Employers are looking for information about you as a potential employee. This information includes the following:
- Skills (responsibility, adaptability, continuous learning, problem solving, communication, organization, customer service, and technical)
- Related interests
The chronological work history is the most common format of a resume. Be sure to include dates worked at each organization, and highlight your primary responsibilities. Some candidates also include some significant successes that were achieved while in a position (for instance, a salesperson could include information on their sales per hour over target). Be sure to include any of your job responsibilities that relate to the position for which you’re applying.
- If you are applying for your first job, include any volunteer work you have done in the past – just because it wasn’t paid employment doesn’t mean that you don’t have the skills an employer is looking for. Similarly, if you’ve worked as a babysitter, been a referee for team sports, a hall monitor at school or mowed the neighbourhood lawns, include this information.
- Personalize your resume with a line that includes some of your interests or hobbies – this can create an opening for your interviewer to ask you some questions about yourself. For instance, do you like to read, travel or play sports?
- For help preparing a resume: Register as an Employee on our Job Board, once your account has been created you will be able to log in to your account and use our online resume builder.
Cover Letter Tips
- It is recommended that you include a cover letter, especially if the position has been posted in the newspaper or a jobbank. It is not necessary to include a cover letter if you are distributing your resume at a job fair, unless you want to include a generic letter for all potential employers.
- Cover letter should be no more than one page – preferably bullet points or three to four short paragraphs.
- Cover letter should reference skills or qualifications from the job posting or advertisement – connect the dots on how you match the needs of the position.
You should include the following:
- The date
- Address the letter to a specific person, if possible
- Keep information brief, but specific
- State the job or position that you are applying for and why you are applying
- Explain why you want to work for that company
- List your education, experience, training, and skills – use bullet points
- Describe what you have to offer the company
- Indicate how you can be contacted
- Include a closing statement e.g. Thank you for your consideration.
- Sign your letter
- Deliver letter with resume
- Preparation is key. Everyone is bound to feel a little nervous before an interview. If you take time to prepare beforehand, though, you will be more successful in calming yourself down and focusing on what you want to achieve in the interview.
- Be on time – it is a basic expectation and demonstrates respect for your interviewer. You will be expected to arrive at work on time, so don’t be late for the interview.
- Dress to impress. You may know that employees wear a uniform, or that there is a casual dress code where you have applied to work, but interviewers always appreciate it when you go the extra mile. Put on a suit or dress pants, and wear a collared shirt. The interview is a formal process, and you should be respectful of that by dressing for the occasion. You get one chance for that critical first impression.
- Shake your interviewer’s hand and look him/her in the eye. Interviewers have reported interpreting a limp handshake or failure to make eye contact as a lack of confidence, and sometimes as a lack of honesty.
- Always thank the interviewer for his/her time. If the information isn’t volunteered, you may ask for details about the next steps in the interview process.
Possible Interview Questions
- What do you know about our organization?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What job experience do you have in this area?
- What achievement are you most proud of in your last job?
- Tell me about a conflict you ran into in this job and how you resolved it.
- What are your interests or hobbies?
- What are your long term career goals?
- So, why should we hire you for this job?
- What kind of salary are you looking for?
- What kind of hours are you looking for?
- Do you have questions for me?
In most interviews, the interviewer will eventually ask you if you have any questions for him or her. If they don’t ask you, tell them you have some questions you’d like to ask them. A list of your own questions will show the interviewer you are serious, and it will give you valuable information you may need in choosing a job. Here are some questions you could ask:
- What opportunities for advancement do I have?
- What are the challenging aspects of the job?
- Are there formal performance evaluations?
- Do you promote from within?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
Asking about pay or benefits at your first interview is a bit tricky. This is obviously important and needs to be discussed but you do not want to leave the impression that this is all that you are interested in. If the company has more than one interview with candidates they are interested in then it’s best to leave this question for the second interview. If this is the only interview before a decision is made, you still may want to leave this discussion until after a job offer has been made. However, if you do raise this question during your interview, it should be the last, not first, question you ask.
Job Fairs are one of the best ways to obtain a position within the tourism industry – they are similar to a mini interview – here are some tips/hints on how to be successful at networking!
How to Prepare for a Job Fair
- Be prepared to discuss what you like doing, what you’re looking for in a job, what your most relevant skills are, but keep it on a professional level, not personal.
- Be assertive and show initiative – shake hands and introduce yourself to recruiters when you meet them (this is a necessary part of the job fair and is not to be confused with being bold).
- Network – while you are waiting in line or at a refreshment table, talk to others.
- Be enthusiastic and interested in what the employer is discussing with you.
- Try to keep putting yourself out there as opposed to sitting down to chat with old friends.
- Stay fresh. If you start feeling tired, go outside for fresh air or get a glass of water.
- Use breath spray or mints, especially if you are a smoker. If at all possible, spend some time in the fresh air after your last cigarette before going indoors.
- Indulge your curiosity – talk to companies you normally may not have thought of.
- Have a good question for every interview/meeting. It can be the same question all day
long, if you want to compare employers.
- Keep a journal of employers that you have spoken to and their names. This will help you remember who to follow up with after the job fair.
- Keep a positive attitude and concentrate on the benefits of the experience.
- If you are interested in a job, FOLLOW UP with that employer after the fair. This may feel uncomfortable, but if you don’t follow up with a phone call or request a meeting you will be forgotten.
Remember that success at a job fair is not necessarily landing a job, but it is taking advantage of a great opportunity to network and find out what you want to pursue. For current job postings in tourism on PEI, check Employment Opportunities at www.choosetourism.ca.