Use these resume tips to increase your chances of landing the job you want.
- Format: Choose a clean and easy-to-scan accounting or finance resume format:
- Stick to one font, one type size and bolded section heads followed by bulleted lists rather than wordy paragraphs
- If printing, use white or ivory paper, which copies cleaner than colored stock
- Sequence: Chronological is preferred and best for candidates who have sizeable employment histories
- Impact: Clearly state your job objective based on the open position (Ambiguity indicates lack of direction and focus), and summarize your strengths and key accomplishments within the top half of the first page
- Support: Quantify your achievements in a list. If your efforts boosted revenue or decreased A/R, specify amounts and time frames
- Punch: Use key words (no clichés) to reflect your experience
- Brevity: Limit your resume to a page and a half. If you have many years of experience, pare it down. Skip unrelated experience, like part-time college jobs.
- Truthfulness: If you get caught lying or over-embellishing, it can cost you the job…and your reputation!
- Proofread: Pay attention to detail, like grammar, spelling, typos, etc., to avoid looking careless and unprofessional
An interview gives you the opportunity to showcase your qualifications and sell yourself to a prospective employer, so it pays to be well prepared and completely appropriate.
- Learn as much as you can about the company
- Review your qualifications for the specific position
- Be ready to briefly describe your experience and how it relates it the job
- Be ready to answer broad questions, such as “Why should I hire you?” “Why do you want this job?” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
- Dress appropriately in conservative business attire
- Be well groomed and avoid strong fragrances
- Don’t chew gum or smoke
- Schedule nothing around your interview that will create a time crunch
- Leave early in case of travel delays
- Go to the interview unaccompanied
- Park where you won’t be concerned about time-limits or getting towed
- Turn off your cell phone
- Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake
- Ask for the spelling of the interviewer’s name and write it down
- Use good manners with everyone you meet
- Relax and answer each question concisely
- Use proper English; avoid slang
- Be cooperative and enthusiastic
- Don’t mention any personal problems
- Use body language to show interest—use eye contact and don’t slouch
- Keep your eyes off the interviewer’s desk
- Ask questions about the position and the organization, but avoid questions whose answers can easily be found on the company web site
- Be positive and don’t criticize anyone, especially employers
- Avoid asking questions about salary, benefits or perks
- If asked to complete a form or application, fill in every space and never write “See resume”
- Thank the interviewer when you leave and shake hands; don’t linger!
- Send a short thank you note following the interview
Be sure to resign from your current job on a positive and appreciative note to preserve valuable relationships and future business references.
- Plan ahead: Put time and thought into your resignation speech. Don’t let the cat out of the bag early. Telling the wrong person first can cause bad blood among more valued colleagues
- Get to the point: Whether you’re resigning in writing or in person, explain your reasons concisely without negative feelings (if you must, do it in person from carefully prepared notes)
- Be cool: If your resignation brings an angry or confrontational reaction, don’t get defensive or fire back. Respond calmly from prepared notes
- Be accommodating: Try to agree on an exit date that works for both you and your employer. Provide access to all files, information and client contacts
- Get what’s yours: Demand unused vacation or sick days
- Follow up: Send a letter of resignation to confirm your final date and what’s owed to you. Be appreciative of the opportunities you were given, singling out colleagues and managers you enjoyed working with and why
There are many reasons for not accepting a counteroffer after you resign:
- Do you really want to remain at a company that won’t reward you for your achievements unless you threaten to leave…especially when there’s a new employer anxious to hire you?
- Dissatisfying conditions that caused you to look elsewhere will still exist
- Studies show that following the acceptance of a counteroffer, there’s a high probability that you’ll leave anyway in about 6 months or be laid off in a year
- Your employer may begin to consider replacing you with someone at a lower salary
- Your counteroffer may prove to be an advance on future raises
- Once you’ve threatened to leave, your long-term reliability will be in doubt
- When you’re due for your next promotion, your dedication may become an issue
- Any staff cutbacks will more likely begin with you
- Once your deal is revealed, your relationship with colleagues and management will be tainted
- You sold out…and you’ll have to live with it
- You’ll never know how great an opportunity you gave up!