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Interview & resume tips

Your resume tells an employer a great deal about you, it's your first impression. The purpose of the resume is to help you get the interview. Review the tips below and you may come out ahead of your competitors that violate them.

Aurora uses behavioral interviewing because it is a fair process and helps to ensure accurate hires

  • Behavioral interviewing is based on the theory that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.
  • Questions are designed around the requirements of the job. Your examples should be:
    • Specific, citing one example
    • Clear, with appropriate detail
    • About a recent workplace event, preferably
    • School, volunteer or personal life examples are also acceptable
  • The interviewer will want to hear about some of your real life experiences. For example, if you are interviewing for a position involving numbers or data, you'll likely be asked about your attention to detail.

Some do's and don'ts of the interview

Do

  • Do pay attention to your grammar, make sure you're absolutely certain you know the correct meaning and pronunciation of a word before using it.
  • Do try to be relaxed and natural so you are presenting your best, genuine self.
  • Do dress appropriately – you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
  • Do ask questions to clarify any information you have found on your own or that was brought up in the interview.
  • Do send thank you notes, they are a nice touch. Written or emailed notes are welcome and may help set you apart from your competition.
  • Do be patient, it may take longer to hear from us than you anticipated. If the interviewer gave you a business card and said to call with questions, you may do so, but don't overdo it.
  • Do expect to hear from us if you had an interview. At Aurora, our policy is to always get back to all internal candidates who apply, but we only get back to external candidates if they have been interviewed. The response will be in the form of a letter, or more likely, an email.

Don't

  • Don't use profanities or obscenities of any kind in an interview.
  • Don't bring up the failings of others to cast yourself in a better light – it doesn't work.
  • Don't say, "I don't know" if you are asked a question about a situation which you have not encountered. The recruiter may be able to assist you in remembering an appropriate instance to answer the question.
  • Don't contact the recruiter for a response before the timeframe you were given in the interview.
  • Don't feel obligated to ask questions if you do not have any, it's not necessary.

Your resume is your advertisement to a potential employer, it tells them what you have to offer. It makes the recruiter or manager reading your resume want to know more and invite you in for an interview.

Cover letter

Cover letters should be concise but informative, make each word count.

  • Paragraph 1 – State your interest in the job.
  • Paragraph 2 – Explain why you're qualified for that job.
  • Paragraph 3 – Indicate how you can be reached for an interview.
  • Closing – Thanks for consideration.

Resume

  • Your resume should be an accurate picture of your experience and skills. If you undersell yourself on the resume, you may hurt your chances of getting an interview. If you oversell yourself, you may get called in for an interview, but it will be apparent that you exaggerated your skills.
  • Limit your resume to two pages; one is even better. If you have too much information for one or two pages, you should tailor your resume more directly to the specific job for which you are applying. This may mean you have two or more resumes, but each will present you as the best fit for the corresponding job. The same rule applies to cover letters; they should be tailored individually.
  • If your education is stronger than your experience, list it first. If your experience is stronger, list that first.
  • Don't talk about what your previous company made, the service they provided, or how successful they were. Instead, talk about what you did at that company which contributed to the product or service and its success.
  • Don't include personal information such as marital status, hobbies or physical information.
  • Do use active words like, "coordinated, processed, served and provided" as opposed to "was responsible for...", it's more direct and says that you acted.
  • Do check your resume for spelling and grammar. No matter what position you apply for, errors and typos on your resume are a negative reflection on you and your attention to detail.
  • Don't rely on your computer's spell check, it may not include all words, and grammar check may misinterpret what you mean to say. Look it over with your own eyes and, if possible, have someone you trust – who did well in English class – look it over, too.
  • Remember that the screening process begins long before you ever meet the recruiter face-to-face. Your application or resume is the first glimpse that the recruiter has into who you are and what you would bring to the job.