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Thread: First job interview?

  1. #1

    Default First job interview?

    Well I am going to my first job interview ever at the local senior center for a desk job. Really nervous as I am not sure how I should set my resume and cover letter up since the one I currently have is set up for a firefighting job. Do I keep my skills/achievements that I got for fire like all the certifications to show that I do my work and can easily learn or do I drop them? Do I change the cover letter or not include it? I do think I should show that I got my First aid, CPR and BLS card though other then that I have no idea what. Any other advice???

  2. #2

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    Well, I imagine that as a fire fighter you had to follow procedures but also think on your feet?
    How about people? Did you ever have to help somebody? How did you talk/interface with them?

    What do they expect of you at the senior center? What value do they want from you? What problems will you help solve?

  3. #3

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    I would tailor the cover letter to fit the new job, but don;t discount your past accomplishments on your resume!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kif View Post
    Well, I imagine that as a fire fighter you had to follow procedures but also think on your feet?
    How about people? Did you ever have to help somebody? How did you talk/interface with them?

    What do they expect of you at the senior center? What value do they want from you? What problems will you help solve?
    I probably should've been a bit more specific the firefighting resume was made so I could apply later. It was a requirement of my firefighting class I am taking in higAs far as what they are expecting is mainly greet people answer phone questions make flyers. I do know they would love to have someone with graphic design experience I did tell them I am self taught but would need a bit of instructions at first. I am a fast learner though. I am going to show them though that since the school year has started I have done over 144.75 hours of community service even some at the community center.

  5. #5

    Default First job interview?

    I had this problem with a federal position I'm applying for (whether to list a bunch of healthcare certs gained over the years).

    I was told that quite simply, to try and stick with listing only that which is directly relevant to the position, but at the same time not to leave out particular elements that you're on the fence with. Jobs are super competitive right now, and even something small that you think might be unimportant could be the thing that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.

    Also, remember that resumes should be concise. Most are only scanned over for about a minute or so, avoid writing a novel if possible.

  6. #6

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    devise/copy flexible templates for both your resume and cover letters.
    you basically want a clear and concise format which'll be easy to read, while giving the most relevent information. you can find good exmples of templates in many of the cv/resume and covering letter software apps.
    my cv,
    Attachment 20771Attachment 20772
    isn't a good example for you (mine's a bit sticky because my situation is sticky) and you can see that i focus on my practical workplace experience.

    at your age, your non-vocational experience/qualifications should hint at your character, and the person reviewing the sent in applications will only consider such after they've seen that you can do the job (ability first, suitability second).
    in the early stages of devising your templates, you'll really benefit from the second and third opinions of more mature persons (a parent or friend's parent, etc), especially if they've held hire-and-fire positions.

    remember that these things will grow and develop as you do, and that you'll change the format and your word use accordingly.
    and a good tip is, if you're ever rejected before you get to the interview stage, send a polite letter asking for the reasoning for your being rejected. by showing that you're keen to tackle your own problems and improve yourself, you may just end up being moved to the top of the pile when/if the person whom they appointed doesn't work out.

  7. #7

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    Normally just getting the interview is the hard part, so you are a big chunk of the way there.

    You should still put effort into your resume, but chances are it's going to be at most a formality and maybe some talking points at the interview. It's the interview that's really gonna decide.

    Only general advice I can give is don't get too caught up on gimmicks, both on the resume or in the interview. Present yourself as professionally as you can while still being yourself. Don't try to make previous things you've done sound bigger than they were, it's painfully obvious and makes you look like a cartoon. Think about what you'd want an interviewer to focus on, what you consider to be your most employable attributes, than figure a way to work your resume around that.

    Edit: would also add that whether you get the job or not, getting past your first actual job interview is still an achievement, and even if you totally blow it, at least you'll be better prepared for the next one.

  8. #8

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    It's always a good idea to tailor both your Résumé and your Cover Letter for the job you're applying for.

    Your Résumé is there to provide background about your skills, qualifications, work history and personal interests. Your Cover Letter lets you explain why you are applying for the job and why you think you would be a good match for the role. It's also a chance to infuse your personality, so they get a better sense of who you are as a person (obviously keep it professional).

    If you haven't had much previous experience with jobs, there's no harm in listing any firefighter training / skills you may have. Also, if you feel like you're weaker on some of the skills they're looking for, you can turn this to your advantage by saying that you are looking to challenge yourself by developing further skills in these areas.

    First Aid, CPR and BLS are definitely great assets if you're working with senior citizens, so definitely mention them in your Résumé under training and qualifications.
    Just remember not to get too technical when listing your skills, and avoid using acronyms or abbreviations that aren't universally known outside of a specific industry; CPR is fine, but I had to look up what BLS stands for (though that may just be a less common term outside of the US).

    Hope that helps

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cavemans View Post
    Well I am going to my first job interview ever at the local senior center for a desk job. Really nervous as I am not sure how I should set my resume and cover letter up since the one I currently have is set up for a firefighting job. Do I keep my skills/achievements that I got for fire like all the certifications to show that I do my work and can easily learn or do I drop them?
    Always keep achievements. As for skills, is it readily apparent that they'll be relevant in this new job? If so, leave them. Is it not readily apparent that they're relevant but they indeed are? Bring them up in the interview.



    Quote Originally Posted by cavemans View Post
    Do I change the cover letter or not include it? I do think I should show that I got my First aid, CPR and BLS card though other then that I have no idea what. Any other advice???
    Best advice I ever got: just be yourself. If you get called in after they read your resume/CV and cover letter, they've decided you meet the qualifications of the job. The interview often shifts to whether or not you're a person they want working for their company. If these people want you to be their coworker, they'll hire you. If they don't want you to be their coworker, not only will they not hire you, but you don't want them to hire you. Be yourself and whatever happens will be for the best.

  10. #10

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    I'm a software engineer, and I'm involved with hiring at my company. I don't know how the application works elsewhere, but in general the point of every step in the application process is to get to the next step. For my field, that means the point resume and cover letter is to get a phone screen, and the point of the phone screen is to get an in person interview. I imagine that's decent advice generally.

    Also, if you have something on your resume, be prepared to answer questions about it.

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