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Suggestions from a Human Resources Expert

Stephanie Valadez, Human Resources Generalist, North Texas LEAD

NTLEAD: What do you look for in a resume when considering applicants who desire endorsement by North Texas LEAD?

Valadez: My first area of focus will be the individual’s selected achievements. They must be able to identify specific accomplishments and be able to quantify their successes by using numbers. A resume should contain much more than previous job duties and titles. The applicant must be able to differentiate themselves from others in the highly competitive job market.

NTLEAD: What are the most common errors or misstatements you find in a resume?

Valadez: Applicants must tailor their resumes to match the company’s desired requirements. The average time spent reviewing a resume is 30 seconds. Be able to capture their attention quickly. They cannot submit the same generic resume for each position and expect to turn great results. Another common error includes misspelled words or incorrect punctuation. If a recruiter finds an error, your resume will end up in the trash without hesitation. Take the time to re-read your resume to ensure you do not have any spelling/punctuation errors.

NTLEAD:Do you have any special words of advice for a professional job seeker who has been out of the market?

Valadez: I would suggest networking with previous colleagues and joining LinkedIn and industry specific organizations. The relationships you foster will lead you to opportunities and experiences you would not have had otherwise. The majority of candidates who have landed jobs recently have gained an edge in the selection process through the relationships they have built.

Focus on your strengths and concentrate on a specific career path you desire. Think about where you want to be 5 or 10 years down the road. Be aware that you may not have the opportunity to join a new company where you left off at your last. Develop realistic expectations for yourself and be willing to join a new organization at a more junior level.

Update your resume immediately and be aggressive in your job search. Don’t forget to take some time to volunteer with a local cause. It’s important to give back to the community and allow yourself to further develop your professional skills.

NTLEAD: What are the most common mistakes you have noticed in the previous panel interview sessions?

Valadez: Practice the behavioral interview process. In order to be successful, you must know of your areas of strength and how you have added value to the companies you have worked for in the past. It’s ok to not have the desired result for all projects you have managed, but it’s important to share what you’ve learned and what you’ll do differently the next time. Draw specific examples from your past work history and be able to tell your story to the panel in a complete and concise answer.

NTLEAD: What is the first thing you look at when an applicant enters the room to be interviewed?

Valadez:The first impression is something you can never recreate. It’s important to be dressed professionally and to be confident. It’s apparent by the way you carry yourself. Someone once told me that your smile is your best accessory.

NTLEAD: On the subject of apparel: what do you suggest?

Valadez: It’s important to dress conservatively for the interview. A navy or black suit for men and women will be the most appropriate. Ladies will want to wear appropriate hosiery and closed toe shoes. It’s important to keep jewelry and accessories to a minimum so that the focus is on your experience.

NTLEAD: Why do some applicants do poorly on behavioral interviews?

Valadez: I believe it is due to lack of focus and preparation. The more time you put in to practice and familiarize yourself with the behavioral interview format, you will become a natural. Some assume that they will ace the interview because they have spectacular experience. You can’t assume that your resume will get you the position you desire, you must be able to sell yourself to your panel. I would suggest preparing an “elevator speech.”

From The Blog

  • Judi Camerano on #NTxGivingDay
    20 Sep 2016

    I found North Texas LEAD to be a gem in the midst of a vast job seeking search. LEAD provided invaluable services with regards to interviewing techniques, resume assistance, coaching, networking and ultimately endorsement. I was interviewed by a professional and diverse panel who wholeheartedly embraces and projects diversity. Their endorsement was one which epitomizes […]

  • Brian Modrzejewski on #NTxGivingDay

    Becoming a candidate for North Texas LEAD was a defining moment in my career. I had recently been laid off and back in the market to start a new chapter in my career. I realized that I hadn’t been on a real interview in a decade and I was feeling a little out of touch. […]

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