Career Success Guide

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Career Success Guide



TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION TO HANDSHAKE RESUMES Introduction to Resumes – Tips and Tricks Action Verbs Resume Checklist Sample Resume COVER LETTERS Introduction to Cover Letters – Tips and Tricks Sample Cover Letter INTERVIEWS Types of Interviews Dress to Impress General Interview Questions Tips for Answering Questions Answering the Tough Questions THANK YOU LETTER Introduction to Thank You Letter – Tips and Tricks Sample Letter ETIQUETTE Post-Application Etiquette Pre-interview Etiquette Interview Etiquette Virtual Interview Etiquette Phone Etiquette Voicemail Etiquette Email Etiquette WORKSHEETS Know Yourself Know the Organization REFERENCES NEGOTIATING AN OFFER Negotiation Tips & Calculating Your Value Example Email Negotiation Example Person-To-Person Negotiation CAREER SUCCESS NOTES


6 8 9 12 13 16 17 20 21 22 23 24 26 27 30 30 31 31 32 32 33 36 37 39 42 43 43 44







INTRODUCTION TO HANDSHAKE What is Handshake? Handshake is a job and internship database for LIU students and alumni. Students can explore jobs and internships, RSVP for career events, and apply for jobs with a number of employers looking to hire LIU students and alums. Who can use Handshake? Handshake is a system available for all LIU students and alumni. All current students have an account using their MyLIU credentials. LIU Alumni can access Handshake by logging in using their credentials. If you are an alumni who doesn’t have an alumni email account please request one by visiting What are the benefits of using Handshake? Students are able to apply for jobs and internships via Handshake in one easy step! Once students have a resume uploaded, they can apply for multiple positions. The online job and internship database provide LIU students opportunities in a variety of field and industries. Handshake also provides a wealth of resources and samples for students to reference as a guide to ensure their career success. These resources include sample resumes, cover letter, resume action verbs, and mock interview information. How can I get assistance with setting up my Handshake profile? Students are able to stop by LIU Promise for assistance in setting up their profiles. It is a great idea to go through a resume review with your Success Coach before uploading the document to Handshake. We can also walk you through how to search for jobs and use all the services available on Handshake. LIU Promise 516-299-3737 (Post) | 718-488-1042 (Brooklyn) | Where do I log into Handshake? The Handshake website can be accessed by visiting Log in using your MyLIU credentials (firstname.lastname and your MyLIU password). If you have any issues accessing your Handshake account, please get in contact with your Promise Coach or Advisor.






INTRODUCTION TO RESUMES – TIPS AND TRICKS Your resume is an introduction to an employer and is used not only learn more you, but also to determine if you are a good fit for the job. Review the format below for a better understanding on how to make a great first impression with an easy-to-read resume.

First Name Last Name Address (Street Address, City, State Zip Code) Phone Number (make sure that you are comfortable with the phone number you are providing) Email address (your email address must be professional, you may choose to use your school email address)

EDUCATION (List any universities that you have attended in the below format; with your most recent university first) Name of the University Expected Graduation Date Title of the Degree City, State •

OPTIONAL: list any relevant coursework, research, or awards here

EXPERIENCE (List all work experiences you have had here in the below format) Company Name Start date – End date (or Present) Job Title City, State • • • •

List any accomplishments, duties, or responsibilities you had while in this position Bulleted format is most common. Make sure that each bullet starts with an action verb These bullets should be descriptive, concise, and quantifiable Remember to limit this document to one page

Company Name Job Title

Start date – End date (or Present) City, State

• •


Add dates if possible in the same format as the above experience section Include leadership roles, clubs/organizations, and extracurricular activities Community Service – for substantial community service, add to experience in the same format as above, otherwise just list community service participation here


Certifications/Computer Skills: Can include Microsoft Office but should go beyond if applicable Language Skills: Identify if you are a native speaker, fluent or conversant Interest and Hobbies: If you have any unique interests or hobbies, use this area to highlight them to make your resume stand out.

Note: Use the Table function in word to assist in creating a consistent format and then clear the cell lines. This will make your whole resume look consistent and clean! CAREER SUCCESS GUIDE


ACTION VERBS You want to use the space under your job titles to convey your ability to make things happen, solve problems, make money, cut costs, etc. These statements are the core of your resume! When writing these statements… •

Use action verbs! Action verbs will convey pictures of you doing something. o Use words that will present you as taking initiative, being creative, and accomplishing a goal.

In using your action verbs, make certain that you use the correct verb tense. If your employment entry is in the present (for instance, a current job) be sure the verb reflects that you are still performing the duties. If the employment entry is for a past job, the verbs ought to be in the past tense. o The only exception would be for responsibilities or duties statement in a current job that reflects a duty or success performed only once (for instance, “increased sales for the 2012 fiscal year”).

Try to quantify your action. Quantifying enhances the mental picture of your accomplishments. o How large was the budget you balanced? Certainly, a budget of $5.00 will be easier to balance and organize than a budget of $5,000,000. How many students did you teach? Usually teaching 30 students is more of a challenge than teaching 2 students.

KNOW YOUR FIELD! DO YOUR RESEARCH! Use the buzzwords of the field in which you intend to work. Buzzwords trigger assumptions and generalizations of your skill in the mind of the reader thus making it easier for them to create the mental picture. o For instance, “multidisciplinary” or “person-centered” for psychology, and “multisensory teaching” or “cooperative teaching” for education will brighten and enhance the mental picture you choose to create for your reader.

Avoid beginning your statements with “assisted with”, “responsibilities include”, or “duties include.” These are passive statements that do not accurately reflect your accomplishments.

For each bullet, write about successes, accomplishments and special projects that you completed first to show that your skills can accomplish important things. LIST THE MOST IMPORTANT BULLETS FIRST!



LIST OF ACTION VERBS Be sure to lead your bullet points with action verbs like the examples below. Don’t be afraid to combine action verbs to make your descriptions more powerful. Circle the words that highlight your accomplishments, which will make your resume more dynamic. MANAGING

Accomplished Achieved Administered Advised Analyzed Approved Attained Conducted Consolidated Contacted Coordinated Delegated Determined Developed Directed Disseminated Ensured Evaluated Examined Exceeded Improved Increased Initiated Instituted Launched Led Managed Organized Oversaw Planned Presided Prioritized Produced Reorganized Scheduled Streamlined Strengthened Supervised

COMMUNICATING Addressed Arranged Assessed Briefed Communicated Conveyed Corresponded Defined Directed Drafted Edited Enlisted Explained Expressed Formulated Influenced Informed Interpreted Interviewed Mediated Moderated Motivated Negotiated Persuaded Presented Promoted Proposed Publicized Related Recommended Recruited Reported Resolved Secured Suggested Summarized Taught Translated



Assembled Built Calculated Charted Classified Compiled Computed Conducted Configured Designed Detected Developed Devised Drafted Enhanced Eliminated Expanded Expedited Fabricated Installed Launched Maintained Modified Operated Overhauled Pioneered Programmed Reconstructed Reduced Redefined Remodeled Repaired Restored Resolved Surveyed Systemized Upgraded


Acted Adapted Composed Conceptualized Conceived Created Customized Designed Developed Directed Established Fashioned Generated Illustrated Improvised Initiated Instituted Integrated Innovated Introduced Invented Originated Performed Planned Redesigned Reshaped Revitalized Shaped Synthesized Visualized Wrote


RESEARCHING Calculated Cataloged Clarified Collected Compiled Computed Critiqued Detected Diagnosed Discovered Diagnosed Discovered Documented Evaluated Examined Experimented Explored Extracted Gathered Identified Interpreted Investigated Obtained Organized Pinpointed Processed Researched Reviewed Searched Summarized Surveyed Synthesized systemized

FINANCIAL Adjusted Administered Allocated Analyzed Appraised Audited Balanced Budgeted Calculated Computed Developed Eliminated Exceeded Figured Forecast Gained Generated Increased Performed Planned Projected Reconciled Researched


TEACHING Acquainted Advised Adapted Answered Augmented Briefed Clarified Chaired Coached Collaborated Communicated Conducted Coordinated Delivered Demonstrated Designed Educated Empowered Enabled Evaluated Encouraged Explained Facilitated Guided Grouped Implemented Informed Innovated Installed Instituted Instructed Integrated Originated Lectured Persuaded Presented Simulated Set goals Stimulated Summarized Trained

HELPING Advocated

Aided Assisted Assessed Boosted Clarified Coached Consoled Counseled Diagnosed Demonstrated Delivered Educated Encouraged Expedited Explained Facilitated Familiarized Furnished Fostered Furthered goals Guided Helped Instilled Mentored Motivated Nurtured Optimized Provided Referred Represented Served Supported Stabilized


Adhere to Administered Analyzed Approved Arranged Appropriated Assured Attained Balanced Budgeted Charted Classified Collated Compared Complied Determined Documented Enforced Executed Followed through Followed up Formalized Formulated Generated Identified Implemented Inspected Met deadlines Organized Prepared Processed Provided Purchased Recorded Retrieved Screened Systemized Tabulated Validated


RESUME CHECKLIST HEADING: Name is in bold and slightly larger than contact information; address, phone numbers and email are correct E-mail address and telephone voice messages are professional and appropriate

EDUCATION: The correct title of my degree and major and expected date of graduation or date granted The name, city and state of my school Additional schools and high school, if appropriate, are listed in reverse chronological order, beginning with our campus OPTIONAL: GPA and academic honors and/or awards are included OPTIONAL: Highlight relevant coursework to demonstrate proficiency in an industry

EXPERIENCE: Name of company and city and state are included (not street address/zip code) Job titles and dates of employment are included for each position, and are listed in reverse chronological order, beginning with my most recent position Listed experience indicates the role, contributions, results and uses specific numbers when possible A variety of action verbs begin each bullet point Includes jobs, internships, volunteer experience, community service, clinical rotations, and/or externships Descriptions begin with main and most relevant responsibilities Skills, knowledge and experience are highlighted within the job responsibilities Avoid use of “I”s and “my ”s, narratives, and paragraphs Verb tenses are consistent and correct (i.e., all past tense verbs for past positions)

ACTIVITIES: List relevant past or current activities, including club involvement and other extracurricular activities. Use consistent format to include the name of the school/organization, dates, and describe using bullet point(s), as appropriate Include special learning circumstances such as research projects, case studies or names of relevant coursework

SKILLS AND INTERESTS: List proficiency in computer software and/ or experience with special databases Indicate language fluency for both written and spoken ability (do not include English) If Honors section is included, dates and granting institution are included If Certifications section is included, dates and/or expiration dates and granting agency/school are included

OVERALL APPEARANCE: Resume is visually appealing and easy to read (traditionally one page/ font size between 10-12) Resume is grammatically correct and free of typos Most relevant information is towards the top of my resume Resume appears balanced on the page, sections are single spaced, and margins are not too narrow or wide The content is consistent in such things as capitalization, verb tense, italics, and punctuation The format is consistent and bullet points are aligned



SAMPLE RESUME Sally Shark 123 East 91st Street City, State 11111 (123) 456-7890 |

EDUCATION Long Island University B.S. in General Accounting, Specialization in Taxation | GPA: 3.55

Expected May 2021 Brookville, NY

EXPERIENCE Long Island University, LIU Promise Resident Assistant

Aug. 2018 – Present Brookville, NY

• • •

Provide a safe living and learning environment for residents Coordinate educational and social programs for residents Serve on an on-call duty rotation on a staff of 5 resident assistants

• • • •

Documented research findings to be included in December 2015 Audit Report Conducted research on several county agencies involved in the audit Analyzed city agency data and cross-referenced it with Mayor’s Office for accuracy Prepared PowerPoint presentations and presented recommendations to Senior Comptroller team

NYC Comptroller’s Office Intern

ACTIVITIES/INVOLVEMENTS Long Island University Accounting Society Chapter President • •

Aug. 2019 – Present Brookville, NY

Supervised the chapter’s activities to ensure efficiency and maintain mission statement Communicated between the Professional Chapter and Student Chapter to ensure issues and topics are covered effectively

Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) Advisory Board Member •

Jun. 2015 – Aug. 2016 New York, NY

Aug. 2017 – Aug. 2019 White Plains, NY

Coordinated programs for educational and professional growth of CSTEP students


Computer: Proficient in Microsoft Office (Excel, Word and PowerPoint) Language: Fluent in Spanish








INTRODUCTION TO COVER LETTERS – TIPS AND TRICKS Cover letters are an opportunity in an application to expand upon the experience listed in your resume. Without repeating everything in your resume, this letter should be a customized to the job demonstrating why you are the best candidate. To get you started, review the format below.

First Name Last Name Address (Street Address, City, State Zip Code) Phone Number (make sure that you are comfortable with the phone number you are providing) Email address (your email address must be professional. You may choose to use your school email address) Note: Your contact information should be easily visible and formatted like your resume.

Date Name Title of Specific Person Company Name Address Dear First Name Last Name or Hiring Manager/Committee

Note: Make it personal – address your letter to a specific person within the company. If the person has a unisex first name, use their full name.

First Paragraph: State the reason for the letter, the specific position you are applying for, and why you are interested in the job. This letter should be customized to the job description and should catch the reader’s attention! Second Paragraph: Provide specifics about what you can do for the employer. Mention any experiences that relate to the position, describe something from your resume in further detail, or mention characteristics you hold that apply to the position. When mentioning characteristics, you should always have an example to support the claim. Final Paragraph: Refer the reader to the enclosed resume. Indicate your desire for a personal interview. Mention times you’re available and a preferred form of communication (you can repeat your phone number or email address here). Don’t forget to thank the reader for their consideration! Note: Don’t forget to PROOFREAD!

Sincerely, (Insert your signature if you are mailing this or a script font if you are emailing it) Your name typed



SAMPLE COVER LETTER Sally Shark 903 Buffalo Avenue Brooklyn, NY 12354 (516) 879-5642

September 1, 2020 Joan Clayton Hiring Manager Shark Consulting Group 563 Longfellow Avenue Baldwin, NY 11342 Dear Ms. Clayton: I am a second-year MBA student at Long Island University interested in interviewing for a full-time consultant position with The Shark Consulting Group. I believe that The Shark Consulting Group has the ideal culture in which to pursue my goal of becoming a strategic business leader and thinker. My professional experience and LIU education has prepared me to be successful at The Shark Consulting Group. Leading a high-level project to develop a China entry and growth strategy in the new media industry for 123 Television Network in Asia gave me invaluable global strategy experience. Furthermore, interviewing senior executives and entrepreneurs of top media and technology companies gave me the unique opportunity to engage in high level business discussions with leaders of industry. As a consultant at DEF Consulting, I managed global information security projects and gained experience in the consultative and client service approach. I have the flexibility in both language and culture to operate successfully in many different contexts. I firmly believe that I will be a good fit in The Shark Consulting Group’s collaborative, entrepreneurial, and intellectual culture. I am excited about the prospect of working for The Shark Consulting Group upon graduation and have enclosed my resume for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely,

Sally Shark Sally Shark CAREER SUCCESS GUIDE







TYPES OF INTERVIEWS Telephone This is often used as a screening tool before an invitation for an on-site interview. You should still be as professional as possible even though you are not face-to-face with the interviewer. Video Chat One or more persons may be interviewing you. Make sure you are sitting in a room that is well lit, quiet, and has an appropriate background. Dress professionally from top to bottom, and act as if you are in the room with the interviewer. One-on-one This is the most common interview method and involves just you and one interviewer. Panel More than one person interviews you at a time; however, you will be the only interviewee. Group A group of candidates will be interviewed at the same time by a panel of interviewers. Meal Here you are interviewed while eating. Most often you are the only interviewee and there is one or more persons interviewing you. Working This is the type of interview where you are put to work and observed. For example, if you were interviewing for a teaching position, you may have to perform a demo lesson for the interviewer(s). On-site/second round After you’ve made it through screening, you will be invited for an extended interview that may include a series of different types of interviews, a site tour, and/or a meal. Getting a second-round interview means the organization/company/school is seriously considering you for the position.



DRESS TO IMPRESS A job interview calls for you to wear professional, or business, attire. The more important thing to consider when you're dressing for a job interview is that you should look professional and polished regardless of the type of position you're seeking. Even though your interview attire depends on the role you're applying for, no matter what the position, you should go to the interview looking neat, tidy, and well-dressed. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are wearing something you are confident and comfortable in – an interview is about you so set your best foot forward with these tips and tricks… 1. Try to wear neutral colors including grey, black, navy, and tan – if you incorporate color into your outfit, make sure it is not flashy or distracting 2. Common attire includes appropriate dresses, skirts, pants, suits, dress socks, and stockings 3. Wear comfortable dress shoes you are able to spend the entire day in 4. Neck ties and conservative nail polish are often recommended 5. Be sure your hair, make-up, and jewelry are presentable and not distracting 6. All clothing should be clean and prepared to be worn (i.e. ironed, dry cleaned, etc.) 7. Cover tattoos that show things such as nudity, blood, and violence 8. Good hygiene and light cologne/perfume is important



GENERAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS 1. Tell me about yourself. 2. Why do you want to work here? 3. What are your major strengths/weaknesses? 4. What are your long- and short-term goals? How are you preparing yourself to achieve them? 5. What are your interests outside of work? 6. Tell me about a time when you had a crisis at work. How did you handle it? 7. What do you consider to be your major accomplishments? 8. Give me an example of your leadership ability. 9. What do you see yourself doing five years from now? 10. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? 11. How do you work under pressure? 12. What prompted you to choose your major? 13. What do you know about our organization? 14. What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be successful in this job? 15. In what ways do you think you can contribute to this organization? 16. Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and those reporting to them? 17. What criteria are you using to evaluate the organization for which you hope to work? 18. Define cooperation. 19. Describe your problem-solving technique. 20. How do you determine or evaluate success? 21. Do you have any questions? 22. What else can you tell me about you that will help in considering your application?



TIPS FOR ANSWERING QUESTIONS 1. Arrive to the interview with your resume, a pad folio or paper, and a pen. Have questions for the interview prepared on the paper, and don’t hesitate to write a few questions or notes down throughout the interview 2. Keep your answers brief and concise, but colorful and complete. Limit your responses to one or two minutes per question. Practice with a friend or tape yourself to see how long it takes. You also want to provide enough memorable information to make the response stand out. 3. Include concrete, quantifiable data. Interviewees tend to speak in generalities. However, you need to paint a vivid picture about who you are and what you know. This means being more specific. Include memorable details, buzzwords, and numbers in your response, where appropriate. 4. Repeat your key skills, qualifications, and characteristics. Realize that by repeating key ideas you will be continually associating your name and face with your marketability. 5. Prepare success stories. Use these stories to exemplify your key skills, qualities, and characteristics. These stories will help the interviewer remember you. Always give examples of your strengths and successes. 6. Ask questions. Develop and be able to ask meaningful, intelligent questions. This can make a tremendous impression on the interviewer. This is where the organizational research we asked you to perform in the beginning of this handbook will come in handy. Ask questions like these... o How would you describe the responsibilities or a typical week/day in this position? o Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do? o What is the company’s management style? o Who does this position report to? o How many people work in this office/department? o What are the prospects for growth and advancement? o What do you like about working here? o If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start? o What can I tell you about my qualifications? o Are there any other questions I can answer for you? o What makes someone successful in this role? 7. DO NOT ASK ABOUT BENEFITS OR SALARY! Remember that an interview is about what you can do for the organization and why the organization should invest in you and your skills, NOT about what the organization can do for you. Reserve these questions for after you receive an offer.



ANSWERING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS Interviewers can put you on the spot. The best way to handle these situations is to be prepared. Below are some of the more difficult questions as well as some guidance for answering them. How did you like your last employer? Never criticize a former employer in an interview. You might

express appreciation for what you learned on that job. If pressed as to why you left, an appropriate answer can refer to your leaving “to pursue a new and challenging opportunity” or “for a situation which offers more opportunities for advancement.”

What kind of people rub you the wrong way? This is not the time to get into personal likes and

dislikes. The interviewer really wants to see if you get along well with most people. A good answer may be that you generally liked everyone with whom you have worked.

What are your major weaknesses? The best approach is to list a weakness that you are aware of and

working on. Employers are looking for self-aware individuals that are actively working on things to improve in the workplace. Something like not having great time management skills, but that you are working towards improving by implementing an agenda every day at work.

Why did you apply for this job? Be ready to cite several reasons why you think your current level of skill and interest help qualify you for the position. Also, provide several points why you are particularly interested in this position/employer (which also reflects the research you have done on the organization).

Where do you hope to be 10 years from now? You should have a feel for the direction you want to

take in your career. A good answer is that you seek the opportunity to show how well you can perform and hope to go as far as dedication to the job and working intelligently will carry you.

May I answer any questions about the job? Be prepared to ask several good questions about the job

(for example: with whom will you work, how is work evaluated, how can you learn more about the job now, etc.). At this stage of the process, do not focus on salary. Again, before you leave the interview, be sure to express interest in the job and ask what is the next step in the process and when does it happen.

Was your previous performance ever appraised? How were you assessed? From the candidate’s

answers, the interviewer can usually get an idea of their honesty. While no applicant is expected to reveal major flaws or serious shortcomings, everyone has some weaknesses and failure to admit, but expressing too much imparts a negative impression.

What are the most satisfying or frustrating aspects of your present position? The answers provide insight into what makes the applicant tick – is this candidate result oriented? Do they derive satisfaction from tangible or intangible results? Conversely, has there been difficulty with interpersonal relationships such as personality conflicts, which may have blocked efforts to reach objectives? Be careful what you say and never criticize former co-workers.






THANK YOU LETTER Writing a thank you letter is just as important as the resume, cover letter, and interview. This is a must! When we say letter, nowadays it is also appropriate to send an email and most of the same format can be applied. The purpose of a thank you letter is to reiterate your interest in the position along with restate your qualifications for the position. It’s an easy way to remind the interviewer of who you are and show that this is a priority for you. Paragraph 1: Re-emphasize your interest in the company/school/organization and the specific position that you interviewed for. Thank your interviewer for the opportunity to interview as well. Paragraph 2: Rephrase your background and briefly explain how your experience can complement the requirements of the job. You can also re-emphasize your skills and how they may fit the goals of the company. Mention something specific you learned or spoke about in your interview with the employer(s). Final Paragraph: Indicate that you intend to follow-up the letter with a telephone call/email to determine if and when the employer wishes to see you again. Re-emphasize your interest in the company and in the position again. There are two appropriate formats for a thank you letter. First, you can hand write one. On a thank you card, you can include the information from above in a more informal way. Make sure that you are polite and still professional. The second format would be a typed letter, looking very similar to a cover letter. Visit the next page for an example. You can mail, fax, or email this version.



SAMPLE THANK YOU LETTER First Name Last Name Address (Street Address, City, State Zip Code) Phone Number (make sure that you are comfortable with the phone number you are providing) Email address (your email address must be professional, you may choose to use your school email address)

Date Name of Interviewer Title of Interviewer Company Name Address City, State, Zip Code

Dear First Name Last Name: I enjoyed speaking with you about the Assistant Account Executive position at Smith Agency. The job is a great match for my skills and I am excited by the opportunity to engage in a creative approach to account management. I will bring to the position strong writing skills, assertiveness, and the ability to encourage others to work cooperatively with the department. My artistic background will help me to work with artists on staff and provide me with an understanding of the visual aspects of our work. I understand your need for administrative support. My detail orientation and organizational skills will free you to deal with larger issues. I neglected to mention during my interview that I had worked for two summers as a temporary office worker. This experience developed my computer and clerical skills for the workplace. I appreciate the time you took for the interview and I truly look forward to hearing from you about this position.

Sincerely, (Insert your signature if you are mailing this or a script font if you are emailing it) Your name typed CAREER SUCCESS GUIDE








Research more about the organization/company – this will help you in preparing questions to ask in the interview

Haven’t heard back after submitting your application? Wait 1-2 weeks and then contact the employer to see if the position is still open.

o Phone or email is appropriate o Be polite o Offer to send your resume again if they did not receive it o Be persistent, not pushy Review your calendar to determine availability for an interview


Confirm when and where the interview will be held.

Find out how long it will take you to get to the interview. Plan your trip advance by testing the transportation time (car, railroad, subway, bus…). Make allowances for roadblocks, breakdowns, and plan to be AT LEAST 15 minutes early.

Arrive a bit early to visit the restroom, check your appearance, and take a few quiet moments to calm your nerves, if necessary.

Rehearse answers to technical and personal questions, and also to queries about your career, and why you want this particular job. Know what the employer is looking for before the interview and prepare positive answers to potential questions on required skills.

Have written questions prepared about the company, the position, and future plans. Also, remember to bring extra copies of your resume and any other certificates you may be required to submit.



INTERVIEW ETIQUETTE During an interview, the employer looks for an individual with a specific skill set or expertise that enables the candidate to provide a solution to the client’s needs. Recognizing this, you must be prepared to provide specific answers to questions asked. Your “job” during the interview is to keep the employer confident that you are the right person for the job. How prepared are you to attend an interview and make a good impression? Here are some tips that will give you an advantage over your competition. • • • •

Shake hands with the right hand, introduce yourself, and wait for an invitation to sit down. Don’t sit on the edge of your chair, swing your legs, fiddle with your clothes, or twirl your hair. Smile and speak with confidence. This is not the time for modesty. However, you should promote yourself without arrogance. Remember, the interview is a dialogue. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but don’t dominate the conversation or interrogate the interviewer either.

In short: smile, look professional, make eye contact, be specific, be flexible, listen carefully, be enthusiastic, and speak clearly; don’t chew gum, smoke, wear excessive jewelry, lie, mumble, brag, interrupt, or look at your watch.


Test your device’s audio and camera before the scheduled interview time. It also may be useful to use headphones for sound clarity and a closer microphone. Set up in a space that is well lit, quiet, and has an appropriate background. Dress professionally from top to bottom, and act as if you are in the room with the interviewer. Show up early, just as if you were in-person for the interview. Look straight into the camera when answering questions to give the interviewer your full attention and to come across as engaged. Write out a few notes on the position or experiences you would like to share with the interviewer. This is a great bonus for a virtual interview setting to help you feel more prepared.



PHONE ETIQUETTE • • • • • • • • • • •

Greet the caller with a pleasant tone and manner. Never assume the caller knows who you are, so always state your name. If you answer the phone at work, ask who the person wishes to speak with. Keep in mind the time you are calling. Business hours are usually from 9am to 5pm. Be prepared to leave a message if you place a call before or after these hours. It is polite to turn your cell phone off or on silent during meetings, in restaurants, and in public places. When speaking on a cell phone, keep your voice down out of respect for others. If you must answer your phone in the company of others, keep your conversation short and to the point. Do not place your cell phone on the table at a restaurant. Do not talk to other people when on the phone. This is impolite and can be confusing to the person on the phone. Do not discuss private matters such as relationships and finances in public. Never use inappropriate language, especially in public.

VOICEMAIL ETIQUETTE • • • • • • • • • •

Speak slowly and clearly. Begin your message by stating your name and phone number. Messages should be brief and cordial. Convey important messages by stating the level of urgency. Leave contact information twice so the recipient has time to record the information. Never leave inappropriate language that underage ears might receive. Never assume that a previous message has been received. Do not leave long distance numbers. Instead, say that you will call back at a stated time. When checking your voicemail, listen to messages and return them as soon as possible. Your voicemail message should be appropriate in an even tone, not angry or aggressive. Do not curse when you leave messages.



EMAIL ETIQUETTE • • • • • • • • •

Utilized the signature device available. Include your name and phone number. Reference the subject on the line provided – be as concise as possible here. Address the recipient by first or last name or a brief salutation. The body text should be clear, succinct and courteous in your comments. You don’t have to prepare a formal document each time you send an email but certainly do not drop all rules of grammar even for a short note. Try to acknowledge received email in a timely fashion – usually within 24-48 hours. If you have any extremely personal messages designate that information to a direct phone call, do not use email. Try to respect busy schedules by avoiding counterproductive questions or “one-liner” responses. Do not continue to email someone who has not returned your messages. Do not gossip, pass along jokes, or use offensive language to co-workers or friends.








KNOW YOURSELF Personality traits or skills I have that are job related: _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Examples of experiences I have had that demonstrate the above traits/skills: _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ List 3-5 accomplishments that would be of interest to the person interviewing me: _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________

What are the 3 most important things I want the interviewer to know about me? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________

What concerns might an employer have about me and what will alleviate their concerns? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________

What questions do I have for the employer/interviewer regarding the position? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________



KNOW THE ORGANIZATION How long has the organization been in operation? _________________________________________________________________________________ Where is the organization located? Are there other locations? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Is it a public or private organization? _________________________________________________________________________________ Has the organization been in the news lately? For what reason(s)? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ What are the services/products/programs this organization provides? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Who are its competitors? How is it doing relative to its competitors? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ What are the organization's short-term goals? Long-term goals? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ What else is the organization known for (e.g., community involvement, supportive of families, relaxed atmosphere, etc.)? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ What challenges/difficulties does this organization face? How can I help solve them? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ CAREER SUCCESS GUIDE







REFERENCES Occasionally, after an interview you may be asked to submit a list of references. To be prepared, you should have 2-3 people identified whom you have had a professional and/or academic relationship with previously. Overall, these should be individuals who can attest to your skills, experiences, and work ethic. Here are some important things to keep in mind when creating your references list…  Don't go personal – avoid asking your family and friends to be your professional references.  For each reference, provide their name, job title, email, phone number, and your relationship.  Notify all your references that you will use their information and the position that you're applying for.  Helpful information to forward to your references: recent resume, quality papers, projects, or responsibilities in which you excelled.  Give employer references only if you are instructed to do so. Otherwise, bring a hard copy to the interview.  Let your references know about your subsequent success and how they helped you to attain your goal. Don’t know how to reach out to someone about being a reference? Use the simple email format below to connect with previous employers, professors, or mentors that you have developed a relationship with. Dear [Potential reference’s name], I am currently seeking employment as a [job you’re applying for] and am hoping you will provide a reference for me. Having worked with you at [insert where you know them from], I believe you can provide potential employers with specific information about my skills and work ethic. Attached is my current resume as well as a copy of the job description. Please let me know if you need any additional information to act as a reference on my behalf. Thank you so much for considering my request! Best, [Your name]







1. Don’t underestimate the importance of likability 2.

3. 4.




a. Employers are going to fight for you if they like you and what you have to offer. When negotiating an offer, use persistence but do not come off as a nuisance. Help the company understand why you deserve what you are requesting a. Explain exactly why an adjusted offer is justified. b. Research comparable salaries in the geographic area using websites like and to justify any pay increases based on market demand Make it clear you will accept the offer if these requests are granted. a. No company wants to push for approval and then have you turn it down. Understand the company’s constraints a. Most companies have salary caps and no amount of negotiation can loosen. It is your job to figure out beforehand if this company is flexible or not. Do your research on the organization and find previous salaries or adjustments offered. Be prepared for tough questions. a. Many job candidates have been hit with difficult questions: Do you have any other offers? Will you say yes? Are we your top choice? Never lie in a negotiation. Prepare for these questions, and do not get uncomfortable or defensive. Consider the whole deal. a. Negotiating an offer is not synonymous to negotiating a salary. Oftentimes salaries are the hardest to budge, but there are other easier factors to negotiate. Focus on the value of the entire deal: responsibilities, location, hours, growth, perks, etc. Don’t negotiate just to negotiate a. Resist the temptation to prove you are a good negotiator. Fighting to get just a little bit more can rub people the wrong way, and can limit your ability to negotiate in the future when it matters more.

Calculate Your Value 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Geographic Location – Does cost of living change? Rent? Gas? Years of Experience – Do you have more experience than required? Leadership Experience – Do you have exceptional leadership experience? Education Level – Do you have more education than required? Career Level – Do you have ample experience in similar career(s)? Skills – What additional skills do you have? License and Certifications



EXAMPLE EMAIL NEGOTIATION Ms. Jackson, Thank you for sending over the job offer package for the Marketing Director position. I want to state again how honored I am to be considered for this exciting position and appreciate you sharing these details. Before I can accept your offer, I want to address the proposed compensation. As I shared with your recruiting manager, I have more than ten years of experience in digital marketing and have worked in leadership positions for the past six years. In my last role, I increased the number of marketing influenced leads by nearly 40% year over year and helped secure the company a 25% higher annual revenue. Given my experience and expertise, I am seeking a salary in the range of $125,000 to $130,000, which is slightly higher than your offer of $115,000. I know I can bring a great deal of value to ABC Company and help you exceed your revenue expectations this year. Please let me know when we can discuss the salary further. I look forward to hearing from you soon! Thank you, Sally Shark

EXAMPLE PERSON-TO-PERSON NEGOTIATION Hello! Thank you for sending over the job offer package for the Regional Sales Manager position. I am excited about the opportunity and would like to reiterate how grateful I am you’ve considered me for this role. I believe in your product and know I could help you drive even greater results. However, before I accept your offer, I want to address the proposed salary. As I shared during the interview process, I have more than twelve years’ experience in sales, including eight years of experience in medical equipment sales, and I have two more years of management experience than stated in the job description. In my last role, my team exceeded the monthly quota by 15% for two years in a row and landed three of the largest accounts in company history. Given my experience and expertise, I am seeking a salary in the range of $145,000 to $150,000. However, I am open to discussing alternative compensation, such as opportunities for additional stock options or increased performance-based bonuses.



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