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March 2014

What NOT to Do in an Interview

For many job-seekers, the most stressful part of the hiring process is the interview. Knowing that your future career can depend on 30 minutes of questioning can certainly be nerve-wracking! To increase your confidence, try focusing on the things you know you can control. A big part of this is being able to identify distracting behaviors that could even result in you not getting the job. Obsessive pen-clickers, read on…

Here is a list of 4 things NOT to do in an interview:

1.       Arriving underdressed – interview attire is important and is an immediate impression on the interviewer. If you aren’t dressed appropriately, it can be a distraction and even can be detrimental. The rule of thumb is it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Business professional (see past blogs “Men’s Professional Attire and Women’s Professional Attire) is almost always appropriate. If the company expects different … 

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Common Greeting Etiquette Mistakes

How you greet someone professionally is one of the most important parts of your job search. Most people know what constitutes good manners in their culture, and very few people deliberately set out to be rude. And while in my position at the front desk of Engineering Career Services I rarely see anyone with overtly bad manners, I do see many opportunities to have better manners. It’s not enough to KNOW what the right thing to do is, you must then DO it.

Many of the slip-ups that I see come from the same source—nervousness. When your adrenaline is high for an interview or any kind of meeting, you can sometimes forget the niceties that will make the best first impression possible. The key to overcoming this is, of course, practice. Practice your professional greetings until they are second nature. Trust me, with a few minor polishes, you can stand … 

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How ATS impacts your job search

With a competitive job market on our hands, it’s important to be aware of all aspects of the job search process, and how to put your best foot forward. With this being said, the Wall Street Journal recently found that about 90% of all Fortune 500 companies are now using something called “Applicant Tracking Software”.  ATS screens, parses, scores and ranks uploaded resumes by matching job requirements to resumes that document matching skills and experience. The systems used are typically programmed to scan for keywords, previous employers, experience, and schools the candidate has attended.

The following are some “dos” and “don’ts” to ensure your resume is compatible with Applicant Tracking Software:


  • Read the job description and include keywords within the job (keywords refer to skills or attributes preferred for the position, for example, “MATLAB” or “Leadership”)
  • Use ECS templates (which are preformatted to be ATS friendly; can be found … 
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