for my industry. One can say that this was a cruddy resume writer because he didn’t fully understand my goals. Or maybe I didn’t communicate them well.

    I finally landed a new position after I ditched the plastic resume and handled writing it myself. It also didn’t hurt that I got the job through connections. I also got my subsequent (and current) job through connections, where the resume is something they’re obliged to hand over to the HR drone for her files.

    * * * * * * *

    This is a good time to say that the resume writing industry is sort of like the social worker industry — it’s a real crap shoot who you get unless the person comes recommended from someone you trust.

    Sidenote to resume professionals: You should blog. It’s a way to establish credibility with an audience that is inherently weary of the industry.

    –Penelope

  5. Miriam Salpeter says:

    Penelope,
    Thanks for a great post. As a career coach and resume writer, I spend a lot of time repeating, “Incorporate achievements, not tasks” and “It’s a marketing document, not an autobiography.”

    So often, my clients underestimate their skills and don’t know how to incorporate achievements. As you've noted in a past blog, we typically hire someone to do work that is not in our realm of expertise. Since most people rarely write a resume, it's unlikely they are producing the results a professional could generate. For example, an experienced professional will be able to advise a client whose resume is on that fine line between “almost-lying-but-not-lying.”

    RE: Dan's comment: As for not needing a resume: There are certainly a small percentage of people who have found opportunities without needing a resume. However, even the most highly successful, well-branded person should not assume that ALL of their opportunities will be a result of "pull rather than push strategy." Even the best-known brands still advertise. Having a resume is one way to market your brand.

    Miriam Salpeter

  6. Healthy Amelia says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I am not looking for a job at all right now but this makes me want to completely redo my resume ASAP so it'll be there whenever something may come up.

  7. Jenny says:

    Dan – you still need a polished resume even if the jobs are coming to you. Yes, people do sometimes get hired without doing a resume, but most companies these days have a more structured application process that even those people have to go through before they get the job. As it relates to branding, even advertising agencies who focus on branding have websites and media kits that show their expertise, and they keep those things updated so they don’t get tired, and so they are following through with their positioning of being branding experts.

  8. Aimee says:

    Even if you use a pro, you should still learn these skills, so that you can keep your resume current.

    I’d also add don’t put anything on your resume that you a)don’t want to be doing for the next year or b)aren’t prepared to discuss in an interview. Don’t let a recruiter persuade you to put phone skills on your resume if you have no interest in being on the phone all day. Focus your resume on highlighting the areas where you want to continue making achievements.

  9. Jim Eiden says:

    Quantify is the operative word. If you can put your accomplishments down that is quantifiable such as percentages, dollar ammounts, number of customers, etc. It hits them hard right up front.

    Then in the Interview you can talk about how you got reached those goals.

    Examples – Increased revenue 30%, reduced defects by 20%, closed $3 million in sales, reduced support by 10 hours a week, etc…

    You are not giving everything away, but you are being straight and to the point. Never lie, but sometimes you have to estimate. Try to be conservative in your estimates.

    Remember to always have your references lined up. Make sure those people know and agree to be your reference.

  10. Andrea C>> Become a consultant blog says:

    Okay, what do you do if you’re under NDA? Or if you work for a private company? In some companies and industries, your NDA prevents you from talking about, say, the size of the budget you managed or the increase in revenue.

    * * * * *

    There is no NDA that prevents you from saying, “managed a project and increased revenue 20%”. In this sentence you don’t say what project, what type of work or what amount of money.

    Everyone thinks they are the exception to the rule — that their particular case prevents them from having a resume of quantified results. No one is the exception. It’s hard for everyone to write a resume like this, but it’s also possible for everyone.

    In the link in the post to my family’s discussion, for example, I quantify sales results for my brother’s stupid cashier’s job at Blockbuster.

    –Penelope

  11. Michael Holley Smith says:

    Sounds like a good time for a bioblog. But don’t send flowers, it doesn’t work.

  12. Mark W. says:

    One of the hardest lessons I learned regarding resume writing was when I was laid off from my first job and my resume was not up to date. Not only did I have to get over the stigma of losing my job but I also had to come up with a good resume. It’s much easier to write a good resume while you’re in a good frame of mind and you have the time to concisely summarize your accomplishments as you move along in your career.

    * * * * * *

    Oh, this is such good advice. You should look at your resume once a month, while what you have accomplished is still fresh in your mind. I found myself that often I have forgotten I did things that would lend themselves to a quantifiable resume bullet. A resume is a living document. And the idea that you do it when your confidence is up — that’s great.

    –Penelope

  13. My Life In a Cube says:

    Follow this resume advice! Otherwise you’ll end up like that guy over at MyLifeInaCube.comwho sits and bulks in his cubicle all day…

  14. LP says:

    I second Mark W. — it’s a good idea to keep a word doc going at all times listing your achievements as you make them. This list comes in very handy for updating the resume, and also for workplaces where you write part of your own annual eval.

  15. another gal says:

    another great tip I picked up in business school. For everyone line item (“accomplishment”) on your resume, ask yourself the question: “So what?” The answer to “So What?” is what goes in the bullet. Too many people use “responsibilities” rather than “accomplishments.”

    I am a hiring manager and I read many resumes every day. I am busy. Get my attention with short, bulleted text that proves without a doubt you can do the job, that you are detail oriented (no typos) and focused on results (accomplishments) and quantitatively unafraid (quantify where possible per Penelope’s example. That’ll get you an interview. *that’s* when you can tell me all about your teamwork and leadership skills.

  16. Don B. says:

    Achievements and accomplishments is a good idea to list. Consider some sort of flare making your resume stand out or appear different is a good idea. We do look at interests and hobbies even though we probably should not. That reminds me of a personal ad I saw once where a lady expressed interest in watching sports, drinking beer and golf. The ad definitely stood out among the beach walks, movies and books. Always wondered if the ad was legit.

  17. Shefaly says:

    Penelope:

    Interesting to read this post, as I just got off the phone with a kindly soul, who is reviewing my CV as a god-send insider in a firm I am interested in. He raised the exact same points and I am working them in right now.

    I wrote one after 8 years of freelance work and clients almost never ask for a CV! So this process is especially tough.

    Good post and for once, not controversial ;-)

  18. Shefaly says:

    And another thing: I am with Mark W and LP.

    I am only able to do this because I maintain a ‘data dump’ of my projects and achievements and excerpts of client emails related to that project, especially those bits where they express their thoughts on the value I created for them. One does forget specifics over time. The CV is a marketing document but the interview is a client discussion where specifics MUST be used to demonstrate what problems one will be the solution to.

    Thanks.

  19. Scott says:

    I read that one must always keep the resume updated at all times. You NEVER know when the next opportunity may come knocking and it is best to be prepared! I view and review my resume every two months and see if there is a way to tweek it more. I hade my resume professionally written and I still tweek it!

    You may want to add to your arcsinal personal business cards with a synopses of your resume printed on the back. The reason is that it is better to pass those along when in a business situation (that details card-swapping) then to carry a stack of resumes. In this manner you don’t get the dreaded “o-boy, another job seeker” reaction.

    I have a personal logo on my cards as to create a ‘branding’ signature based upon my last name.

  20. pam Claughton says:

    Penelope,

    Great post! I’ve been telling people this for years, but also add that they should think about the order of their bullets. The top few bullets listed should be the parts of their job that they loved and want to do in their next position. People looking at a resume tend to put more weight on those first few things mentioned under job duties…so even if a small percentage of your job is what you loved, list it first, to make sure you do more of it in your next job. And if the bulk of your job was something you hated, leave that off the resume! Otherwise, especially if you list it first, you’ll find yourself getting calls for jobs just like the one you have now…instead of the ones you want.

    Little things make such a difference when someone glances at your resume for a few seconds, and makes a quick judgement. Make sure they’re seeing what you want them to see!

    Pam

  21. Connie says:

    Great post!

    Remember that no company hires unless they can’t solve a problem with their current staff. So your resume needs to highlight how you can solve their problem – €“ preferably with 3-5 bullet points of what you can do (and want to do again) that matches their needs. Use the same sort of language that they use in their job posting if that is how you are approaching them. Remember that if you are going through their website or a recruiter or HR, that you need to use words that people who are not familiar with your specialty can match with the words in the job posting.

  22. Bill says:

    PT – Thanks! This is one of your best posts. (At least second to delegate your best work; I refer to and forward that one often!)

    BTW, I usually check your posts via Yahoo!, and those viagra hackers appear to be back… But the plus side is that I’m writing you, and I probably wouldn’t have otherwise!

    Have a great day to go with that great resume.

  23. Joan says:

    Hi Penelope!

    I spent all day writing my resume yesterday and trying to adhere to these rules, as I have read them before in your book.

    So, funny that I look at your post today and it’s what you wrote about. It’s fate! I’m going to get a new job!

    It is difficult to list achievements instead of job descriptions so that is where I spent most of my time. Also, I agree with adding achievements as they happen. I am trying to remember everything that I have done in the past Year and a half.

    I do have a few questions…

    If you were promoted, which I was three times within the past year and a half how would you word that on your resume? And should you flat out say that? I haven’t had a title change, however I have been given much more responisiblity and was moved from part time to full time within 3 weeks of working for my current employer. Also, I was then given three pay raises. I would love to be able to include this.

    Great Post, Thanks for all the fantastic advice!

    By the way congrats on your new site.

  24. Joe Turner says:

    Hi Penelope,

    You wrote a great piece on resume writing! You are spot-on about your advice on achievements. As a recruiter and resume pro, I often advise my clients to forget most of what they’ve “learned” about resume writing. As a candidate, your resume has about 20 seconds to make the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) cut. A concise branding statement followed by a bulleted list of specific, measurable achievements will go a long way towards winning that phone screen.

    Your skills alone won’t sell you anymore. Employers pay for results. Take Penelope’s advice!

    Joe Turner

  25. Robyn McIntyre says:

    Coupla things:

    1. Every time you do something great at work, put a note to yourself in a file called “accomplishments.” When you review your resume to update it, open the file and add one or all of the newly documented triumphs.

    2. I really like your blog, Penelope; it’s lean, no-nonsense, and full of good advice. The most hopeful part of it for me is that it seems my last 25 years in the workforce were problematic because business hadn’t caught up to where I wanted to be. Thanks for giving me support for my optimism!

  26. Andrea C>> Become a consultant blog says:

    Penelope, thanks for your personal response. I agree that anyone should be able to include numbers on their resume. I’ve got tons of numbers on my resume. However, when you’re going over more senior positions, people start looking for numbers that represent budgets and revenues.

    In some ways, it’s easier to use numbers if you’re more junior (e.g. in your early to mid 20s) because you can use words like “project”. At a more advanced level, they start wanting to know about the size of budget and the total amount of revenues. So, while I can probably get away with writing “Planned and executed international telemarketing campaign, generating 500 leads and 5% response”, I can’t tell you that I managed a budget of a certain dollar value or that it represented X% of corporate revenues. I can talk about ROI and % increases, but I can’t talk about anything more concrete. I’m sure others must be in the same boat and that perhaps you’ve faced this. How do you deal with an NDA in those cases, where you need to talk about stuff like that?

  27. Rich says:

    I thought point #2 was quite understated. I am surprised at the number of resumes I have seen in the past year that have phrases like
    “deals honestly with clients”
    “treats other with respect”
    “Acting ethically”
    I honestly have never even called one of them back because I wonder what is going on in their career or life that makes them think that this is not assumed. It also makes me think they took a moral high ground at work and got called out on it.
    Either way, the point is quite valid…market yourself, and make the reader excited to talk to you. I doubt anyone is reading resumes thinking “finally, someone with integrity!”

    great post P

  28. Joselle Palacios says:

    This is not only a very helpful post, but so many of the comments have been helpful as well. I’m jotting these tips down (have a regularly updated file of your achievements, update your resume every 2 months) and will apply them.

    My resume was too long for a very long time (about one and a half pages) and I finally sat down with it and started chopping away. There was SO much information I kept repeating with different phrasing. I just wasn’t getting to the point.

    I’m also reformatting it after finding this web site (http://jobmob.co.il/blog/beautiful-resume-ideas-that-work/). I won’t get too fancy because I’m not a designer but it’s amazing how much greater an impact can be made just by splitting the resume’s content into two columns!

    As an editor, I don’t often think of my achivements at work as “numbers.” But meeting print deadlines, getting a 100% response from cold calling so we can complete a huge annual projects–I finally relaized those are all numbers and achievements I can add to my resume. I do more than just edit.

    Thank you for such a great post and to everyone for all the smart comments.

  29. Phoebe says:

    My big problem is that I have no accomplishments. In each of my jobs, I never organized or created or designed anything. What do you do with that type of resume? Even in my own business I haven’t accomplished that much. Maybe its an issue of perspective, but basic work isn’t an accomplishment.

  30. Joselle Palacios says:

    Phoebe, I felt that way about the last job I had. I did data entry and I felt like I had done absolutely nothing. I had no clue how I could take that (plus the college education I didn’t give myself credit for) and get a job in publishing. But I sat down and set out to write just 3 or 4 things I was responsible for. When I was done, however, I had 3 or 4 pages. Try that. Just write down every little, seemingly inconseqential thing you do down. You will come up with a lot of stuff. Polish it up, spin your tasks into accomplishments, have someone else help if need be, and you will come up with something to be proud of. Trust me.

    For more in-depth help, I like those books by Jist (www.jist.com), like “15 Minute Cover Letter,” and “30 Minute Resume Makeover.” I found them helpful when I did my last resume revision. I used Knock Em Dead when I created the resume I wrote about in the first paragraph. Listing all my menial tasks was very helpful and that came right out of Knock Em Dead.

    Good luck!

  31. Chris says:

    I once got an interview purely because of the title page of the resume. I was exceedingly underqualified for the position, however the interviewer simply wanted to meet me and keep my details on file.
    I think it was something like “How to increase your profits, reduce staff turnover and create a happy work enviroment” See attached resume for details… A little corny but I got the interview.
    I agree with – Aim for the interview first and the job second. C

  32. Jay Wigley says:

    One of my peers got a resume yesterday that was 32 pages long. I’m not kidding. At least they were single-sided pages. What else is there to talk about during the interview when we have 32 pages to read? And the end result is that since the manager is Mr. Detail, he found three or four things out of the 32 pages that make him concerned. So I agree that putting more out there is a risk, not a help to get a follow-up call.

  33. Andrea C>> Become a consultant blog says:

    Was the 32-page resume from someone who was not raised in North America? I find that people from other parts of the world use lengthy CVs.

  34. lori nelson says:

    Great way to frame the issue, especially if your audience is female. What’s the reference for the 3% stat by the way?

  35. tony sheng says:

    great post P.
    what’s your advice about LinkedIn – in your opinion, do you think that suffices as an adequate resume substitute in today’s work climate?

  36. cmadler says:

    Interesting that this post came just a day after Seth Godin’s anti-resume posting, “Why bother having a resume?”

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/03/why-bother-havi.html

  37. Chris M says:

    Penelope,

    Points one through three are a good start and have already received plenty of love in other comments. I’ve got to ask, though, what are you thinking in that opening paragraph? Hiring a professional resume writer? Really? Until resumes disappear from the business landscape, competency, even mastery of that format is something all professionals should have. The resume, especially coupled with a sharp cover letter, showcases one’s capacity for research, critical thinking & application, written communications, and marketing/sales skills. It is the haiku of the professional world.

    Recommending anyone hire a ‘pro’ to do it for them rails against empowerment and control. If someone is dependent on another for writing their resume, what happens every time they need to update it? Since every resume sent in response to a specific job should be tailored specifically to that opportunity, that is a lot of updating going on. Or not. Periodically one of my students (average age is late 30’s) will come in with a professionally written resume. Invariably they have shelled out good money for junk. Junk they are afraid to modify to best serve their own goals.

    Do a lot of people need better teaching and coaching on resumes? Yes, and most of this post moves towards that. Is fostering dependency the answer? No. These tips are for everyone, not just some.

  38. Scott Williamson says:

    Great advice on resume development. And I agree resume ‘experts’ come in all shapes and sizes, be sure to get a guarantee if possible or go with someone you know or were referred to.

  39. Biodun says:

    Great post! thanks for the input.
    Yeah a good way to show objective measures is to present quantified achievements, anything on your resume that is not an achievement is wasting space. Agreed!

  40. William Mitchell, CPRW says:

    All these are good “highlight” points. The key is to remember to give the reader what they need to convince them you’re a serious contender, but you also have to remember that (depending upon the level of competition) 15 seconds is all the time you have to get past the initial “pare-down” stage.

    I offer free resume critiques and I see the same issues consistently:

    * Relevant contributions and critical duties buried within the text
    * Weak (or no) introduction.
    * Too much focus on the applicant’s needs and not the needs of the position.
    * mistakenly trying to cover any and all experience and not focusing enough on the skills needed for the goal.

    There are many others, but I would say these are the most crucial. If you remember to focus on what the reader wants to know, then at least you’re half-way there.

    But (as one would expect me to say) nothing beats the professional touch!

  41. K.C. says:

    Thanks for a great article.

    I have seen a lot of resumes in my myriad years as an HR professional and Recruiter and I can attest that the majority of us are simply not objective enough to present ourselves in the best light possible. I maintain that society so frowns upon “self promotion” that most of us have not developed this as a skill, which is a bit of an issue when one attempts to market one’s self in a resume.

    As a professional resume writer, I have the opportunity to help people see themselves in a fresh perspective. It is extremely rewarding to open a client’s eyes to his or her own abilities and skills – it’s why I love what I do.

    Thanks again,

    K.C.

  42. David Chan says:

    I also would highly recommend putting in some type of online profile link, such as LinkedIn. Adding this element would illustrate that you are current with today's "new world" of business and could also accelerate your interview process (especially if you have a lot of strong recommendations).

  43. B.I. says:

    RE: Michelle Holly Smith’s post about keeping your resume current.

    Another good reason to keep your resume current while you are still working is to keep your achievements list up to date. Your position responsibilities may change over time.

    In my case, my relationship with my employer deteriorated. As that relationship deteriorated, my responsibilities were reduced to almost nothing. I had kept a separate sheet describing my “achievements” at that job for future reference. Because of this, I was able to select a few good achievements to use on my resume without the cloud of having gotten fired to influence me.

    I strongly suggest to everyone that you keep a list of achievements at your current job and update it regularly. Keep this document in a safe place where no one at your job will see it. Preferrably at home or on a PIM device that is all yours. When it comes time to look for another job, you will be glad you did this.

  44. Tips says:

    Try to keep your resume to one page and stuff as much work experience in it as you can, so it shows that you’ve got a lot of work done and that you seem very well rounded for the task at hand.

  45. Blogger for Resume Builder says:

    “1. Don’t focus on your responsibilities, focus on what you achieved.”

    Finally, I’ve seen someone value achievements over responsibilities in a resume. But I must add, it would also be smart to add methods and ways by which you have achieved your goals.

    Employers love results/value you bring on board to a company but it would also be better if they understand on how you get to your goals.

  46. Michael says:

    thank you, very good tips

  47. Myka | Recruitment Agencies says:

    “3. Don’t give everything away in the resume.
    The idea of a resume is to get someone to call you. Talk with you on the phone. Offer you an interview. So a resume is like a first date. You only show your best stuff and you don’t show it all.”

    I love this point here. But I must admit this would be quite tricky to implement on your resume. But a sufficient view of your achievements, leaving the specific actions to your interview would be an ideal scenario which I think most of the job seekers haven’t thought of yet.

  48. dino says:

    hi,
    your advice is very educational for me. i have since rewrite my resume and I feel that, it is true. However, not every responsilibities lead to a achievement, am I correct ? example: if i draft annual sales planning for fiscal year, what achievement would it result ? sorry for my poor understanding.

    thank you.

  49. Resume Template says:

    I wanted to say thanks for your help. I am very pleased with the final results and would recommend you to some of my friends.

  50. Diane says:

    Ok this is only slightly off topic and admittedly I have read only around 100 of your posts. BUT,
    Have you mentioned yet about how to do “practice” interviews? I’m now a retired gen-jonser, but back in the day I would try to make time for one practice interview a month. Obviously, my resume was up to date, fully quantified. Going out on a practice was especially useful if I was also feeling particularly bored, or mad at my boss. My husband would frown on this practice, claiming that it was unethical and a waste of the interviewers time. Not so. I maintain that often the interviewer got more out of the session than I did. Through practice, I learned how to manage the interview myself, how to get the interviewer to ask specific questions, and how to make them feel that they were doing a great interview! And I got to practice all of my mini-speeches (tell me why you want to leave your current job), just to name one benefit.

    So I would love to hear your take on this “practice” and how it could help the new careerists!
    — Diane

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