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Asking the 'Right' Résumé Questions

 

Asking the right resume questions about your current and past work history and your personal attributes is often the hardest part of writing your own resume—and to be honest, there’s no way around it. Even if you hire a professional resume writer, they will ask you the same (or similar) questions.

In the beginning, a little bit of elbow-grease on your part is crucial to your career prospects and your future. Be prepared to dig deep with this—the deeper you go, the better the results. With that in mind, let’s roll up our sleeves and get cracking.

Why Are The Right Résumé Questions So Important?

There are several reasons why it’s important to ask the right resume questions when preparing a resume (your own or someone else’s). These questions will:

  1. Jog your memory
    If nothing else, asking the right resume questions is great for jogging your memory, both at the time of preparing your resume but also at the interview— which you will only get short-listed for if you prepare a great resume! So, when it’s time to meet with prospective employers in an interview setting, read over your resume the day before to refresh your memory.


  2. Set the tone
    With all your past (and current) work history flooding back, you can proceed to match your skills to target the job you want. Ask yourself: do you have the specific skillset your employer requires? If so, don’t just tell them that you do—instead, demonstrate how you’ve used it, how proficient you are with it, what you have achieved using that skillset, and how you benefited the employer by using it. 


    In the process, you may also realise that this is not the right job for you and happily move on to another.

  3. Highlight your strengths
    If you dig deep and ask the right questions, you will most likely unearth strengths you never knew you had. Use those strengths to “sell” your employer on why you are the right fit for the company.

  4. Set you on a path of self-discovery
    You will learn for yourself what your strengths are, which will no doubt bolster your confidence and help you throughout your career. You will also learn more about your weaknesses, which means you can to learn to overcome them—or avoid them altogether.


  5. Help you remember the basics as well
    Make sure you add things like your full name and contact details, and don’t forget to provide employer details and the dates you worked there. And remember to prepare two to three references to give to the employer should they ask (you do not have to list these on your resume).


  6. Give the employer a reason to contact you
    They’re a selfish bunch, really. The employer doesn’t care that you want to go on a European cruise next year and need a better job to help fund your exciting lifestyle. They don’t care if you want to buy the latest Alfa Romeo Spider (painted Alfa Red, of course) with black leather interior. They don’t even care that all you want is to be able to put food on the table at night and pay your rent. Not really. 

    Like most of us, they just want to know WIIFM, or “What’s in it for me”. Therefore, your job is to 'sell' them on why they should hire you rather than anyone else. Preparing well will help you achieve the best outcome.

Make 'Their' Job Easier

I hope you can fully appreciate the need to dig deep when preparing your resume. As I mentioned above, your job is to make their job easier. Answer their one burning question—"WIIFM"—and you’ll drastically improve your chances of gaining an interview. Go get ‘em!