Melodie Power The Résumé and Interview Coach

Top 10 Résumé Tips

  • 1 Before you begin the résumé process, examine the career direction you want to pursue. Reflect on your experiences, evaluate your strengths, and explore the type of positions you are best suited. This is the first step in creating a career-advancing résumé.
  • 2 You have about 15 seconds to grab attention of the reader, so the top section of your résumé must be inviting while positioning you with distinction. Hard skills should outweigh soft skills, and power words will keep the reader engaged, wanting to know more about you.
  • 3 It is a misconception that your résumé be limited to one page, unless you are an early workforce professional. As you progress in your career, your résumé should capture your major contributions and highlights which often support a two-page resume. If you are an executive, have publications, post-secondary teaching, research work, or key note speaking engagements, you might transition to a curriculum vitae (CV) which may be expanded to three pages or more.
  • 4 Write in human voice without using the word “I”. “I” can be implied such as: “Demonstrated change agent leadership under organizational restructuring. Wrote operating procedures, conducted team training, and created recognition program based on metric achievement.”
  • 5 Go beyond your tasks and responsibilities. Measurable results and contributions are essential within your resume, but avoid tables, graphs, and text boxes since these are not easily read by applicant tracking systems (ATS). Do incorporate difference-making and quantitative accomplishments within the content of the résumé itself.
  • 6 Wordsmithery is the art of bringing words together to make something magical. Writing an attention-grabbing résumé requires some form of this skill, so strive to write concisely while delivering the greatest punch. Bullet statements that start with verbs are effective, and you may minimize article words such as ‘a’ and ‘an’ without losing impact.
  • 7 Be consistent throughout your format related to spacing, bolded headings, font size, and date placement. Use the same font with compatible heading for your cover letter.
  • 8 Proofread many times and use spellcheck. Recruiters will often nix a candidate if the résumé has typos and grammatical errors.
  • 9 Take time to tweak your summary section to best match the job description in which you are applying. Take a few minutes to examine your most relevant skillsets along with keywords, as this extra effort could determine whether or not you get the call.
  • 10 Follow directions precisely for online résumé submissions to optimize your success of getting through the applicant tracking system (ATS). While these software programs continue to advance, some still do not read PDF versions as well. When in doubt, use a Word document (or Text format if requested) when uploading your résumé onto job application sites.

Top 10 Interview Tips

  • 1 As a candidate, your position is to promote your skills, talent, and experience as a solution to the hiring manager or company, regardless of the effectiveness of the interviewer. Confidence is key, demonstrated by eye contact, firm handshakes, proper dress, sincerity, and optimism.
  • 2 A common misconception is that you are to react and answer only when asked questions during the interview. Actually, your role should be ‘active’ in the discussion. The best candidates are usually proactive in discussions, highly prepared, and engaged in a conversational approach during the interview.
  • 3 Have an understanding of the position in which you are interviewing. If you don’t fully understand the responsibilities, ask some questions upfront so you can better match your skill sets to that position.
  • 4 You should be prepared, in advance, for potential questions you may be asked.
  • 5 There are two primary types of interview questions: Traditional Interview Questions and/or Situational Interview Questions. Some interviewers will use primarily one type, while others will use a combination. You should be prepared for both.

    Traditional interview examples: Tell me about yourself? What makes you the best candidate for this position?

    Situational interview examples: Tell me a time when you led a team of people to accomplish a time sensitive project. Tell me a time when a weakness interfered with you achieving your goal?

    To make the greatest impression, Situational Questions should be answered in a STAR format

    SITUATION, TASK, ACTION, RESULT

    SITUATION: Describe the situation or specific experience you have had by giving great detail about the event. Paint a picture verbally so the interviewer can envision it. The situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event that you specifically were involved.

    TASK: Define the goal or task that you were working to accomplish.

    ACTION: Describe the actions you took to accomplish the task with detail about each step that YOU completed. What specific actions did YOU take and what was YOUR particular contribution? The interviewer is interested in what YOUR role was in the situation. In the interview, don’t describe what the team or group did when talking about a project, but what YOU actually did. Use the word “I,” rather than “we” when describing actions.

    RESULT: Always conclude with the outcome or results of your actions. End your answer with a positive result, and don’t be shy about taking credit for your behavior. What did you accomplish or what did you learn? Concluding with a positive outcome will set you apart and you will truly be a STAR for the position in which you are interviewing.
  • 6 Answer questions with a POSITIVE ending, even if the outcome was that you learned something. If the outcome is less than desirable, be brief.
  • 7 Be well read on the company in which you are interviewing. Visit their website. Know about their products, and uncover information about key leaders within the organization and the people interviewing you, if possible.
  • 8 Show interest in the interviewer(s) and establish rapport in the time frame you are given. Ask for their business card(s) and gain an understanding of their role within the company.
  • 9 Take notes, have questions prepared in advance, and avoid asking about salary on the first interview. If asked what your salary requirements are, respond with a question such as “What is the salary range for this position?” Avoid naming a specific dollar amount if possible.
  • 10 Be prepared to summarize your qualifications and compatibility for the position. Clearly communicate your desire for the position and ask regarding next steps. Smile, demonstrate appreciation, and send a follow up note within 24 hours of the interview.

What Others Are Saying ...

"Under the mentoring and coaching of Melodie, I accomplished many career goals and achieved much success. I have been in sales and marketing for over 20 years and have worked for several different managers, and I can honestly say that Melodie was by far the best coach and manager that I ever had. Melodie not only coached me, but she guided me in my career helping me to achieve two Regional Sales Champion, three District Quality awards, and two promotions, in the three years I worked for her. I would highly recommend Melodie to anyone who is looking to begin, advance or make a change in their career."

Laura M

Territory Sales Consultant

"From the moment we shook hands, I felt a connection. Melodie has the gift of bringing your strengths to the forefront. Her professionalism is only enhanced by her warm and caring attitude. She made me feel as though I was her most important client. Highly recommend all of her services."

Tiffany G

Registered Nurse

"The time and effort that Melodie spent and the final document she produced is beyond exceptional. More importantly, she didn't just produce a resume. She gave me something that actually made me feel proud of myself and all that I have tried to accomplish. I don't think I have ever seen myself in the way that Melodie portrayed me. She has touched me and moved me, and that doesn't happen with me easily. Melodie is what I call a life changer."

Ray H

Director of Operations

"Thanks to Melodie's expertise, I was able to change careers, landing the perfect job at one of the area's most respected organizations. Melodie really did her homework, researching the industry I was changing to, then targeting my resume to those potential readers. She was able to bridge the gap between my previous careers and my new career, highlighting the skills and abilities that were the common threads among them. Her interview coaching was individualized and intense. Melodie helped me to believe in my strengths and coached me on how to communicate them effectively."

Joanna D

Information Systems Trainer

"My Resume / Curriculum Vitae looks great! I appreciate Melodie's help and hard work, and will pass her name around professional circles as the need arises. May God bless her and her family."

Daniel E

Physician and Chief Medical Officer

"Recruiters continually praised Melodie's work with my resume, and told me I made a great investment. I highly recommend Melodie, as she is very professional and pays attention to details that helped me stand out above the rest."

Patrick H

Managing Partner of Restaurant Operations

"Quantifying and objectively presenting one's career achievements is a daunting task. Melodie was instrumental in pulling together my intangible assets and presenting my strengths and work experiences to better define my benefits to an organization. The finished product has allowed me to confidently pursue my next job aspirations. She is truly talented!"

Ann V

Business Development and Project Manager

"It has been an extreme pleasure working with Melodie. I would highly recommend her and the services she provides. She is both professional and caring in her approach and delivers excellent work as promised."

Joe L

President and CEO

"I thought I was pretty good with words, but the professional transformation that Melodie applied to my resume was amazing. She enlightened me on new resume strategies, and she presented my career strengths and achievements into a concise and impactful resume that got me the job that I wanted."

Mark L

Electrical Engineer

"From the moment I met Melodie, I knew she would be incredible to work with. I was right on target! She is professional and does an outstanding job gathering the information she needs to produce a top notch résumé. She put a lot of time and effort into creating documents I needed beyond résumé services. I was amazed. She delivers on what she promises and more. I highly recommend Melodie for any of the services she provides. She is truly talented and delivers exceptional work."

Jen R

Sales Representative

"I had an excellent experience with Melodie as I prepared to interview for a nurse practitioner position. Before I contacted Melodie, I felt very anxious and unprepared. She helped me develop my interview skills by guiding me with experienced based questions and enhancing my interview skills through role play. Role playing with interview related situations allowed me to feel comfortable demonstrating my qualifications to potential employers. I am happy to say that my first interview was my only interview, and I absolutely love my job. I honestly feel like since I was very prepared and calm for this interview it contributed greatly to the success. Thank you Melodie!"

Julie J

Registered Nurse Practitioner

"Melodie’s coaching was a key component to the success I had in the pharmaceutical sales industry. My 11 year career resulted in 3 promotions and 9 Regional, National and International Awards. She was able to identify my strengths, as well as my areas of opportunity……and to coach me in a way that developed me both professionally and personally. The coaching I received from Melodie had a major impact on me."

Lynda W

Executive Director

"My interview was an elaborate process, and the preparation from Melodie, no doubt, made me much more confident in the interview. She talked me through different situations and assisted me with the best approach to answer challenging questions. I attest this to my interview success and now employment with a Fortune 100 company. Thank you."

Brandon J

Area Sales Manager

"I was very pleased with Melodie. She is a delight to work with, she delivers what she promises, and she is very dedicated to her clients. After sending out the resume she created for me, I had 15 face to face interviews, 5 phone interviews, and 3 networking meetings, plus received the job offer that I wanted. I am very pleased with everything she did for me, and would recommend her services to anyone in the job market."

Erica S

Sales Assistant

"I appreciate Melodie's coaching and advice, particularly as I transitioned from one company to another. She really helped me prepare for interviews using various interview techniques. Once I received the job offer, she helped me weigh my options to choose the best path for me. I would not be where I am today if it weren't for Melodie's incredible coaching."

Natalie B

Account Executive

"Melodie did an amazing job on my resume! She condensed what was a lengthy resume and highlighted my key attributes. I'm excited about the opportunities for interviews as I am now positioned to get the job I'm truly interested in. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to work with Melodie. I highly recommend her to anyone interested in career coaching or resume work."

Jason M

Administrator

"Mrs. Melodie Power wrote my work history in a description that even I can't believe it is about me. Thank you."

Zachary H

CDL

"I can't thank Melodie enough for my resume and interview coaching session. The resume she created helped me quickly land a job. The coaching was essential in my being able to interact with the interviewers. They commented on my listening skills, verbatim what she suggested. I have not had a real job in years, and finding Melodie enabled me to get back out there. Thank you."

Fay S

Customer Service Specialist