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ResumeEdge http://www.resumeedge.com Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:26:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 An Insider Guide to Resume Writing- 5 Success Secrets http://www.resumeedge.com/insider-guide-resume-writing-5-success-secrets/ http://www.resumeedge.com/insider-guide-resume-writing-5-success-secrets/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:45:26 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4840 The accepted resume format that job seekers have been told to use for decades actually does very little to help most candidates. This old school format that is familiar to most job seekers looks like this: Contact Information Objective Work history Education Professional affiliations or other information. What many candidates don’t realize is that this...

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The accepted resume format that job seekers have been told to use for decades actually does very little to help most candidates.

This old school format that is familiar to most job seekers looks like this:

Contact Information Objective Work history Education Professional affiliations or other information. What many candidates don’t realize is that this old school format doesn’t just make hiring managers and recruiters yawn; it also fails to convey the important information that companies really look for.

Here are five tips to optimizing your resume for today’s challenging job market:

1) Include a Header

Use the space under your contact information for a header. This is the billboard space on the resume and is a candidate’s best opportunity to brand themselves. The header is where you label yourself as a “Retail Manager” and below you can add a few key phrases. The hiring manager reads this part first and it effects how they see the rest of the resume. A “Retail Manager” may want to add phrases like “Big Box Electronics” or “Multi-Store Management” under their main header as subheadings.

2) Use a Summary, Not an Objective Statement

Objective statements are a thing of the past. One recruiter reveals that “putting an objective on your resume will do more damage than good as it immediately does one of two things in the eyes of a recruiter such as myself: It either: a) makes us mad or b) puts us to sleep.” Use a summary section instead to highlight the items in your background that make you a candidate they should hire. Make sure to consider what your LinkedIn profile says about you and that it matches up against your resume.

3) Avoid Symbols & Graphics

Applicant tracking systems (that human resources departments and staffing/recruiting firms utilize) often do not know how to read and process symbols and graphics. Avoid them. Applicant tracking systems are another reason to use a header and subheadings.

4) Don’t Over-share

As a general rule, there is no need to go back more than 10 years in your work history unless that would leave out something of key importance, and, in that case, an alternative format (such as a functional resume) might be a better choice. IT candidates and consultants are among the categories of job seekers that may want to consider a functional resume format.

5) Pick the Right Resume Format

Although a reverse chronological format gives little opportunity to make a case for your candidacy it is what most readers of resumes will expect to see. A way to improve on the format is to add a summary section and a bulleted list of key competencies or specialties. The reverse chronological format is most effective for job seekers with stable work histories. The format can be very effective in highlighting impressive recent employers and /or job titles.

Candidates with employment history gaps or who have had too many positions that do not demonstrate consistent growth in a given field may also want to consider a hybrid format or a functional resume format.

A Last Word

A resume works best when it paints a picture of accomplishments and successes rather than details the duties and responsibilities a candidate has had. If a resume tells a story in which the candidate is presented as an impact player than it is a successful resume that will win interviews.

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How to Handle Job Interview Rejection http://www.resumeedge.com/handle-job-interview-rejection/ http://www.resumeedge.com/handle-job-interview-rejection/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:40:01 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4829 The worst part of the job search is obviously the rejection. Nothing hurts more than investing your time and energy into a interview and feeling really positive about it, only to receive the dreaded rejection letter or maybe you don’t hear anything at all.  How do you overcome this? Here are some tips to help you...

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The worst part of the job search is obviously the rejection. Nothing hurts more than investing your time and energy into a interview and feeling really positive about it, only to receive the dreaded rejection letter or maybe you don’t hear anything at all.  How do you overcome this? Here are some tips to help you make it through the worst part of the interview process.

Keep applying: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Just because you think you have found the right fit and you are 100% positive that you will get the job offer, nothing hurts worse than being rejected and not having any other options to fall back on. Even if you receive an offer, you can always keep interviewing and make sure you have weighed all your options.

Don’t give up: It’s so important to keep going and never give up! I see people begin to feel like they have no worth. They don’t understand why they keep getting rejected, as they have appeared more qualified than the people who won the job. If that’s the case, it might be time to meet with an interview coach and make sure that’s not the reason you’re missing out. Remain positive and know that you’re opportunity will come.

Remain active: The best thing you can do is remain active by working out and eating healthy. If you start giving up hope on the job search, you can start giving up hope on other aspects of your life, too. Try walking or running to keep yourself motivated. I don’t know about you, but if I’m feeling down on my luck and I take a walk on a gorgeous day and listen to a little Katy Perry (Roar) I feel like I can conquer the world!

The key is to never give up hope, remain positive and take all of the rejection letters and fuel that into your fire and win the job. Your time will come and you will get the offer; just don’t give up and network, network—it’s so very important!

 

 

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Five Resume Tips for Baby Boomers http://www.resumeedge.com/five-resume-tips-baby-boomers/ http://www.resumeedge.com/five-resume-tips-baby-boomers/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 16:18:49 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4822 The job market has changed, and there are a few special strategies that might help baby boomers in this new market. The youngest of the 78 million baby boomers are now over 50 years old. The first boomers turned 65 in 2011 and many millions more will continue to work for decades. Preconceptions about boomers’...

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The job market has changed, and there are a few special strategies that might help baby boomers in this new market.

The youngest of the 78 million baby boomers are now over 50 years old. The first boomers turned 65 in 2011 and many millions more will continue to work for decades.

Preconceptions about boomers’ limited knowledge and comfort with social and digital media are a reality that many candidates need to be prepared to dispel.

These are just a few of the obstacles baby boomers must overcome which can be attacked proactively with a well-written resume.

1) Unless you are a C-level candidate or in a specialized position (attorney, accountant) it is a best practice to limit the career history you include on your resume to 10 or 15 years. That’s not to say that your resume needs to be one page; two page resumes are absolutely acceptable for experienced professionals.

2) If you retired early and now want to return to work, consider using a term such as “personal sabbatical” to cover the time you were retired and detail your travel, volunteer work, and independent study.

3) Double check that you have included on your resume the training programs and/or classes you’ve taken that will highlight that you’ve kept your skills and technical knowledge current.

4) Avoid outdated expressions, clichés and overblown language in your resume and cover letter. Likewise, remove any obsolete technology skills you’ve listed or any outdated industry or occupational terms. Review your resume against multiple job postings in your industry and make certain what the current terms now being used are. Leave out the “References available upon request” line, as it is no longer necessary.

5) Make sure you are using a current resume format. For instance, resumes that are all in one size font and contain underlined or bolded sections may look like they were written by an older candidate that does not have solid MS Word skills.

A final tip: Be sure to review what your LinkedIn profile says about you and that it matches up against your resume. Recruiters and hiring managers will analyze your LinkedIn information and you do not want anything to conflict. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, build one before you start your next job search.

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Great Advice From Recruiters to Help you in the Job Interview http://www.resumeedge.com/great-advice-recruiters-help-job-interview/ http://www.resumeedge.com/great-advice-recruiters-help-job-interview/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:46:07 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4817 I recently met with a group of recruiters to discuss recruitment trends, plus things that can turn a recruiter off a candidate and what really stands out. These are their dislikes and likes, so make sure to take note, so you don’t make a costly mistake. Did you receive my application? You applied to the...

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I recently met with a group of recruiters to discuss recruitment trends, plus things that can turn a recruiter off a candidate and what really stands out. These are their dislikes and likes, so make sure to take note, so you don’t make a costly mistake.

  1. Did you receive my application?

You applied to the position but haven’t heard anything from the recruiter. Do you call them? When? These recruiters almost all agreed you should give it at least a week before sending an email. Give them time to go through the applicants before inquiring about your application. They all prefer email as oftentimes they are working on so many positions they aren’t always prepare to give an answer when someone calls. Email gives them a chance to do the research and not feel as pressured.

  1. Be prepared

Many of the recruiters say they want every candidate to bring a pen and paper to the interview and take notes. A few recruiters said if the candidate doesn’t bring anything to take notes with they wouldn’t move them to the next step.

  1. Ask questions

Recruiters agree that candidates should ask questions and make sure they are good questions. They like when candidates ask about the growth and numbers of the organization, which shows that the candidate is truly interested.

  1. Do research and I don’t just mean online

The recruiters said that anyone can research the company online but suggest that you go beyond that and talk to employees. Find out what it’s like to work there—network and ask questions!

  1. Sometimes it is what you know

Don’t feel that just because you’re friends with someone at the organization you’re getting the job. Often, candidates come in overly confident because they have friends or family working there. They said that’s a turn off and often times the candidate doesn’t have the experience needed, so they aren’t getting the job – no matter who you know.

Everyone agreed that you can never be too prepared. On the day of your interview, if you feel like you studied up way too much, you’ll do just fine. Don’t be too pushy, ask great questions and take notes in the interview and this will leave a great impression.

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Resume Formats—Which to Use? http://www.resumeedge.com/resume-formats-use/ http://www.resumeedge.com/resume-formats-use/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:54:29 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4810 It’s time to put together your resume. You’ve reviewed your work history, assessed your skills, abilities, and strengths, and compiled examples of your quantified accomplishments. The next question is, “what format do I use?” While each person is unique and should have a resume tailored to their needs, there are three general formats that are...

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It’s time to put together your resume. You’ve reviewed your work history, assessed your skills, abilities, and strengths, and compiled examples of your quantified accomplishments. The next question is, “what format do I use?”

While each person is unique and should have a resume tailored to their needs, there are three general formats that are commonly used.

The Reverse Chronological Resume

This format presents your work history from the present, then works backward. This is the most appropriate choice for most applicants. In addition, this is the format that most hiring managers and recruiters expect to see. The benefits are obvious: it’s logical in its presentation, and allows the reader to quickly scan your history. This works well for job seekers with a consistent work history in the same career field.

The Functional Resume

The functional resume allows you to present your work history by skill area, such as sales, administration, technical expertise, or consulting engagements. The functional areas should be chosen based on both your skills and qualifications, and the requirements listed in the job announcement. The bullets should be written in the same manner as a chronological format, with the action taken for a particular challenge, task, or project, and the quantified results. This format works well if you are making a major career change or if your skills were gained through a non-traditional work history. However, most interviewers will want to know when a particular skill was gained and used, so be prepared to answer those questions and provide a chronology.

The Combination Resume

Finally, the third commonly used format is the combination resume. Just as the name implies, this format combines the best of the chronological and functional formats. For example, you could compile your work history in reverse chronological order and use functional sub-headings within each job entry. However, this type of resume format should be tightly focused on the skills required in the job announcement or the document could easily become too long and unwieldy.

Focus first on the needs of the employer when you develop your bullets. Solidly written, quantified information that demonstrates how you can meet the employer’s talent gap will be more compelling than a beautifully formatted document filled with fluff. The format which is best for you and your situation will then be more obvious. If you need more help, contact a Certified Professional Resume Writer to guide you through the resume writing process.

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The Key Components of Your Resume http://www.resumeedge.com/key-components-resume/ http://www.resumeedge.com/key-components-resume/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:13:36 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4804 Whether you’ve been out in the workforce for many years or you’re a recent graduate, everyone’s resume should include these following key components. Lacking these may be why you’re not getting call in for the interview. Contact information: It sounds basic, but it’s very important to have your name and contact information visible on each...

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Whether you’ve been out in the workforce for many years or you’re a recent graduate, everyone’s resume should include these following key components. Lacking these may be why you’re not getting call in for the interview.

Contact information: It sounds basic, but it’s very important to have your name and contact information visible on each page of your resume.

  • Make sure to include your phone number with area code. Your voice message should be professional, without any ring backs or other novelties.
  • Provide your mailing address with zip code.
  • List your email address, and ensure that it’s professional, just first and last name, or a variation thereof.
  • Include a link to your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s up to date.

Eye-catching summary statement: Your summary should make the reader want to keep reading. Often, the candidate writes a poor summary that tells the employer what they want from them. However, it should be about what the candidate can achieve for the employer.

Work experience: This includes

  • Positions held;
  • Name and location of the company;
  • Dates of employment (in years, not months)
  • And job responsibilities and skills.

Use the right skills: Read the job description and emphasis your skills and accomplishments with the desired skills of the position. How did you use the skills to improve the bottom line or increase profits? Use verbs and number to highlight these accomplishments. For example, “saved the company $150,000 by improving the bottom line.”

Keywords: It’s very important to match the keywords in your resume with the keywords from the job description. This ensures you don’t get rejected by the applicant tracking system for not having the right keywords.

Education section: The education section should be near or at the bottom of your resume, unless you’re a recent grad and this is your main qualification. The education section should include post-secondary school, with name and location, degree obtained and major.  Make sure to list the most recent education first.  Also make note to list any certificates or awards obtained or any professional development courses attended.

All of these components are so important, along with the obvious of your resume being free of spelling and grammar errors and having the right format. You should also have a great cover letter, which is sort of the wrapping on the gift and the recruiter can’t wait to tear open and see what’s inside. If you need help crafting one or both, there are resume writers to help you every step of the way.

 

 

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Winning at Behavior-Based Interviewing http://www.resumeedge.com/winning-behavior-based-interviewing/ http://www.resumeedge.com/winning-behavior-based-interviewing/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:21:13 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4796 Many human resources professionals and staffing/recruiting firms have come to rely on the Behavior Based Interviewing (BBI) method as an important tool to discover exceptional candidates: those candidates who will hit the ground running, have continuous success, and stay with the employer long-term. Often, frontline managers BBI questions without ever even having heard the term....

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Many human resources professionals and staffing/recruiting firms have come to rely on the Behavior Based Interviewing (BBI) method as an important tool to discover exceptional candidates: those candidates who will hit the ground running, have continuous success, and stay with the employer long-term.

Often, frontline managers BBI questions without ever even having heard the term. One very large staffing/recruiting firm, Robert Half International, makes it a point to educate their clients in how to best ask BBI questions.

“There is a seemingly endless variety of job interview questions,” the article explains. “With behavioral interview questions, candidates are asked to relate past on-the-job experiences to situations they are likely to encounter in the position being discussed.”

Defining BBI

BBI can be defined as using types of questions specifically designed to expose characteristics about a candidate that an employer sees as important. BBI questions are meant to produce a response that demonstrates a candidate’s positive or negative behavior in certain situations. Put another way: past performance is a good indicator of future success.

Some typical BBI questions that Robert Half includes in their article are:

“Can you describe how you handle tight deadlines on the job?”

“Can you give me an illustration of how you improved productivity at your last job?”

The Co-operative Education & Career Services Department at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada explains “(q)uestions that start with ‘tell me about a time when…’ are popular because they show how you’ve handled difficult situations in the past—which is a good indicator of how you will deal with similar situations in the future.”

Preparing for the Behavior Based Interview

Preparation for BBI is an ongoing process. A good practice is to keep track of your success stories throughout the year. In addition to making prepping for behavioral interview questions easier, it will help with updating your resume. Plus, you’ll find these to be valuable when you have your annual review with your supervisor.

The career experts at Guelph suggest using the STAR Approach when faced with BBI questions.

STAR stands for:

Situation (or)

Task

Action (you took)

Results (you achieved)

The advice that Guelph gives includes the following steps:

  • Understand what skill the interviewer is looking to learn more about
  • Have a story prepared that illustrates your success
  • Describe the situation and the task
  • Explain the actions you took that illustrate the skill you have been questioned about
  • Finally, relate the results and summarize the relevance

 

Keep these tips in mind for behavioral interviews, and you’ll be more than prepared!

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Why Didn’t I Land an Interview? http://www.resumeedge.com/didnt-land-interview/ http://www.resumeedge.com/didnt-land-interview/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:59:37 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4785 You’ve found your dream job! You submitted your cover letter and resume as requested, but didn’t receive an interview. So what are you doing wrong? Here are some reasons as to why you might not make the cut. A resume that doesn’t fit the bill—Let’s face the fact that we’re not all professional writers, and...

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You’ve found your dream job! You submitted your cover letter and resume as requested, but didn’t receive an interview. So what are you doing wrong? Here are some reasons as to why you might not make the cut.

A resume that doesn’t fit the bill—Let’s face the fact that we’re not all professional writers, and often times people just slap together a resume.  A resume needs to be properly formatted, be free of spelling and grammatical errors, and should have the job description keywords to make it past the applicant tracking system.  It’s a great idea to hire a professional resume writer to ensure that’s not the reason you’re not getting the interview.

If it’s not there, how will they know— I know I was qualified to do this job! Why didn’t they call me for an interview? Did you list everything on your resume? If you don’t list it as a skill, how will they know? Make sure to list all of your qualifications. Recruiters aren’t mind readers, so make sure to show it!

Social media—In this day and age, a recruiter receives a resume and the next thing they do is search the candidate on LinkedIn. If your resume and LinkedIn profile show two different things this can be a red flag. It’s best not to lie and make sure both are showcasing your experience in a truthful way.

You’re not as qualified as you think you are—You hired a resume writer and also had them do your LinkedIn profile for you, but you still haven’t received an interview. A professional resume writer can only do so much and you might not be the most qualified for the job. The recruiter doesn’t have time to reach out to everyone. Emailing the recruiter and let them know of your interest, and ask them to let you know if they have anything coming down the pike. They want to fill positions and have a pool of candidates before a position is open is a great thing for recruiters.

There are a lot more people than jobs, so the best thing to do is have a professional resume ready to go at all times and do a lot of networking, so the recruiter informs you when they have a position ready to be posted, so you don’t get left in the cold.

 

 

 

 

 

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Creative Resumes — Are they a do or a don’t? http://www.resumeedge.com/creative-resumes-dont/ http://www.resumeedge.com/creative-resumes-dont/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:52:48 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4776 For many job seekers looking for careers in media, the arts, and various segments of the entertainment industry, an important aspect of their job search is demonstrating creativity and creative resumes could be the right choice. From time to time, however, job seekers in more traditional roles also want to infuse a little of their...

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For many job seekers looking for careers in media, the arts, and various segments of the entertainment industry, an important aspect of their job search is demonstrating creativity and creative resumes could be the right choice. From time to time, however, job seekers in more traditional roles also want to infuse a little of their own personality into their resume. So how creative should you be?

While it’s true that nearly all resumes contain common elements such as your name, contact information, work history, and education, the main purpose of it is to demonstrate your unique qualifications through skills, training, and quantified results and accomplishments. Therefore, your resume should be tailored to you and, preferably, to your targeted employer. Content is the most important aspect of your resume. Without compelling, quantified information, the reader will not invest more than a cursory glance before moving to the next candidate.

After content, the layout is the next most important aspect. When deciding how creative to make your resume, consider your audience. Take the time to research not only the industry, but how your targeted organization fits within that industry. Obviously if you are applying to be an art teacher at a local school your resume will look different than the candidate applying at a bank. On the other hand, that does not mean that my client with an outgoing personality, who loves working with people, needs to be constrained with a “boring” resume if he is applying for a banking position. Perhaps that bank is local or regional and its main selling point is how it takes care of its customers. My client would be wise to let his personality show through not only in the wording he chooses, but also in the design elements.

When in doubt, take the time to talk with your Certified Professional Resume Writer to determine how to balance quantified content with appropriate design elements to make the resume work best for you.

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Why You May Not Be as Ready for Your Interview as You Think http://www.resumeedge.com/may-ready-interview-think/ http://www.resumeedge.com/may-ready-interview-think/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:44:34 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4774 Most people get apprehensive about interviews, whether they’re for an academic program or for a job. It is the part of the process over which you have the least amount of control — but that doesn’t mean you’re out of control. Follow these four tips to put your best foot forward in your next interview....

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Most people get apprehensive about interviews, whether they’re for an academic program or for a job. It is the part of the process over which you have the least amount of control — but that doesn’t mean you’re out of control. Follow these four tips to put your best foot forward in your next interview.

1. Just because your resume is awesome doesn’t mean that you can piece it together into a cohesive and intelligent response.

Resumes, by their nature, break things down into the smallest digestible parts. It can be frustrating that, now that you’ve taken the time to divide everything up into bullet points, you’ll need to piece it back together for the interview. However, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do. What was the meaning of each bullet point? What was the bigger picture for each project? How does it all fit together? The interviewer will want a three-dimensional and multifaceted view of you as a professional and as an individual.

2. Your speech is probably not as smooth as you imagine.

You know that you’re a smooth talker. You think you’ve “got it” because you’ve gone over it so many times with your friends and colleagues. However, those are situations where you have more control than you will during the interview. Do a bunch of “ums” and “ahs” find their way into your speech when you’re under pressure?

Also, there are some minor gender differences when speaking under pressure. Women have more of a tendency to use the High Rising Terminal, making their responses sound like questions. Men have more of a tendency to laugh (read: giggle) and say “I don’t know” for no reason in the middle of a sentence. Feedback can help you minimize these nervous tics during the interview.

3. You might have the basics, but do you have the follow-ups?

Books and articles can give you all of the basic questions asked in interviews, and honestly there is a lot of consistency in interview questions. Every academic program and every company will want to know about your basic background and qualifications. In that way, advance research can certainly be helpful.

But the books don’t know you as an individual. They can’t assess your specific background and then provide the inevitable follow-up questions that your interviewer will have for you. If you seem flustered or lost during the follow-up questions, this can be a real red flag for the interviewer and cause them to wonder if your original answer was a real and spontaneous response to their question.

4. Can you stay cool regardless of what your interviewer does?

Your interviewer asks you a question that you’ve practiced. In your mind, you think, “Yes! I’ve got this one.” However, two sentences into your response, the interviewer interrupts you to ask a follow-up question. Are you ready? Can you answer the question while also controlling the conversation to bring the natural flow of the interaction back to the original question? Or has the interviewer completely thrown you off? During your interview, the interviewer might take a call in the middle of one of your responses, continually ask questions and write notes while never looking you in the eye, type into a laptop, or just generally be distracted the entire time.

That’s not the typical case; the interviewer has scheduled time for you and will generally devote that time to you. Even so, you need to practice in order to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and be able to keep your focus and emotional cool regardless of the interviewer’s behavior.

Have you ever been taken off guard in an interview? Share the questions that you found most challenging in the comments.

About the Author
Ryan Hickey is the Managing Editor of Peterson’s & EssayEdge and is an expert in many aspects of college, graduate, and professional admissions. A graduate of Yale University, Ryan has worked in various admissions capacities for nearly a decade, including writing test-prep material for the SAT, AP exams, and TOEFL, editing essays and personal statements, and consulting directly with applicants.

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