Asking the 'right' resume 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.
Note: Read to the end
to receive a list of the Resume Questions I ask all my clients.
Why are the right resume 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
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
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!
Request a free list of the Resume
Questions I ask my clients by typing the words
“Free Resume Questions”
into the text box on our contact form.