Students and Faculty Give Tips on Resume and Interview Techniques
“A good resume is like your calling card; it shows the hiring team who you are in a complete yet succinct manner,” said Dr. Mary Ayala, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Eastern New Mexico University. When you begin your resume, it changes over time. For example, when you are right out of school, you leave with very little experience but when you’ve been in the field for a while, you're able to add more work experience to your resume. “Your resume should contain evidence that you are building skill-sets that are relevant to the job you are seeking, and that you have succeeded in progressively demanding and responsible positions,” said Ayala. “If you have only been able to work part-time jobs so far, focus less on the title and more on the responsibilities and proficiencies involved.”
Ayala gave advice for interviews which included doing your homework about the potential employer. “Ask good questions during the interview that demonstrate your knowledge and interest,” said Ayala.
“If you have several interviews lined up and you have any choice in the matter, save the ones you’re most interested in for last. That will give you the chance to use the earlier interviews as practice runs,” said Ayala. “If you must misrepresent yourself to get the job, you won’t be happy, and neither will your employers.” When it comes to references, give a heads up to anyone you are asking to be a referral for you. “Provide them with a current resume, a copy of the job description, and maybe a quick summary of highlights of your qualifications and why you’re a good fit for the position.” Ayala stated. “Having a good reference helps with the hiring decision. Very often, it is a stellar reference that tips the scale in a hiring decision.”
Lastly, Ayala pointed out to not be afraid to showcase and sell the factors that set you apart from the rest like being bilingual, cross cultural experience, volunteer work, student leadership positions, or creative abilities. “All of these things could potentially set you apart from other applicants,” Ayala said.
Ezekiel Huerta, a student at ENMU, said that a resume is a great way to represent yourself, your qualities, and your background when applying for a job or a new position. “In some cases, it can make you stand out and set you apart from others who are also applying for the job. I believe the better you can get your resume gives you an opportunity to be successful,” said Huerta. He shared his plan of wanting to be a personal trainer after graduation. He is currently on the football team and says that with this experience, it’ll give him the upper hand and set him apart thus helpful on his resume.
Remember to be calm during an interview and always be yourself. “Don’t try to put on a front that your over qualified. I would say just be you because that’s who you're going to be when you're working there.” In doing so, you won't have to put on a front the whole time you are working there. “If it's for you--it's for you. If it's not, then there's another job out there.” Huerta said. “Just let them know then and there so you don’t have to be worrying about it later.”
Melina Encinias, a student at ENMU, said that it is important to keep your resume up to date. “It's important to be in a constant state of building a resume instead of reaching a point where you need to build a resume and then you have to go back and think back to all the past experiences you’ve had,” said Encinias. “It’s easier to do it cumulatively and keep it updated because if you need it, you have it ready.”
Keeping your resume relevant to the job position is important. “Include job experience and if you’ve written anything and had it published be sure to include that in there.” Encinias pointed out that it always depends on the resume you are writing. “The resume can be a general resume or it can be focused on the certain job you want. If you're going into music for example, and you’ve been to festivals and you’ve performed at places, you're going to want to include that. You're not going to want to include an English paper about cats that you have published.”
“If they call you back that means they are interested in you so don’t be too self-deprecating during it,” Encinias said. “Things you’ve done in the past may seem little and you may not think it's enough, but sell yourself because the skill sets that you have are important and their valuable and they can be used in many ways.” Being honest, Encinias said, is an important aspect to an interview. “Ask questions and don’t be afraid to bargain with them. Tell them what you expect. They're trying to sell themselves to you as well because they want you to have the job.”