Search online or in any library or bookstore and you’ll find plenty of advice on how to craft a perfect résumé and ace that initial interview. To help students cut through the clutter, Passard Dean, CMA, CSCA, professor of accounting and finance at Saint Leo University, is offering his expert insights to help students make a good impression and take the job search process to the next level.

Professor Dean will host a special student edition of back-to-back Faculty Friday webinars this fall (see related story in this issue). Here’s a sneak peek at some advice he has to share:

On résumé writing:

  • A résumé doesn’t get you the job, it gets you an interview: The ultimate goal of your résumé is to capture someone’s attention and make the person reviewing it want to learn more about you. 
  • Make sure you know your objective: It’s important that you clearly define the purpose of your résumé and how that fits with the exact job you’re looking for. This may also mean you need to write different résumés for every single job you apply for. 
  • Use precise words and action words: Read the job description of the position you’re applying for and make sure you include the exact words that are included there – no synonyms, no alternatives. You also want to use action verbs.
  • Lead with your strengths. You don’t have to list your experience in chronological order. If you have experience in a "hot topic," lead with that. Worked with data analytics? By all means, that’s the first thing that you should mention.  
  • Students have experience, too: Even if you’ve never held down a full-time job, look at your experience as a student and see how it can apply to a job situation. Captain of a team or president of your IMA student chapter? Those are great examples of leadership.

On interviewing:

  • Do your homework: Make sure you go into the interview knowing the company very well: their competitors, their product lines and geographic reach, and their financials over the past few years.
  • Be ready to ask astute questions: If you’ve done your homework, you’ll also be prepared to ask questions that demonstrate you know the company. Don’t forget to research current events as well – you can ask some great questions about things you have read about in the news.
  • Completely answer every question you’re asked: Be direct and not coy. Even if the question requires you to describe something that was a negative experience, talk about what you learned.
  • Ask the two most important questions: These questions are: "What do you see as the greatest challenge for this position?" and "What qualities are the most important to be successful in this position?"

For more information on Dean’s upcoming Faculty Friday webinars on October 18, please visit this link.