Resume and Interview Tips from Pros With Commentary from a Young Professional

  Leah Bassettt

Your first day at a new job has arrived – a swiveling chair, an empty desk, a new email address and a feeling that you’ve started the climb up the corporate ladder begin to circle around your brain like Chicago’s blustering wind. A few days into your new job and you might be thinking that the dress pants and ironed shirt should be replaced by running shoes and some sort of spandex-like workout attire. The race to the finish has begun. The ironic thing is that you’re not even sure where you’re going!

For many young beginners in the workforce, the finish line seems so far away that it becomes a figment of the imagination. You realize that you’re at step one and as the weeks go by, you accept how much there is to learn, realizing that all you can do is give your all and hope it’s enough. It isn’t until the strategic thinking and leadership skills of company VP’s begins to permeate the room like the smell of chocolate from the Ghirardelli’s store that you begin to understand how high the ladder really is. You feel utterly lost and that you have little to contribute. How could you offer anything as valuable as their insight? This realization stings and eats away at your self-confidence. The climb to the next rung on the ladder becomes harder, more wind resistance despite the flashy spandex pants.

Getting to this point however, requires just as much work as that of trying to wade through the piles sitting on your desk, ready to engulf you at your weakest moment. Hours are spent picking out the perfect resume paper, analyzing which fonts might have the highest rate of return, talking yourself into being the most confident and humble person all at the same time, and last but not least, surviving the comfort that is the fancy black suit, tie, or heels in order to look ‘sharp.’

I bring up these concerns because they are those of most young professionals, proven by the hour long Q & A session at the recent PRSSA presentation on resume and interview tips,’ courtesy of The Lucas Group, a professional recruiting company. The event attracted nearly twenty of us young professionals, and we took full advantage of the opportunity to drill the two women from Lucas Group about our job prospecting woes. What we walked away with was the unsugar-coated version of answers to resume writing and interview questions as well as a ‘thank goodness I’m not alone’ sentiment about being a young professional. I’ll include some reminders below which everyone might find useful, regardless of your age.

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