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Job Interviews Tips for 2020

job interview tips

Job interviews can be a stressful part of the job hunting process. But with some tips, you can easily ace your next interview and land your dream job!

Do you have a weakness for job interviews? Succeeding in job interviews is a crucial part of the job consideration process. How you do in the interview can be the deciding factor in whether you get hired or not. That’s why we put together this master guide with all the job interview tips you need.

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When searching for a new job, part of the process often includes an interview. Employers conduct job interviews so they can get to know you and ask important questions. They want to gain a better impression of who you are than they can from just your resume. This will then better help them decide who to hire.

Job Interview Preparation

There are things you need to do before, during, and after an interview in order to ace it. First, we’ll go over what you need to do before you even get to the interview. These tips will help you feel confident and prepared for job interviews when they come.

Research the Business

Before you go into an interview, you should sit down and do some research on the company or business you are interviewing with. Find their website, visit their store, read reviews, and read articles about them to become more familiar with the company.

You want to research the business because then you’ll have a clearer understanding of what they do and what might be expected of you at this new job.

Download a Free Resume Template.

You can even research the company before you send in your resume. Then you can tailor your resume and cover letter to that particular business. For example, you might see on their website that community service is important to the members of this company. Then you can be sure to list your volunteer experience first on your resume.

Review the Job Description Again

Read and review the job description so that you really understand all the information the employer has already provided about the job. That way you won’t ask questions in the interview that you should already know the answer to. It will make you look bad if you don’t know something that was clearly stated in the job posting.

Pay particular attention to the skills and requirements they list in the job posting. This will give you important insights into what they want to know about you in the interview. For example, if photoshop is a required skill, then be prepared to talk about the ways you’ve successfully used photoshop to complete jobs and tasks in the past.

What to Wear to a Job Interview

Don’t pick the clothes you are going to wear on the day of the interview. This will make it take longer for you to get ready and leaves you vulnerable to wardrobe malfunctions and catastrophes. Instead, pick your clothes a few days before, try them on to see how they look, and make sure they’re clean, ironed, and neat.

A lot of people also wonder what to wear to a job interview. But picking job interview outfits doesn’t have to be complicated. It is usually better to be overdressed than underdressed. So no matter what the job might be, it’s always a good idea to dress Business Professional.

Business Professional includes things like skirts, suits, suit jackets, blazers, button-down shirts, collared shirts, and dress shoes.

It’s also important that you manage your grooming before a job interview as well. To give your best first impression you want to be clean, look clean, and smell clean. Also, be careful not to wear too much perfume or cologne. The purpose of proper grooming is to look like you know how to manage and take care of yourself.

Plan your Trip

Plan your transportation ahead of time for the day of the interview. Know how you are getting there and when you need to leave. Be 15 minutes early to make sure you aren’t late and to show how punctual you are.

You’ll also want to make transportation preparations to make sure you have enough gas in the tank or suddenly realize you didn’t ask for the address. You should also ask for a phone number to contact in case you have trouble finding your way. Some people even like to make the trip to the interview the day before just to make sure they won’t get lost on the day of the interview.

Don’t Forget to Eat!

Eat an hour or so before you go to the interview. You don’t want to suddenly have a rumbling stomach during the interview or trembling fingers because you didn’t eat yet that day.

When you’re nervous, it can be easy to lose your appetite and forget to eat. So don’t forget to put feeding yourself on your preparation list for the job interview.

Bring a Notepad and Pen

Bring your own notepad and pen so you can take notes if you need to during the interview. You can also use the notepad to keep a list of questions you want to ask so you don’t forget them.

Having a notepad with you can also help you look more professional and ready to be productive.

Job Interview Tips

There are things to do and not do, during the interview as well. A lot of these job interview tips revolve around the art of public speaking. In a job interview, you have to make conversation in front of a stranger, or even several strangers sometimes. You want to learn some public speaking skills so you can present yourself well and give a good first impression.

Avoid Fidgeting

Don’t fidget in your chair too much. When you’re nervous it can be easy to tap your foot incessantly without even noticing you’re doing it. But your interviewer notices.

Learn to talk with both feet firmly planted on the ground and your hands in your lap. Do a test run of public speaking for the interview with a friend to get someone to notice your nervous ticks for you so you can work on them.

Avoid Filler Words

Don’t use filler words. This can be a very difficult habit to get rid of, but with some practice, you can do it. Practice talking through your interview with a friend who has a counter and can count all the times you say your favorite filler words.

Do several practice runs until that number goes down or even reaches zero. Once you force yourself through practice to get rid of filler words in your speech, you’ll find it a lot easier to avoid them.

Make Eye Contact

Make eye contact with the person conducting the interview. Making eye contact shows open, friendly, and confident body language. It can also help you seem less nervous than you are if that’s something you struggle with.

But it’s also ok to look to the right or left of someone or up at a spot on the wall or ceiling as you explain an answer if this helps you focus on your answer and not feel nervous.

Keep Body Language Open and Friendly

Use open body language and avoid using closed body language without realizing it. Open body language will help you come across as confident and friendly, a perfect candidate for the open position.

Closed body language includes things like crossing your arms or legs, avoiding eye contact, or slouching your shoulders.

Open body language includes things like shaking hands, making eye contact, keeping both feet on the ground, not crossing your arms, and having good back posture.

When you practice for the job interview with a friend, also practice having good posture, looking your interviewer in the eye, and using open, confident, and friendly body language.

Don’t Criticize Others

Don’t criticize or complain during the interview. This will make you seem tacky, immature, unprofessional, or even rude. It’s particularly a bad idea to complain about your previous boss in an interview. This will not earn you points in their eyes or flatter your potential future boss.

Instead, this kind of talk will make them think you’ll talk bad about your new boss or the company behind their backs and no employer wants that for their business.

The person conducting the interview might ask you some questions about your old employment like, “what were some things you didn’t like about your previous job?” or “why did you leave your previous job?”

Answer these questions without making things too personal. They don’t want to know that you found your old boss annoying or that this one coworker talked about their cat too much. They want to know more about what you do and don’t want in a job to see if this job is a good fit for you.

Job Interview Questions

We’re going to go over the most common job interview questions and how best to answer them. The biggest thing you’ll want to prepare is your answers to interview questions. That’s why we’re including this list of job interview questions and sample answers. The best way to practice answering job interview questions is to practice answering them with someone. Even if that someone is yourself in a mirror.

Socializing with other ppl in your field is also a great way to network with important people and learn how to talk about yourself within your field.

Common Interview Questions

The best way to answer interview questions successfully is to have a story in mind for each possible question. Have job interview related stories prepared that could illustrate something useful to a potential employer.

Download a Free PDF Printable of a Job Interview Questions Practice Sheet.

Have examples of when you did hard things, handled conflict, overcame things, had success, when you failed and got back up, when you were a leader, or when you contributed as part of a team.

Tell me about yourself.

This question leaves interviewees everywhere at a loss for words. It’s hard to talk about yourself, and we don’t do it very often, but you’ll want to learn how to talk about yourself in relation to your field.

What an interviewer wants to know by asking this question are things related to the job. If you’re applying for a science job they don’t necessarily want to know how you like soccer.

When an interviewer says, “tell me about yourself” they want to hear a brief overview of your career so far.

What are your weaknesses and strengths?

When an interviewer asks about your strengths and weaknesses they are trying to determine how you perform your job. If you have a weakness within your area of expertise they want to hear about the efforts you’re taking to overcome that weakness.

If you have a particular strength within your field they want to know how you got there and what you learned from developing that strength. They want to see how you function as a person and a potential employee.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

This question might come with an arbitrary amount of years tacked onto it like, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” but the intentions behind the question are the same. The employer wants to know what your long term goals are and whether those goals will be best served at this job. They want to know what you can gain from this job and what this job can do for your 5-year plan.

Actually sit down and make a current 5-year plan for yourself. It’s ok if your 5-year plan changes each year, it’s just good to have ambitions, an eye on the future, and responsibility for yourself and your future. This is your opportunity to show them you are a goal-oriented person and know how to make plans to reach those goals.

Why should we hire you?

What an employer wants to know here are specific ways you might contribute to this job and help make things better. You can show them how you’ll do this by giving examples of the contributions you’ve made in previous jobs.

For example, maybe you love organizing and helped optimize a filing system at your previous job. You could tell this story to illustrate how your eye for details and organization would make you an asset at this new job as well.

Why do you want to work here?

This question is closely tied to the “where do you see yourself in the future?” question. They want to know how this job fits into your life and your goals. They want to know why you are excited about this job and all you could contribute to making this position better than when you found it.

They want to hear about which parts of this job you feel the most passionate about and why it’s important to you. Maybe you want to work at this job because the position offers opportunities you’ve been looking for, or fits perfectly into your schedule, or allows you to pursue a passion you’ve always had.

At the end of the day, employers want employees who actually want the jobs they give them and who will be happy in this job position.

What questions do you have for me?

At the end of a job interview, they will often ask if you have any questions for them. This is your opportunity to 1) ask about important information that wasn’t available to you before now and 2) ask questions to help you determine whether this work environment is a good fit for you.

You can also ask some of these questions before your interview, like how much the position pays or what are the scheduled hours. Also, don’t be afraid to go in with a small list of questions so you don’t forget them during the interview.

Examples of questions to ask in a job interview:

  • Can this job be done remotely?
  • What does a normal day at this job look like?
  • What are the pay, benefits, hours like?
  • How would you describe the perfect employee?
  • What’s something you don’t like in an employee?
  • How would you describe the workplace environment here?
  • How soon can I expect to hear back about a decision?
Job Specific Interview Questions

Questions might also be based on what job you’re applying for. For instance, if you’re going to work with people a lot, or customers, they might want to know how you handle tough situations with people, or whether you prefer working with others or alone.

They might have a test at the interview depending on the job position. For example, editors might be asked to take an editing test. Make sure you know about any job-specific things to expect in your interview.

Phone Interviews

Phone interviews are often used when schedules and locations just don’t meet up. You might get a phone interview if you are applying for a job out of state or in a faraway town.

There are also some specific ways to prepare for phone interviews that you don’t have to worry about in a normal interview.

Get Rid of Distractions and Noises

Let everyone in the house with you know you’re doing an interview so they know not to disturb you. If you have roommates they can be quiet or make sure they’re out of the house during your interview. If you have kids, you could drop them off at the babysitter’s house for the interview or have a spouse play with them outside while you focus all your attention on the call.

Basically, you don’t want noises in the background of your call. This can distract both you and the interviewer, making it more difficult to perform the interview over the phone.

Dress Up Anyway

Even though you aren’t going anywhere and no one is seeing you, you can still get dressed in business attire. When you’re on the phone it can be easy to forget the professional tone you need for this conversation. But if you’re dressed for an interview then it will be easy for you to remember what you’re doing and take on the professional behavior and tone you need.

Check for Technical Difficulties

Make sure you have good service where you take the call. You want to make sure you won’t lose the call and that you’ll be able to hear them well. If your phone’s speakers aren’t great then you might want to have them fixed before the interview. You could also connect your phone to a speaker to better control volume and hear them better.

Video Interviews

Video interviews are another way employers might conduct their interviews. This might just be an easier way for them to get through their interviews. Video interviews allow you to have the full interview experience without anyone having to travel.

Dress Professionally

Dress and groom yourself the same way you would if you were going to the interview. Because it’s a video interview and not a phone interview, they’ll still be able to see you, so you’re going to want to dress in business attire.

Check for Technical Difficulties

Check your video chatting capabilities with a friend to make sure you aren’t going to run into technical difficulties. A video interview would be ruined if suddenly your camera or video capabilities aren’t working. So do a test run first. Check the video quality, the sound quality, and the connection.

Tidy Up

Choose where you’re going to sit for the video interview. Then clean up the space around your designated spot. You don’t want the background behind you to distract the interviewers. Showing yourself in a clean environment will also help you make a good first impression and show you have your life together at home.

Get Rid of Distractions, Noise, and Interruptions

During phone interviews, you need to get rid of loud noise distractions, but for a video interview, you need to get rid of noise and visual distractions. Talk to whoever else might be in the house with you at the time so they know not to walk into the video as well as make too much noise.

Follow Up Job Interview Email

After the interview is over you’ll want to send a follow-up email. The interviewer took time out of their own day to talk to you and give you an extra chance at the job. They thought you were a good enough candidate to actually meet with them before they make a final decision.

So don’t forget to send a thank you email to them for taking the time to meet you and considering you for the job. You can also offer to answer any other questions if they need to contact you again.

Job Interview Follow Up Email Template:

 

Recipients Name,

Thank them for their time and consideration.

Remind them of why you would be good for this position and why you are interested in this job.

Mention how you look forward to hearing from them and let them know how to contact you if they have any further questions.

Sincerely,

Your Name

 

And now you wait. It might be appropriate to send another follow-up email if you don’t hear back from them after a week. There’s also a chance you’ll receive a follow up job interview and need to go through a second interview process. A follow up job interview happens when an employer has reduced a larger pool of candidates and getting a follow up job interview means that you made the final cut! Now you just have to ace your follow up interview and await their final decision.

You might also need some financial help to get you between jobs. That’s where the Check City Personal Loan comes in.

Useful Job Resources

You can also check out this helpful resource for job interviews at RobertHalf.com.

You can start finding jobs by using sites like, Indeed or ZipRecruiter.

If you’re looking for job interviews you might also need to know How to Make a Resume. If you need a resume you might also need to know How to Write a Cover Letter to go with your resume.

Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, you might also need to know How to Make a Portfolio, whether it’s a hard copy portfolio, or a website portfolio.


How Much Do Dentists Make?

dentist salary

When picking a profession many people wonder about annual salary, because earning potential might impact which career path you choose.

By knowing how much you can earn in each field, you can better know what jobs best fit your desired lifestyle and have the ability to support yourself and your loved ones. Meanwhile, if you’re in between jobs and need some financial help, feel free to check out Check City’s Payday Loans to help get you through the job hunt.

The Different Kinds of Dental Professions

Dentistry is a great profession to go into if you want great hours along with great pay. There are also many different kinds of dentists so you have many choices within the field of dentistry as well.

All dentists need to have a professional degree, which usually involves going to dental school, though some dental professions require even more schooling. As we go down this list of dentist professions, their amount of required education increases.

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants are like the RNs of the dentistry world. They help out the dentist, perform routine cleanings, take x-rays, keep records, and schedule appointments.

General Dentist

A general dentist is the person you see for your regular annual dental checkup. They primarily focus on preventative care by teaching you how to take good care of your teeth so problems don’t occur in the first place. They’ll perform cleanings, X-rays, fillings, and other basic dental care.

Pediatric Dentist

A pediatric dentist is just like a general dentist except they specialize in treating children. Children come with their own kind of teeth and their own struggles when it comes to doctors, so pediatric dentists are helpful in that they focus on managing children, teaching them in ways they’ll understand, making the experience at the dentist less scary, and caring for their young mouths as they grow from baby teeth to adult teeth.

Orthodontist

If you have braces then you know that orthodontists are the ones you go to for this kind of care. But they don’t just handle braces. They also handle a lot of other issues connected to a misaligned mouth or jaw.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the surgeons of the mouth. They focus less on teeth and more on the tissues around the mouth—like gums, cheeks, lips, palates, tongue, and other facial tissues. These are obviously going to be more invasive treatments, so oral and maxillofacial surgeons continue school for a while after completing dental school. Though they focus more on the tissues related to the mouth they do also deal with tooth extractions.

Periodontist

Periodontists are all about your gums. They specialize in taking care of gum-specific problems and treatments. Some examples of the issues that can occur with gums are inflammation, pain, and gum diseases. If you have an issue with your gums specifically, then you might need to see a periodontist.

Prosthodontist

Prosthodontists are the people you go to when you need a tooth replacement. They take care of what’s called oral prosthetics, like false teeth. They are also the doctors you see in advertisements about getting extreme smile makeovers.

Endodontist

Endodontists specialize on the inside of teeth. The inside of your tooth is actually full of soft, sensitive tissue and can suffer its own kinds of damages and ailments that need to be treated by a professional. These are also the dentists that perform root canals.

How Much Do Dentists Make a Year?

infographic dentist salary

In 2018, dentists made an overall median salary of $156,240 per year and $75.12 per hour.

The lowest earning 10% of dentists earned less than $72,840 a year and the highest 10% earned more than $208,000 a year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) general dentists make an average of $151,850 a year. According to PayScale, pediatric dentists make an average $178,141 a year, orthodontists make $181,705, oral and maxillofacial surgeons make $243,806, periodontists make $173,939,
prosthodontists make $169,853, endodontists make $201,080, and dental assistants make $34,095.

How Much Do Dentists Make a Month?

monthly income

In 2018, dentists made an average of $13,020 per month

Sometimes it helps to break down yearly salaries into monthly income, especially if you’re currently living month to month. According to the same figures above, general dentists make an average of $12,654 every month, pediatric dentists make $14,845, orthodontist make $15,142, oral and maxillofacial surgeons make $20,317, periodontists make $14,494, prosthodontists make $14,154, endodontists make $16,756, and dental assistants make $2,841 a month.

The BLS found in their most recent population survey that the average full-time worker makes about $3,744 per month or $936 per week. Meanwhile, the average dentist is making around $13,020 per month, putting dentists’ salaries far above the national average.

Dentist Earnings by Location

how much dentists make by location

Some of the highest employment rates for dentists come from California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois.

The pay that dentists can expect can also vary depending on state. Some of the top paying states for dentists are Delaware, Alaska, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.

Dentists do best in less dense areas because they are more likely to have less competition and therefore more pay and flexibility.

How much do dentists make in California?

California is actually the state with the highest employment level in the U.S. California also ranks in the top 5 for states with the highest number of jobs and locations for dentists. The mean annual wage for dentists working in California is $151,490 per year and $72.83 per hour. Overall, California is a great place to be for a dentist.

How much do dentists make in Texas?

Texas is also a high ranking state in terms of employment level and availability. They offer a mean wage of $185,680 per year and $89.27 per hour, so New York actually beats California when it comes to salary.

How much do dentists make in New York?

New York is also a top contender for the state with the highest dentist employment levels. They feature an annual mean wage of $164,520 and $79.10 per hour. Overall, Texas might beat both California and New York where annual salary is concerned, but you have to consider where you’d like to settle down as well.

How to Become a Dentist

Now that you’ve seen the many benefits of becoming a dentist, you might wonder where to start on your journey to becoming one!

Step 1: Get a bachelor’s degree

It’s most helpful for you to major in a pre-dentistry major if your school provides something like that, or in a science major in order to have the upper hand later in dental school.

Step 2: Take the Dental Admission Test

In a way, dentists have to take their own version of the MCAT, just like aspiring doctors do. It’s called the Dental Acceptance Test and it is administered by the American Dental Association. The test takes 5 hours, and the current average score is 19 out of 30 points.

Step 3: Get a doctorate

Make sure that whatever doctorate you go for will be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. This way you won’t have any problems getting your license to practice dentistry afterward.

Step 4: Get licensed

To get your dental license you have to take another test. The National Board Dental Examinations are administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examination

 

The perks to being a dentist are endless. Along with a great salary and job outlook, you can transform the lives of your patience and alleviate their fears along with their pains.


Sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Dentists.”

How to Write a Resume

make a resume

Resumes are a very important part of the job application process.

A resume is often the first impression you’ll make on an employer and can be what gets your foot in the door and gets you that interview!

Explore this Guide:

Job seekers everywhere are panicking about how to make an effective resume so they can start seeing success from their job searching. Even if you’re just starting out in your field you still want a professional resume that will clearly show any hiring manager what you can bring to the table.

What is a Resume?

A resume comes from the French word, résumé, meaning outline. Now we spell it without the accents and use it to refer to an outline of our work history, expertise, and skills.

Resume is pronounced re-zeh-may, or “re-zə-mā” if you understand the phonetic alphabet. Either way you can easily listen to the pronunciation of the word at Merriam-Webster.com.

Resume Objective

The objective of a resume is to show a potential employer, an easy-to-read, brief outline of why you qualify for the job. They want to see a quick glance at your career, accomplishments, and what skills and qualifications you’ve gained so far.

It is a formal document showing your professional life thus far, that a potential employer uses to make an educated decision about whether you merit an in-person interview or not. When creating a resume you’ll want to make sure it includes all the information an employer would need to make this decision.

Create a Master Resume

It’s a good idea to create a master resume where you simply write everything you could ever put on a resume. This can also be considered a curriculum vitae (CV)—a lengthier version of a resume that isn’t meant to be an overview, but instead a thorough outline of all your experience, certifications, awards, achievements, projects, and publications. A CV or master resume, is meant to be a complete history of your academic and professional career, endeavors, and accomplishments. You want to keep a copy of your master resume, or CV, because different jobs are going to necessitate you include different information, depending on the job.

For instance, if you’re applying for a job where you’ll be designing someone’s website, you won’t need to include the cashier job you had as a teenager. But if you’re applying for a job in customer service, then the employer will want to know that you have that customer service experience as a cashier.

You also only want your resume to be a page long, but a resume with absolutely all the experience you’ve ever had in your life is going to eventually be longer than a page, so keeping all this information in one place on your master resume is a good idea to have as a reference.

resume example

Resume Sections

There are a few key sections that go into every professional resume. Once you have a master resume to work from you can start putting everything into these main sections.

Personal Info

Somewhere near the top of your resume, you want to put your name on the center stage of your resume so the employer can easily know right away who they are looking at. Then you can kind of introduce yourself briefly by including a personal bio section that may list your personal interests and hobbies. If you’re including a cover letter on the front of your resume, you can also put this personal introduction there instead.

Contact Info

You’ll also want to include your preferred contact information on your resume. This information is usually so that they can contact you in case they want to offer you a job interview, so make sure you put down the best way for them to contact you for this. Usually this includes your phone number and email address.

Your email address on a resume should be simple and professional. If you don’t already have an email username with your name instead of a TV reference, then it’s time to make one for professional purposes like this.

You can also include other ways for them to get to know you and see your qualifications if those apply for you. If you have a personal website, or an online portfolio you can include that here too. You can also include any professional accounts you have, like your LinkedIn profile.

Experience

Here is where you outline your job history. You don’t necessarily need to include every job you’ve ever had, sometimes it makes more sense to show the work experience that most applies to the job you’re applying for now.

You also want to list your work experience in reverse chronological order, meaning that the job you had most recently goes first, and the oldest job experience goes last. This way you are putting the most relevant information, the most recent and therefore most applicable information up front.
When listing each job you’ll want to include the following information:

  • Job title (the title you had at this job)
  • Company name
  • Location
  • Job description (what were your main duties at this job, and what did you accomplish there)
Education

This section is where you outline your education. Many people have questions about what to include and not include in the education section, like when do you stop putting your high school education on your resume? Once you have a bachelors or associates degree you are usually ok to stop including your high school education on your resume.

Your high school education is a basic education that everyone receives, so there really isn’t anything specific about it that applies to your future job. And once you’ve officially gained some form of higher education an employer can easily assume you also have a high school education, but it’s what you did in your higher education, what you studied and learned specifically there, that interests them now.

  • When listing your education you want to include the following:
  • The name of the school
  • The years you were there
  • What degree you have (associates, bachelors, masters) and in what

If you haven’t finished college yet you can include your estimated future graduation date and what you are studying, meaning your majors and minors.

Achievements

You don’t have to just put down jobs that you’ve had though, also put down any other achievements, accomplishments, awards, or community involvement that might be important for employers to know. If you’ve published anything before here is the place to list that. Any volunteer work you’ve done. Any licenses, certificates, or other special training you may have, including if you speak another language.

Skills

When making your skills section the first thing you want to do is look into what skills are involved in the job you’re looking for. Job ads usually list the kinds of skills they are looking for in an applicant. If any of these skills apply to you be sure to include them.
The skills section should include both hard and soft skills.

Hard skills are specific abilities and knowledge that you have, like knowing how to use Photoshop.

Soft skills are useful attributes, like being organized or friendly.

Then, if you have room, don’t just list these skills, but provide examples to show how you do indeed have these skills. These examples can also be included on your cover letter instead, where you’ll have more room to tell key experiences that prove you have these skills.

For example, if one of your skills is that you know how to use Photoshop, you can also say that you used Photoshop to design a poster in your most recent job. Or if you list that you are organized, you can briefly talk about how you created a new filing system at your last job.

Design a Resume

You can make your resume on Microsoft Word, on Google Docs, or even online. Both Microsoft Word and Google Docs have free-to-use resume templates that can also work as good examples of how to professionally format your resume.

Resume Template Websites

How you design your resume is how you’re going to make your resume stand out. But this doesn’t mean you should make your resume flashy, in fact you should do the opposite. Your resume’s audience doesn’t want to be distracted by too many colors or graphics, they want to focus first on the information that is most important, so center your design around the information itself.

Create a Path for the Eye to Follow

You want your resume to be easy to read. One way to accomplish this is to create a path for your reader to follow. We read left to right, so this path tends to make a kind of Z shape on the page.

Make it Organized

Use bullet points to help organize your lists. Use headings with a clear heading hierarchy so the sections and subsections are clear.

Use a 10–12 Point Font Size

This way your font size won’t be too small to read, but it also won’t be silly looking by being too large.

How to Make a Resume for a First Job

If you are making a resume for a first job then you may not have a lot of experience yet to fill out your work history. A resume for someone just entering the job arena is often called an entry-level resume or a student resume if you are still going through school.

But the experience section of your resume isn’t just for your work history. You can put all kinds of other useful experiences there as well. You can list programs, clubs, and organizations you’ve been a part of, or volunteer work you’ve done. For example, you may not a previous job to list in the experience section, but maybe you were the president of the horticultural club, or the lead flutist in the concert band. You can replace your work experience with these types of high school experiences instead.

Another approach you can take to fill out your resume as an inexperienced student is to make your resume more skill focused than experience focused. If you can’t list any jobs than you can list different skills you have and describe how you gained those skills.

You can list your high school experiences in the same way you would list a job, including the following information:

  • Your Title (Volunteer, Club Secretary)
  • Company/Organization Name (National Honors Society)
  • Location
  • Description (what were your main duties, what did you accomplish)

How to Make a Resume for College

If you’re in college, or freshly out of college, you may also run into a unique problem when creating a resume. Your experience section is also going to look different because you may not have a lot of jobs to list. But college provides tons of exceptional experiences that you can include in a resume instead of jobs. You can list internships you’ve done, or apprenticeships. You can talk about capstone classes and the major projects and research you did for these key courses, and show how these classes have prepared and trained you for a job. You can also talk about any programs, clubs, and organizations you were apart of during your college career.

In the accomplishments section, be sure to include all the certifications you’ve received while in school. Today, successfully obtaining degrees and certificates from your college classes can mean a lot to a potential employer. If you received any awards, special honors, or published your work in a student journal you can include these kinds of accomplishments as well. You can even include your GPA in your college resume if you have a particularly high GPA to boast about.

How to Make a Cover Letter for a Resume

It is always a good idea to include a cover letter when you send an employer your resume. A cover letter is formatted like a formal letter consists of these main points,

  • Your name
  • Your contact information
  • The date
  • Professional greeting
  • A brief paragraph about yourself
  • A paragraph or two for key experiences where you prove your skills
  • Conclusion
  • Professional closing

To create a winning resume all you have to do is follow the advice in this article and remember the whole point of a resume—to show what you have to offer in a brief, clear, straightforward way. Meanwhile, if you’re in between jobs and need some financial help, feel free to check out Check City’s Personal Loans.

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Check out another great article about writing a resume, “How to Make a Resume for a Job.”

Read another Check City article about getting a new job, “New Year, New Job.”

How to Choose a Career

choose a career

What career you choose determines what major you study while in college. It influences what life you can afford and what you spend so much of your time doing each week of your life until retirement.

Choosing a career is a big decision to make and high school seniors each year are stressing out about how to go about deciding their future. But deciding a career path doesn’t need to be too stressful. Finding your passion is largely about self-awareness and researching all your options. By following the suggestions below you can decide your future career with ease.

Explore this Article

  1. Understand Yourself
  2. Research Options
  3. Weigh Options
  4. Make a Plan

Understand Yourself

self introspection

Becoming more self-aware can be especially difficult for younger, high school students who are still figuring out so much about who they are. But this journey into self-exploration can be fun and eye opening too! You want to discover and record your skills, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and passions.

Start exploring the things you love right now. This is the first part of the journey that leads you to a career you’ll love. You also want to know your values, or what you will and won’t do in a job.

This is where learning more about your personality type will come in handy. For instance, if you are more introverted, then working with customers may be on your list of things you don’t want in a job. If you love being up on your feet then having a more hands-on job might be on your list of things you do want in a job.

Taking the Myers Briggs Personality Test might help you better understand key aspects of your personality.

If you have trouble finding these personal answers within yourself, there are some things you can do to find the answers.

Ask Yourself Questions

Giving yourself an introspective interview can really help learn more about yourself. Questions are good because they help you analyze yourself and what you do and don’t like. It also helps you look at yourself more realistically. You may like the idea of being a lawyer, but you have to ask yourself if you are willing to do all that is necessary to become a lawyer, and if you’ll really be happy with the required daily tasks of a lawyer.

Questions help you see patterns and become more self-aware, which is paramount to finding a career path for you. They also help you to know what you would like in a job (so you can accumulate a list of options) and what you wouldn’t like in a job (so you can cancel certain options out).

To conduct your introspective interview you can ask yourself the following questions, or you can have someone else ask them while you respond and talk about your answers together.

  • If I could choose one friend to trade jobs with, I’d choose __, because __.
  • I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do __. It’s interesting to me because __.
  • If I had the right education or skill set, I’d definitely try __, because __.
  • If I had to go back to school tomorrow, I’d major in __, because __.
  • My co-workers and friends always say I’m great at __, because __.
  • The thing I love most about my current job is __, because __.
  • If my boss would let me, I’d do more of __, because __.
  • If I had a free Saturday that had to be spent “working” on something, I’d choose __, because __.
  • When I retire, I want to be known for __, because __.
Take an Aptitude Test

There are lots of online career tests you can take. A career quiz will give you ideas about what fields and jobs that might be right for you.

You’ll be asked questions to determine your skills and interests. Then the test will pair your results with careers that best fit your answers. You can then weigh these different options and research them to help you pick one. Below are two free tests you can take right now:

The MAPP Career Assessment

Career Aptitude Test

Research Options

research careers

After you have some options in mind you can learn about your choices in order to make an informed final decision. Don’t only research specific jobs though. This can be really helpful, but think about broader fields of work as well.

There are fields of work and then there are jobs in those fields. Sometimes deciding a field of work first will help you find the specific job you’re looking for.

Types of Careers
  • Arts and Communication
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Law and Government
  • Medical
  • Science
  • Social Services

Once you’ve decided on a career field, you can narrow your search down to a specific job in that field. Deciding which job to pick is easier if you read the requirements or the responsibilities for each job, and see if they interest you. You can search actual job openings to find the most common real-world requirements involved. Indeed and ZipRecruiter are two popular job search websites where you can see real postings for the careers you’re interested in.

You can research other important aspects of the career by visiting PayScale.com. This website has surveys about almost every profession imaginable, and can tell you things like average salary, what people on the high end of the job get paid vs the lower end. You can even search by your location and experience to assess how much you can expect to get paid.

They also list the skills that are most important to the field, the tasks and requirements involved, how people review the job, gender percentages in the field, and the health benefits you generally get. It’ll even show you related jobs and jobs in your area and it’s all shown to you in pretty, simple graphics.

Do Internships and Job Shadowing

Internships and job shadowing can be a great way to get some hands-on experience with the careers you’re interested in. Often your school advisers can help you find internships and job shadowing opportunities near you.

Conduct an Informational Interview

If you don’t have the time for internships and job shadowing, you can conduct an informational interview. It’s like a reversed job interview. You visit with someone who has the job you’re interested in, and you ask them a series of questions to get a feel for their job, what they did to get where they are, and any other insights or advice they might have for you. Here are some example questions you could ask from the Berkeley University of California:

  • What are your main responsibilities as a…?
  • What is a typical day (or week) like for you?
  • What do you like most about your work?
  • What do you like least about your work?
  • What kinds of problems do you deal with?
  • What kinds of decisions do you make?
  • How does your position fit within the organization/career field/industry?
  • How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
  • What current issues and trends in the field should I know about/be aware of?
  • What are some common career paths in this field?
  • What kinds of accomplishments tend to be valued and rewarded in this field?
  • What related fields do you think I should consider looking into?
  • How did you become interested in this field?
  • How did you begin your career?
  • How do most people get into this field? What are common entry-level jobs?
  • What steps would you recommend I take to prepare to enter this field?
  • How relevant to your work is your undergraduate major?
  • What kind of education, training, or background does your job require?
  • What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
  • What is the profile of the person most recently hired at my level?
  • What are the most effective strategies for seeking a position in this field?
  • Can you recommend trade journals, magazines or professional associations which would be helpful for my professional development?
  • If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?
  • I’ve read that the entry-level salary range for this field is usually in the range of ______? Does this fit with what you’ve seen? (Don’t ask about the person’s actual salary.)
  • What advice would you give someone who is considering this type of job (or field)?
  • Can you suggest anyone else I could contact for additional information?

Weigh Options

weigh options

Now that you have a couple choices in mind, and have done your due diligence learning all about each one, you have to make a final decision. When making this final decision about your future, it’s important that you keep certain things in mind.

Think about the future, retirement, the family life you want. Think about what you would like your life to be known for and any other long-term goals you may have for your life. Will this career choice help you reach those goals?

Make sure you take priority over what you want to do over any societal expectations pressed upon you. After all, you are the one who’s going to live with this career.

Make a Plan

make plan

If you’re graduating high school and starting college soon, then you’ll want to not only pick a college but a major, and possibly minor, that will be useful for the field you want to go into. You can also start taking advantage of high school and college advisers and mentors if your school has a program like that. These counselors can act as career coaches to help you map out your career path.

In your research and studies you should figure out the steps, milestones, and requirements that people in your field must go through. Then you can plan these steps out in your own life. Record these plans in a place or a calendar that you can easily revisit and adjust as needed. Plan is a great website that can connect to your gmail or outlook account to help you plan your future effectively in one easy to use space. If you need some help planning financially, a Check City Personal Loan may be able to help you as well.

choose a career

Whether you are a college freshman looking to decide on a career path for the first time, or a seasoned career veteran looking for your dream job, the process is going to look about the same. By following this guidance you can learn more about yourself and discover what career path is the best for you, and find happiness and success in your professional life.

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Check out “How to Change Careers in 3 Simple Steps” to learn some other steps to changing careers.

Read “11 Important Qualities to Have When Changing Careers” to see what skills almost all professions are looking for today.


New Year, New Job

Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get a better income this upcoming year. This probably means finding a better job (or a job at all) this January. If you are thinking about switching jobs or need help finding your first job after December graduation, here are few tips to help you succeed!

Fix Up Your Resume

First of all, you’ll want to make sure your resume looks the best that it can. That doesn’t mean lie – you should NEVER fabricate or exaggerate information on you resume. Update your resume with the most recent activities, accomplishments, and contact information. Make sure it is clear, easy to read, succinct, and informative. You may need to tweak your resume for each job, highlighting past experiences or skills that are most applicable to the needs of the job. If you need help, advisement centers at your college might offer free services to alumni, or many cities also offer free resume consultation.

Always Build Experience

Get experience anywhere you can. This can mean full-time jobs, but also part-time jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, shadowing, informational interviews, and other forms of networking. Don’t discount any opportunity that has taught you a skill, principle, or more about any given industry.

Follow Directions

When you are applying for jobs, especially online, make sure you follow the application instructions EXACTLY. Do not provide unwanted information or leave out anything they asked for. Many companies eliminate any candidates that have not followed their instructions accurately.

Apply Promptly

Apply as soon as you can. Don’t put off sending in resumes or spend weeks putting together a portfolio or cover letter. Often times, companies will simply take the first suitable candidate they have. Take a little time to write a proper cover letter, free of spelling or grammatical errors, but try not to waste any unnecessary time.

Apply Everywhere

Getting a job is not easy. Apply everywhere you can. Don’t worry about minor issues such as preferred skills or desired backgrounds (the key words being preferred and desired, not required). If you think you can do what they are asking, or at least learn how to do it in a timely manner, go for it! If it’s ok with you, you may also disregard location, starting dates, and other factors.

Practice Interviews

Sooner or later, you will probably be offered a chance for an interview. Practice answering common questions and prepare questions of your own. You can find a list of common interview questions online or come up with any you think they might ask.

This will help shake off the nerves and arm you with well-thought-out answers. Practice looking and feeling both comfortable and confident. Avoid excessive pride or humility, as well as extreme chattiness or shyness. Go in with the attitude of “this is what I can do for you,” not “what can you do for me.” No one likes hiring selfish people. You can find additional interview tips online.

If you feel like a new job and a pay raise is in order this New Year, work hard and you can achieve it!

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