Importance of Resume writing skills

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n o i t a r a p e r Resume Writing and Interviewing Skills Howa warrd rd County Public School Syste ool System m P r e e r a CResume Writing and Interviewing Skills Table of Contents Developing Your Resume ...................................................................................... 1-6 Eleven Resume Guidelines ..................................................................................1 How To Write Bullet Statements For Resumes ....................................................1 Resume Words With A Punch .............................................................................2 Resume Template 1 (for students with work experience) .........................................3 Resume Sample 1 .....................................................................................................4 Resume Template 2 (for students with little or no work experience) ........................5 Resume Sample 2 .....................................................................................................6 Cover Letters .............................................................................................................7 Cover Letter Template ...............................................................................................8 Cover Letter Sample 1 ..............................................................................................9 Cover Letter Sample 2 ............................................................................................10 Generic Employment Application...................................................................... 11-12 Tips For Interviewing ......................................................................................... 13-17 Dressing For Success ........................................................................................13 Top Rules For Interviewing ........................................................................... 13-14 Do You Have What It Takes? ..............................................................................14 Transferable Skills ..............................................................................................15 Common Interview Questions ...................................................................... 15-16 Questions You Can Ask During An Interview .....................................................16 Interview Checklist .............................................................................................16 Thank You Note .......................................................................................................17 Your Personal Life and Employment .......................................................................18 Sources ...................................................................................................................19 Howa warrd rd County Public School Syst ool System emDeveloping Your Resume Begin with an action verb, sometimes modified by an Eleven Resume Guidelines adverb for added emphasis. 1. Keep it short—one page if possible, two pages at Edited… the most. Managed… 2. Include your name, address, phone number, Directly supervised… education, and work experience. You may also Worked closely… want to include job objective, awards/honors, clubs/activities/sports, volunteer experiences, Avoid phrases such as “Responsible for” or “Helped.” and/or contact information for three references (Always ask for permission before using a person’s name as a reference). Describe the object of your action using numbers, 3. Be neat—print resume on resume paper. amounts and other adjectives whenever possible. 4. Spell out words. Do not use abbreviations. …small concession stand… Example: Student Government Association, not SGA. …twelve students… 5. PROOFREAD and SPELLCHECK your resume. …weekly cash register reports… Do not solely rely on the computer. Have …soccer camp members… someone check over your resume before submitting it. Add the outcome or purpose of your action to 6. Be honest about your skills and work experience. emphasize results. Use number amounts whenever 7. Be concise. Use action words and phrases when possible. describing your experience. 8. State accomplishments and results, not just duties. …to support development of players …increasing revenue by 30% in only three months 9. Include dates of participation. Data should be …to improve service delivery organized in time sequence with most recent …attained 3.50 GPA for the last two quarters education and experience first (reverse chronological order). 10. If you plan to play collegiate sports include Put these elements together to tell the reader what you pertinent data and statistics. have done in your previous jobs, especially those things beyond the basics of your job that will make you stand out 11. If you are using bullets, italics, bold, or any other from other applicants. formatting, you must be consistent. Do not put bullets under one area, then not bullet the rest. Some examples might be: Filed medical records for a small doctor’s office to simplify How to Write Bullet Statements for Resumes billing procedures. Describe your work experience and accomplishments in a Trained and managed six new employees at Six Flags way that captures the reader’s interest and leads to a job theme park concession stands. interview. Use all of the elements for emphasis. Supervised a soccer camp consisting of twelve students ACTION VERB to support the development of future high school athletes. (how?) Wrote 7-page booklet, “How to Overcome Test Anxiety,” OBJECT OF THE ACTION for middle school students to increase future academic (what?) success. Received an award from English department for superior writing quality. OUTCOME (for whom?) Omit the subject (who?) of your statement. It is understood to be “I.” 1Resume Words with a Punch Below are action words that provide punch to your resume statements. Grouped in skill areas below, these words provide readers a clearer understanding of skills used. The words you choose for your resume can help you catch the attention of a potential employer. It is important to use action words to highlight or describe your current (or previous) job duties. Your resume should not contain any sentences. For example: “Trained new employees” instead of “I trained new employees.” Here are some words you can use in your resume: Clerical Creative Helping Research Communication classified acted arranged analyzed answered collected arranged assessed compiled authored compiled created assisted critiqued contacted filed customized clarified determined convinced inventoried designed coached developed corresponded maintained developed counseled evaluated critiqued memorized directed delivered examined directed operated enhanced demonstrated inspected displayed ordered fashioned educated investigated drafted organized invented encouraged organized edited performed modified facilitated researched encouraged prepared originated guided reviewed influenced processed sketched hosted summarized informed proofread upgraded initiated interpreted quantified mediated lectured reconciled motivated negotiated recorded negotiated persuaded reorganized represented presented retrieved served promoted revised solved publicized scheduled suggested recruited tabulated volunteered suggested translated taught validated testified translated wrote Teaching Financial Management Supervision Technical clarified appraised administered assessed assembled coached audited analyzed delegated built communicated balanced approved demonstrated calculated devised budgeted assigned encouraged computed encouraged calculated chaired influenced designed evaluated collected changed mediated devised facilitated computed coordinated oversaw maintained guided earned delegated remedied operated instructed forecasted directed reported programmed persuaded generated evaluated solved remodeled presented marketed improved supervised repaired taught negotiated managed tested upgraded tutored priced monitored trained projected organized reconciled planned produced recommended resolved 2Resume Template 1 Street Number and Address Name City, State Zip Code Phone number Email address OBJECTIVE To obtain… EDUCATION Dates List all schools you attend(ed) most recent school first Give date of graduation WORK EXPERIENCE Date Company name most recent first Job Title • Duties performed • Skills learned SCHOOL ACTIVITIES Date Activity/Sport/Club most recent first Title or Position, if applicable • Duties performed • Skills learned Date Activity/Sport/Club Title or Position, if applicable • Duties performed • Skills learned COMMUNITY SERVICE Date Activity most recent first Title or Position, if applicable • Duties performed • Skills learned HONORS AND AWARDS Date Honor/Award most recent first Date Honor/Award STRENGTHS List what you perceive to be your strengths REFERENCES Available upon request 3Madison DiLeo 1 Mermaid Lane Resume Sample 1 Ellicott City, MD 21042 410.555.1212 msplashhardworker.net OBJECTIVE To attend University of Maryland, College Park, Fall 2015 Major: Business Management EDUCATION 2011-Present Howard High School, Ellicott City, Maryland Will graduate June 2015 WORK EXPERIENCE 2011-2014 Howard County Family YMCA Junior and Senior Counselor • Planned group activities for school-aged campers • Assisted administrative staff with morning procedures • Prepared staff manuals • Organized files on each camper Summer 2013 Taco Bell Sales Associate • Interacted with up to 400 customers, processing sales of up to 2,000 daily • Resolved problems by collaborating with customers and staff • Prepared daily pick-up orders for up to 100 customers • Utilized computerized cashiering system for financial transactions SCHOOL ACTIVITIES 2011-Present Viking Service Club • Participate in the Fall and Spring Clean-up Project • Serve as a tour guide for the Freshmen Orientation Day • Direct parents around the school on Back to School Night Lacrosse Team Goalie • County Champions 2011 and 2012 • Varsity team: 2 years • Junior Varsity team: 1 year COMMUNITY SERVICE 2012-Present Manor Care Health Services Volunteer for Adopt-A-Grandfriend Program • Listen to and share own experiences with the elderly • Assist with group activities and holiday parties STRENGTHS • Focused with attention to details • Possess a high level of stamina • Work well as a team-member • Cultivate the best in others REFERENCES Available upon request 4Name Street Number and Address Resume Template 2 City, State Zip Code (no work experience) Phone number Email address OBJECTIVE To obtain … EDUCATION Dates List all schools you attend(ed) most recent school first Give date of graduation EXPERIENCE Date Name experience most recent first • Duties performed • Skills learned Date Name experience most recent first • Duties performed • Skills learned INTERESTS • List interest • List interest SKILLS • List skill • List skill STRENGTHS List what you perceive to be your strengths REFERENCES Available upon request 5Madison DiLeo 1 Mermaid Lane Resume Sample 2 Ellicott City, MD 21042 (no work experience) 410.555.1212 msplashhardworker.net OBJECTIVE To obtain a part-time position as an administrative assistant EDUCATION 2011-Present Howard High School, Ellicott City, Maryland Will graduate June 2015 EXPERIENCE 2010-Present Pet Sitter • Provide pet sitting services such as dog walking, feeding, and yard care Child care • Provided child care for several families after school, weekends, and during school vacations INTERESTS • Computers • Guitar • Ice skating • Car repair • Spanish SKILLS • Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint • Proficient with the Internet • Can type 70 words per minute • Enjoy hands-on projects • Intermediate fluency in Spanish and Italian • Enthusiastic team player STRENGTHS • Focused, and excellent follow- through • Possess a high level of stamina and attention to detail • Work well as a team-member • Positive, remaining “upbeat” in all situations REFERENCES Available upon request 6Cover Letters of the position. Try to make two or three solid WHat i S a Cov ER l Ett ER? points using specific examples from your own When you apply for a job and submit a resume, you employment history. Showcase how you are an should also include a cover letter. A resume gives a asset to the company rather than explain your own concise snapshot of your experience for specific positions personal employment goals. whereas a cover letter allows you to share more details about your background to a specific employer’s company. • In the final paragraph, include a positive statement So, you may send the same resume to various potential or question that will cause the employer to want employers, but the cover letter should be created to take action. Make this closing paragraph specifically for that company. Cover letters should include between 2-4 sentences. Direct the employer to the following parts: a heading, inside address, salutation, the enclosed resume and make your availability body, closing, your signature, and your typed name. known for an interview. It’s very important to finish off by thanking the employer for their time and Before writing the letter: consideration. 1. Research the business/agency/organization. This will 3. Conclude with “Yours sincerely,” or “Regards,” and not only help you in writing a relevant cover letter but it leave four blank lines to sign your name in blue ink. will also be useful if you get an interview. Type your name after the four blank lines. 2. Read the job description carefully. Check for the noted 4. Proofread. This is essential. and assumed needs and determine the most important • Be sure you have spelled everything correctly. skills, qualifications, and experience the employer is Don’t trust Spell Check looking for and make sure your skill set matches. • Make yourself the active subject of every sentence 3. Write a targeted cover letter for each employer. This (e.g. In this experience, I developed/reinforced/ means customizing each cover letter you write, so learned/etc.”). But that doesn’t mean every single it specifically relates your skills to the job you are sentence should start with “I...” so vary your applying for. syntax accordingly. 4. Find the name of the manager in charge of the • Break down any contractions (e.g. “I’ve” to “I department you want to work in. Call the Human have”). Resources department if you are having trouble finding the name. Make sure you have the correct spellings of • Avoid informal writing. You want to sound names. professional, objective, and educated. Writing the Letter: Tips: 1. Format the heading elements correctly. 1. Keep the letter to one page the purpose of the cover • Include your address at the top (in the right hand letter is to get the hiring manager to read your resume corner - approximately 1 inch down from the top of If the letter is spilling onto a second page, it’s time to the page). tighten your points and edit the fluff. • Skip down 4 lines and enter the date. 2. Your tone should be upbeat, professional and informative. The employer wants to know what you can • Skip down 4 more lines and enter the Contact do for them, so sell yourself and your skills in a positive Person, then the name and address of the way. This is not the time to be humble—present company. confidently, but do not project arrogance. • Write to a specific person, not “To whom it 3. Avoid clichés and meaningless or wordy expressions. may concern”, or “Dear Sir/Madam,” whenever possible. 4. Your cover letter should complement, not duplicate your resume. 2. Write the body of your letter with three or four paragraphs. 5. Your cover letter is often the first contact with an employer. Make sure it creates a good impression. • In the first paragraph, tell the employer why you’re writing to them in two or three sentences. State the 6. Take the time to target your cover letter to the job you position you are applying for and specify why you are applying for. Be sure to tailor your letter for each are interested in working for the employer. position/company. • In the next one or two paragraphs, outline your 7. Before you send your cover letter out, proofread, edit, qualifications and match them to the requirements and revise it. 7Cover Letter Template Your Name Street Address City, ST ZIP Code Date Recipient Name Title Company Name Street Address City, ST ZIP Code Dear Recipient Name: In the first paragraph, tell the employer why you’re writing to them in two or three sentences. State the position you are applying for and specify why you are interested in working for the employer. In the next one or two paragraphs, outline your qualifications and match them to the requirements of the position. Try to make two or three solid points using specific examples from your own employment history. Showcase how you are an asset to the company, rather than explain your own personal employment goals. In the final paragraph, include a positive statement or question that will cause the employer to want to take action. Make this closing paragraph between 2-4 sentences. Direct the employer to the enclosed resume and make your availability known for an interview. It’s very important to finish off by thanking the employer for their time and consideration. Sincerely, Your Name Enclosure 8Cover Letter Sample 1 Joseph Viking 12 Hebron Drive Ellicott City, MD 21042 Date Barbara Smith Project Manager TK Consulting 5 Beethoven Street Baltimore, MD 21231 Dear Ms. Smith: Your ad for an entry-level position caught my attention as I prepare to begin my professional career upon graduation this spring from Elizabethtown College. I say “professional” because I have worked steadily throughout college, gaining valuable experience that equips me to present your company with advantages others may not offer. For example, as a resident assistant for a 250-person coed dorm, I acquired strong leadership and interpersonal skills. I am now able to think quickly in emergency situations and in those requiring quick assessment of many factors in order to make appropriate decisions. Dealing with the diverse concerns of students, parents, and faculty, I have become adept at operating with the proper mix of authority, diplomacy, and tact. While working in this demanding position, I achieved a 3.75 cumulative grade-point average. My double major, communications and political science, provided me with a thorough foundation in principles that affect businesses every day. I would welcome the chance to discuss openings at your firm. If you will contact me at 410.555.1212, we can schedule a meeting. Thank you for your consideration. Joseph Viking Enclosure 9Cover Letter Sample 2 Joseph Viking 12 Hebron Drive Ellicott City, MD 21042 Date Nick Kiendl Director of Operations Stephens, Ltd. 26 Pine Street Baltimore, MD 21230 Dear Mr. Kiendl: As a recent graduate in industrial engineering, I am interested in joining Stephens, Ltd. My interest in your firm was sparked during a series of projects I completed as part of my engineering training. I know you need talented people, so let me tell you why you should consider me for an interview. Pursuit of excellence: I graduated in the top 5 percent of my engineering class. Project experience: Through class assignments and part-time jobs, I demonstrated the ability to be a productive member of technical project teams. Understanding your methods: The same production process you utilize for clients was highlighted in two projects and one research paper I completed for my degree. For more detailed information on my experience and skills, please see my enclosed resume. I would deeply appreciate the opportunity to visit Stephens, Ltd., a firm I have admired for several years. I look forward to hearing from you to schedule a time to meet. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Joseph Viking Enclosure 10PRE-EMPLOYMENT QUESTIONNAIRE APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT PERSONAL INFORMATION Name (Last Name First) Social Security Present Address Apt. City State Zip Permanent Address Apt. City State Zip Home Phone Cell Phone Are you 18 or older? ❐ YES ❐ NO DESIRED EMPLOYMENT Position Desired Date you can start Salary Desired Are you employed now? ❐ YES ❐ NO In so, may we inquire of your present employer? ❐ YES ❐ NO Ever applied to this company before? Where? When? ❐ YES ❐ NO Ever worked for this company before? Where? When? ❐ YES ❐ NO Reason for leaving Name of last supervisor at this company Who referred you to this company? ❐ Employment Agency ❐ Newspaper Advertisement ❐ Friend ❐ Walk-in ❐ State Employment Office ❐ College Placement Service ❐ Other EDUCATION School Level Name and Address of School of Years Attended Date You Graduated Subjects Studied Grammar School High School College GENERAL Subjects of Special Study or Research Work Special Training Special Skills 11FORMER EMPLOYERS LIST BELOW LAST THREE EMPLOYERS, STARTING WITH THE MOST RECENT. Name of Present or Last Employer Address City State Zip Starting Date Leaving Date Job Title Weekly Starting Salary Weekly Final Salary May we contact your supervisor? ❐ YES ❐ NO Name of Supervisor Title Phone Description of Work Reason for Leaving Name of Present or Last Employer Address City State Zip Starting Date Leaving Date Job Title Weekly Starting Salary Weekly Final Salary May we contact your supervisor? ❐ YES ❐ NO Name of Supervisor Title Phone Description of Work Reason for Leaving Name of Present or Last Employer Address City State Zip Starting Date Leaving Date Job Title Weekly Starting Salary Weekly Final Salary May we contact your supervisor? ❐ YES ❐ NO Name of Supervisor Title Phone Description of Work Reason for Leaving 12Tips for Interviewing Eight Fashion Faux Pas 1. Wearing wild nail polish or nails with designs. Opt for neutral color if you must have it. Make sure nails are neat and trimmed. 2. Wearing jewelry that jangles or is distracting. No nose rings, tongue rings, lip piercing, or more than one pair of earrings in your ears. Understated is best. 3. Open toed or run-down shoes or sneakers. Borrow or buy a new pair of dress shoes just for interviews. 4. Short or tight skirts. Hemlines should be appropriate – no more than three inches above the knee; skirts should not reveal too much. 5. Leather jackets, pants or skirts for males or females. They are not conservative enough. 6. Turtlenecks. Men should wear a shirt with a collar and a tie. Women should wear a nice blouse. 7. Colorful or printed handbags or briefcases. Leave the Gucci bags at home. 8. Strong cologne or perfume. Many people are DRESSiNG FoR SUCCESS allergic. It is best not to wear any so that you do not risk offending your interviewer. Do’s for Males • Dress conservatively — a pair of slacks, button down shirt, tie and sports coat or a suit (when necessary) are preferred. Most times, a shirt and tie to P RUl ES FoR iNt ERviEWiNG are adequate. Dress shoes, not sneakers, are best. Do your research. Research the school or company you • Wear clean clothes without wrinkles. are interviewing with — the more you know the better. • Your appearance should be clean and neat. Also, take time to familiarize yourself with the company’s competition. Do’s for Females • Dress conservatively and modestly. A nice dress Be prepared. Bring extra copies of your resume, a pen, skirt and blouse or a pair of slacks and a blouse with a and paper. Know your resume blazer are preferred. Closed-toe shoes are best. Look sharp. Dress appropriately and professionally. • Hemlines should be appropriate – no more than three inches above the knees. Be on time. Never arrive late or too early to an interview. • If you wear pantyhose, neutral colors are preferable: The rule of thumb is to be 10-15 minutes early. If you no fishnets, wild colors or patterns. are on time, you are late The day before the interview, • Limit the amount of jewelry worn. you should make sure you have precise directions to the interview location. • Your appearance should be clean and neat. Turn off your cell phone 13to P RUl ES FoR iNt ERviEWiNG, continued Do YoU Hav E WHat it ta KES? Give a firm handshake. A weak handshake could make Employers want to hire someone who possesses the or break a job offer. following characteristics, abilities, and background: 1. Motivation Show enthusiasm. Even though you may be nervous, try 2. Maturity to be calm and make sure you make direct eye contact 3. Personality with your interviewer. Lean forward to show interest. 4. Hobbies and interests 5. Attitude Be confident. Do not be afraid to make yourself sound 6. Appearance great. You are selling yourself to the interviewer 7. Character 8. Loyalty Listen. Make sure you have heard and understood what 9. Reliability the interviewer is asking you. If you are unsure, ask him/ 10. Tact her to repeat what they said. 11. Decisiveness 12. Ability to communicate Answer the question asked and give specific 13. Common sense examples. There is nothing worse than being 14. Willingness to work vague. Concentrate on giving examples of your 15. Perseverance accomplishments. Accomplishments demonstrate your 16. Alertness potential. 17. Ability to look ahead 18. Prior work experience Choose your words wisely. Never talk negatively about 19. Leadership skills previous work experiences. It can give your prospective 20. Ability to work as a team member employer a bad impression of you. Be prepared to respond to questions with specific Ask questions. Your questions indicate your interest in examples that clearly illustrate these characteristics. the job (or college). Employers appreciate your curiosity and interest. Be yourself. Interviewers want to get to know the type of person they are considering hiring for the job and how they are going to act on a day-to-day basis. Pretending to be someone you are not is going to show through to the interviewer quite noticeably Leave slang, gum, and bad manners at home. Express thanks. At the end of the interview, express thanks and appreciation for the interviewer’s time. Follow up. A personal handwritten thank you card, email, or a letter lets the interviewer know that you are interested. If more than one person interviewed you, write to each person. 14More Tips for Interviewing Tell me about yourself. t RaNSFERaBl E SKill S What are your favorite classes? What are your least It is often difficult to “sell” yourself and respond to “Tell favorite classes? Why? me something about yourself.” A great way to respond is by using transferable skills. Unlike job-related skills What qualifications do you possess to work in this position? (e.g., used a cash register), these skills can be applied in every occupation. Below is a list of transferable skills. Do you enjoy working in a group or independently? Check off 5-8 words that apply to your school activities, volunteer work, and/or current or previous jobs. What are your goals for the next five years? In what school activities have you participated? Which do Budget-minded Coordinate activities you enjoy most? Help people Invent Motivate others Use computers Do you participate in after-school activities? If so, Repair Seek out help describe them. Tutor Volunteer Explain Creative What motivates you? Locate information Delegate Planner Raise money What are your greatest strengths? What are your biggest Speak in public Think ahead challenges? Word processing Write reports What do you think it takes to be successful in your work? Calm Competent Eager Flexible What kind of projects, events, or assignments interest and Goal-oriented Helpful excite you? Organized Polite Reliable Optimistic Give me an example of a time when you had to apply Conscientious Dependable good judgment in a challenging situation. Friendly Kind Initiative Orderly Tell me about your current (or last) job. What are the Punctual Quick-learner reasons you are leaving (or left)? Trustworthy Versatile Why do you want to work for _________? Here is an example of how you identify a skill and then Why do you think you are a good fit for this position? use it in a statement to answer the question, “Can you tell us a little about yourself?” How has your high school experience prepared you for work? Skill: Trustworthy What are the most important rewards you expect in your Statement: I am a trustworthy individual. career/life? Example: I have been baby-sitting for the last four years. Parents are comfortable leaving me for long periods of How do you work under pressure? Please give me an time with their children. I care, play and cook for their example of a time when you had to work under pressure children. and explain how you handled the situation. How do you think a friend or teacher who knows you well CoMMoN iNt ERviEW QUEStio NS would describe you? The following are sample questions that are typically asked What would I see if I went to your Facebook page and how of interviewees. Some questions are designed to get might it influence my decision to hire you? specific details while other questions are designed to get a feel for your personality and character. It is a great idea to decide how you would answer these questions beforehand. 15CoMMoN iNt ERviEW QUEStio NS, continued What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfactions? Why? If you were interviewing a candidate for a position, what qualities do you believe he or she must have in order to be selected? When you have free time, how do you spend it? What is one thing about yourself that you would most like to change? What are your salary requirements? Give me an example of something you had to learn that was difficult. Do you have any questions for me? (Your answer should always be “yes” and followed up with your questions) QUEStio NS YoU CaN aSK DURiNG t HE iNt ERviEW iNt ERviEWER CHECKli St At the end of a job interview, the interviewer may ask, “Do you have any questions?” The interviewer will expect 1. Appearance – overall grooming, dress, posture, you to have intelligent, well-thought-out questions that and appropriateness indicate you have some knowledge of the job for which 2. Sociability – overall warmth and friendliness you are applying. Also, it reveals how well you listened to the interviewer. Do your research and ask appropriate 3. Handshake – firm and confident questions. Here are some examples. 4. Eye contact – ability to look directly at you Would you describe the duties I would be performing? during interview What would be the time frame for filling this position? 5. Composure – overall confidence in responding to questions If hired, who will be my supervisor? 6. Conversation – ability to speak clearly, using How would I be trained or introduced to the job? proper language, grammar, and tone With whom would I be working with and what are their 7. Responses – the questions were answered honestly, duties? seriously, and completely, ability to “sell” him/herself How would my performance be evaluated? Who would with appropriate responses evaluate me and when? 8. Courtesy – ability to show respect and interest Can someone in this position be promoted? If so, to what 9. Job application – neatly written and complete position? 10. Resume – clear, concise, positive, typed, Of your most successful employees, what characteristics technically correct do they possess that helped them to be successful? 11. Interviewer comments: What is the customer service philosophy of your company? What is the best part about working here? 16Sample Thank You Note Send a handwritten thank you note the same day or the day after the interview. (It is not required to send a thank you note for the mock interviews.) If more than one person interviewed you, each person should receive a thank you note. Dear Ms. Lee, Thank you for the opportunity to interview with your company. I enjoyed learning more about your company and appreciate the time you and the members of your team spent with me. After interviewing with you, I am even more excited about the possibility of using my skill sets and experience to further the vision and mission of your organization. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact me at 410.555.1212 or mmastersonhardworker.net. Sincerely, Molly Masterson 17Your Personal Life and Employment DiGital Foot PRiNt A simple Internet search of your name will lead you to your internet identity or digital footprint. Through such a search, you will find information about yourself in various formats such as words, pictures, audio, and/or video. It is critical that on a regular basis you are aware of your digital footprint because it very well could impact your future. Not only do family and friends check out your digital footprint, but potential or current employers, colleges, and police look at this as well. To better protect yourself, consider the following: Carefully choose what you post online. Your digital footprint should portray you in a positive light that you create and control. Before posting information, ask yourself, “If my mom were to see this, am I comfortable with her seeing me in this picture?” or “If my manager at work were to read this, am I comfortable with him knowing SECURit Y Cl EaRaNCE this information about me?” If your answer is no, then do not post it. A security clearance is needed when you apply for a job that entails having access to classified (or private) Postings are permanent and not so private. Anything information. This will be the case if you apply for a you put online can be copied, saved, and shared with position with the Federal government or as an authorized others. Also, despite great efforts to set your privacy Federal contractor. Security clearances are required for a settings on social networking sites, there are ways to range of jobs, from upper management to custodial staff. break through these settings. Again, be selective in what You may never think or plan on working for the Federal you post and check and update your privacy settings government, but fifteen years down the road, you may frequently. find yourself applying for such a position. The decisions you make now will definitely impact how you are viewed Monitor, monitor, monitor. You may have control over by employers in the future. what you put online about yourself, but you do not have Depending on the level of clearance, the following may be control over what others post about you. For this reason, it investigated: is important to do frequent online searches of your name. By doing so, you will stay updated on what information Credit check. Stay on top of your finances. You will need has been posted about you. to have a good credit score in order to pass the clearance. Late payments, having a high income to debt ratio, Ask for help. If you find damaging information about applying for too many lines of credit, and defaulting on yourself online, seek out help. A trusted adult, the web loans all contribute to a low credit score. service provider, and/or the social networking site can Background check. Agents will contact employers, all assist you in trying to have the hurtful information coworkers and even neighbors to inquire about you. They removed. will also look into your education, organizations you are a part of or have belonged to, and where you have lived. Do not risk losing a job (or potential job), getting in trouble with your college, or breaking up a friendship. Take the Polygraph. You may be required to take a polygraph appropriate steps in protecting yourself—be aware of your test. An agent will ask you a series of questions in which digital footprint. you have to answer. The agent monitors a machine that indicates whether or not you are telling the truth. To better your chances of getting a security clearance, do not burn bridges when you leave a company. Be in good standing when you leave your college or places that you live, maintain a good credit score, and most importantly do not get in trouble with the law. 18