TURNING NO INTO YES
Finding a job nowadays is HARD. Add having a felony conviction to the mix and the task can seem almost impossible. The fact is, with so many resumes and applications coming across their desks, employers are literally looking for reasons to say no. The quicker they can get through the pile, the better, and unfortunately the first to go are often times those with criminal backgrounds. This is why our mission here at Nolef Turns Inc. is to help those who have made mistakes in the past to find employment. Almost daily, job listings and upcoming job fairs are posted on our Facebook page. But, as I’m sure you are aware, there is more to getting a job than knowing where to go. You must know what steps you can take before, during, and after the interview to increase your chances of receiving a yes.
Part One: Before the Interview
The 3 R’s
They say first impressions last forever and your resume is that first impression. Within seconds your resume must stand out above all the rest. Your resume should be:
· Neat & uncluttered
· Lined up evenly
· No longer than one page
· Not have any outrageous fonts and/or colors.
Resumes are getting fancier but a good rule of thumb is to keep it simple and keep it neat.
Once you have completed your resume make sure you triple check it for grammatical errors and typos. Read it aloud to yourself or let a family member check it over. You do not want your resume tossed into the trash because of a simple error.
Final tip on resumes…
Make sure you have a professional email. You should never use any email addresses that have gang affiliation, sexual content, explicit language, or anything else inappropriate. It is not uncommon to have multiple emails, one for business and one for personal use. So, if you want to have the email firstname.lastname@example.org then do so. Just make sure you have another account for professional purposes.
Let’s say you use your friend Dave as a reference. Potential employer calls Dave and hears music lyrics full of expletives blasted in his ear followed by Dave instructing him, very rudely, to leave a message. Wouldn’t make a very good impression, right? No, it wouldn’t. And if you’re thinking this would be a silly reason to not get offered a job please keep in mind…. they are looking for reasons to say no, even silly ones.
Give everyone you plan on using as a reference a heads up so that they will be expecting the call. Try to use friends and family that you know will not only answer the phone but will also be professional. And last, don’t forget that when filling out the reference section of any application to make sure that you have accurate phone numbers and emails. Not being able to get in touch with a reference can slow down or even stop the employment process.
But before you begin celebrating, it’s a good idea to spend some time doing research. There are two things you should be entering in your search engine:
1) The company. It is good to know who you may be working for and what it is that they do. Impress them with your knowledge of the company and their products. This will also help you determine if the company is a good fit for you.
2) Possible interview questions. Ever been to an interview and got asked a question you had absolutely no idea how you wanted to answer? I have and it’s not fun. Some common questions include
a. Why do you want to work here? (The research you did on the company will go great here)
b. When was a time you were part of a team and how did you contribute?
c. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
If you follow the three R’s you are already on your way to getting that Yes. Your resume is polished, your references have been notified, and if you have gotten a call back, you've done your research.
Don’t forget to check in next week for Part 2: Acing the Interview.
Need more tips or how to create a stand out resume? Check back soon for a more in-depth article on how to create a resume that will get you noticed.