Job Search Resources

The following resources have been compiled to help you in the hiring process. No one can guarantee you will win every assignment, every time, but these tips can help you increase your chances in securing the position. Your success is our success, so we want you to find a job you love!

Resume Tips

Avoid Subjective Statements | Instead of wasting precious space on commonly used phrases, set yourself apart from the competition by backing up statements with specific, quantifiable accomplishments.

Before After
Great Leadership Skills Managed a team of 3 engineers to drive technology changes resulting in a 25% cost reduction.
Excellent Customer Service Skills Handled over 150 calls daily for a Fortune 500 call center.
Strong Verbal Skills Closed 6 strategic accounts billing $2M+ annually.

Basic Format | Resumes are most effective when they are in chronological order with your most recent job history listed first (including month and year of employment along with city and state).

Mind the Gaps | Any employment gaps lasting longer than a few of months should be briefly explained.

Achievements-Oriented | Your resume should not just be a list of the tasks you performed on previous jobs. Use your resume to market yourself by listing your accomplishments. Include anything you have done that helped your employers make money, decrease costs, save time, solve a problem, expand the business, or retain/attract customers.

Use PAR Statements | PAR stands for Problem-Action-Results. When describing accomplishments, illustrate a problem that you encountered, explain what you did to fix or improve the issue, and finally, describe the results and how they benefited the company.

Tailor Your Resume | Read the job description and include specific examples in your resume that relate to the pertinent skills. Every skill in the job description should be addressed. If you don’t have experience with a specific requirement listed in the job description, then list something you have done that is similar.

Before the Interview

Research the Company | Educating yourself about the company is the most important thing you can do before an interview. Visit the company’s website and search the Internet for news and articles. This is the easiest thing you can do to set yourself apart from other candidates.

Know the Job Requirements | Find out from your recruiter what he or she knows about the job and what areas of your resume interested the hiring manager. You’ll want to emphasize and expand on these areas during the interview.

Talk to your Recruiter | Don’t be afraid to ask your recruiter for interviewing advice or about past feedback they’ve had from the company. The recruiter is a great resource to help you prepare.

Bring Your Submitted Resume | Ask your recruiter to send you a copy of your submitted resume to take with you to the interview. Presenting a different version of your resume can confuse the hiring manager.

Get the Details | Know the time, place, and correct pronunciation of the company and your interviewer’s full name. If you don’t know the correct pronunciation, ask the receptionist upon arrival.

Map it Out | Many companies have multiple locations. Make sure you know the correct location for your interview. It’s a good idea to check an app or site like Google Maps for driving times, avoiding construction and finding the best route.

Prepare the Night Before | Lay out an outfit, be sure there is gas in the car or confirm the bus schedule, print out your submitted resume, and don’t forget to bring a notepad and pen.

Interview Day

Dress Appropriately | Always arrive at the interview dressed professionally and neatly groomed, even if the work environment at the company may be casual. When in doubt, err on the side of wearing conservative business attire. Also, be reserved in your use of fragrance, cosmetics and jewelry.

Arrive Early | Arrive 10 to 15 minutes before your interview so you have plenty of time to obtain a security badge or parking permit if required. If you are running late, call your recruiter so the hiring manager can be notified.

Reschedule | If you cannot make your interview time, let your recruiter know in advance. He/she can work with the hiring manger to reschedule the interview. If you simply do not show up, it is unlikely that you will get a second chance with the assignment or even the company.

Be Confident and Calm | Smile pleasantly and shake hands firmly. Let him or her know that you are happy to be there.  During the interview, speak clearly and remember to make eye contact. Be prepared to talk about your participation in projects relevant to the new assignment and how your previous experience will help you to become a valuable member of the team.

Be Concise | Answer the interview questions completely and succinctly. Stick to the question. Remember, it’s okay to stop talking after you have answered a question.

Ask Questions | If you have done your research about the company, you should be able to prepare relevant and thoughtful questions prior to the interview about the company, project and assignment. Ask who will supervise you, what are the expected hours, when is the targeted start date, etc. Keep in mind that the interview also serves as a venue to determine if this job is a good match for you.

End on a Positive | When the interview is over, end on a positive note. Let the hiring manager know you want the assignment. Try to find out the next steps and decision timing.

Call Your Recruiter Afterwards | Be sure to contact your recruiter immediately to tell him/her about the interview. If you have any questions or concerns about this assignment, discuss them with your recruiter. This will help your recruiter determine a specific approach that will best suit your placement.

Send a Thank You Note | It is always professional to send an email or write a quick note. Keep it brief, but let them know you found the meeting informative, the position interesting, and that you appreciated the opportunity to interview.

Things to Avoid Doing During Your Interview

The Basics | Don’t bite your nails, cross your arms, fidget, chew gum, arrive late, and don’t eat or smoke right before the interview.

No One-Word Answers | Don’t answer with a simple yes or no. Give specific examples whenever possible.

Don’t Talk About Conflicts | Don’t speak badly about former employers, coworkers, companies, projects, etc. If asked about past situations that were less than pleasant, try to emphasize any positive results you may have brought about without discussing the negatives.

Don’t Offer Up Negative Statements About Yourself | If asked about a weakness, think about something you haven’t done well in the past, but have taken actions toward improving.

Do Not Discuss Pay | The Hiring Manager will not able to discuss your pay due to co-employment issues, so bringing this up puts them in an awkward position. If the interviewer asks you about pay, then tell them that you would seriously consider any reasonable offer OR ask them to please speak with PDS.

Turn Off the Arrogance | Resist the urge to tell the hiring manager that his or her entire approach is wrong. You may have different ideas that would be valuable to their efforts, but telling someone you have just met that he or she is incorrect is a sure way to not get the job.

Don’t Say “No, I haven’t” | Do say: “I have done something similar, and I was successful at it.” OR “That sounds interesting, and I’m sure I can do an excellent job at it.”

Don’t Think Short Term | Avoid giving the impression that you are only considering this job until you find something better or because you are desperate.

Behavioral Interview

The behavioral-based interviewing technique is founded on the premise that past performance predicts future success, so in this type of interview you will be asked to describe an actual situation you’ve encountered and explain how you worked through the problem to arrive at the outcome. The interviewer will expect you to give examples of real events, challenges, and projects that you have faced, so you’ll want to have some answers prepared beforehand.

Examples of Behavioral Interview Questions:

  • Give me an example of a time when you had to make a quick decision.
  • Think about a complex project or assignment that you have been assigned. What approach did you take to complete it?
  • Tell me about a time when something you tried to accomplish failed. What did you learn from that failure?
  • Describe a situation where you had a positive influence on the action(s) of others.
  • How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?
  • Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.
  • Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How?
  • Tell me about a time when you have had to deal with an angry customer.

Use the S-T-A-R Approach to answer these questions.

  • Situation or Task | Describe the specific event, situation, problem, or challenge.
  • Action you took | Describe what you did and how you decided to take that action.
  • Result you achieved | Describe the result.

Panel Interview

You may find yourself in an interview with multiple interviewers. This interview style is used by companies that heavily rely on team cooperation and want to get the opinions of your potential coworkers to see how you will fit within the group.

Tips on Navigating Your Way Through the Panel Interview

Stay Focused | Greet each person individually, and don’t rush through handshakes or questions. A panel interview may seem more rapidly paced, so do your best to remain calm and avoid getting flustered.

Take Notes | When you sit down, ask the interviewer if you may take notes. Jot down the names and placement of each member so you can address them appropriately.

Engage with Each Member of the Panel | Treat each person as an important individual. Initially you should make eye contact with the person who asks the question, but be sure to scan the faces and make eye contact with the others in the room.

Cross Reference | When possible, cross reference previously asked questions.

Thank Everyone | Write a separate thank you note to each member of the panel.