Brush Up on Your Resume and Get Interviewed

As an accounting student, your resume is one aspect of helping you move to the next level. It’s that moment when a potential employer makes the decision to either meet with you or not.

So during the interview process, it is a snapshot of you as a person.

Now let’s say there’s a career fair coming up. If you plan on going, the first thing you should do is brush up on your resume. Along with that, the stories you’ll be willing to share with the firms/companies you’ll hand it to.

Think of Your SWAG

First, have you ever wondered why a firm has to go through so much information just to find the right candidate? Despite it feeling like a filtering process at times, it shouldn’t overwhelm you at all.

Think of it this way, if someone was going to hire you, you have to convince them why. Hence, topics interviewers often bring up concerns your:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Accomplishments
  • Goals

Just think of SWAG!

These general categories can then be broken down into specialized skills you’ve developed. So it’s no coincidence that these are your core competencies, and are outlined in your resume including abilities such as:

  • leadership
  • problem solving
  • communication
  • teamwork
  • decision-making
  • organization and planning

Imagine Your Target Interviewer

Once you’ve gotten your SWAG in place, it’s now time to practice your interview. Think about the resume format. Starting from the top, imagine what someone who’s looking at it will ask.

To help you out, here are a few prompts which I’m practicing with at the moment:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Name three of your strengths.
  • Name three of your weakness (how have you overcame them?).
  • Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
  • Why did you choose your major?
  • What attracted you to this company? Why us?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What were the responsibilities of your last position?
  • How would you describe your work style?
  • What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
  • Tell me about your proudest achievement.

These are the basics to start. In between, you may be asked some behavioral/situational questions as well. I will share those with you in a future post. For now, here are 3 rules of thumb to remember during the interview:

  1. Remain positive
  2. Be a team player
  3. Emphasize what you know

A big thanks to the UIC Business Career Center for the prompts and 3 rules of thumb!

OPTIONAL: When you’re practicing, try recording your answers to hear how you’re expressing yourself. Better yet, type out your conversation.

Again, keep in mind what and how you’re saying what you’re doing. You’ll be surprised but when you’re done, you’ll have a new working draft for your resume. These actions can then be outlined as part of your job descriptions.

It’s a backwards-approach, but doing the process this way will allow you to confidently talk about your experience.

Do Your Due Diligence

Lastly, no matter who you’re handling out your resume to, do your due diligence by learning more about who you’re giving out your info to. This way, if you do receive an email or call back, you won’t be surprised.

The best way to do that is to go online and look through the company’s website. See if there are any current news. This may be under the Press heading or About.

Just get personal and think about some questions you may want to ask the interviewer as well. In other words, when you want a company to pay attention to you, you have to also show them you’re willing to pay attention to them too.

By taking out a moment to do research, you give your interviewer something to remember. It’s also a good way to make conversation which shows you’ve went the extra mile to connect with them.

What do you think? Share your thoughts!

-Thu