Okay....I am hopefully going to provide a "little" assistance. I am an Admin Assistant and I review resumes and do conduct interviews and sit in and listen to my Manager conduct interviews.
I am appalled at the questions some of you have said were asked of you. It is illegal to question anyone on their sexuality, religious beliefs, marital state etc.....maybe some companies get away with this because no complaints have been made. These questions are directed at your personal life and that, is "personal".
Regarding resumes: keep it short and sweet. If you can complete your resume on 1-2 sheets, it is much more appreciated than a 10 page resume. At the bottom, state that references are available upon request and provide them if necessary. Some people attach certificates, letters of reference etc....It all just becomes too much at one point and your resume can be put aside because of the fact that it does not get straight to the point.
You can begin your resume with:
Highlights and qualifications: (use this paragraphe to describe exactly what your strong points are and your skills) You can use bullet form for this.
I for one, will look to see about the education/skills next. We need employees who at least have "Computer knowledge" and this becomes a plus for the applicant. I am not too fussy on hiring people with years and years of experience as I feel that someone coming in off the street looking for "that one chance" to prove their abilities becomes a number one employee for us. I mean, how can someone have experience if a company does not give them a chance to aquire experience? We do have employees with many years experience also who are top notch employees. I think it's wise to have a balance of both.
For the interview part: a firm handshake really gets the interview off to a good start. I know that some people are really shy and feel awkward in interviews therefore I tend to try to look past the giggles and funny comments because, I, for one have always had a hard time being interviewed. I am terribly shy when it comes to meeting new people and if it has anything to do with a job, I am almost physically ill just knowing I have to be interviewed in the first place. I love when an interviewee has questions for me! It kind of becomes a reversed role. So, be prepared with questions. Try not to start off with the "How much does it pay?". Ask questions like: is there job security here? What are the chances of advancing in the company should there be job postings? Ask about employee equity. And your final question should be the salary. If it does not meet your expectations, ask about how the raises come into effect. Sometimes companies review the salaries after a 3 month trial period. Maybe it would be worth starting lower in the beginning to end up, a few months later, with a better salary. By the time you get to the salary question, you've probably got the interviewers attention by then because of your interest. Also......don't oversell yourself. That is so obvious and people do not fare well when they do this.
I guess I am biased here because years ago, I was given "that one chance" and allowed to learn as I worked. I had no previous office work experience. I had waitressed for years and employers tend to overlook that part. It has paid off for me now but....I started at the bottom of the ladder and was willing to prove I would be a valuable employee.
Last but not least: Keep faxing or dropping your resume off to the same company on a regular basis. (because there is nothing one week, doesn't mean a position won't open up the next). Send it weekly if you have to. It might drive us nuts at times but boy does it get the attention that you want it to. I can name off people that have done that here. And yes....we hired them!!!!
I hope everyone does well in their job hunting. Keep us posted!!!!