Tag Archives: interview tips

Top 5 Magic Keywords In Your Resume That Will Get You Hired

Are you looking for a job out there? There are many factors that you should consider. You will note that most people normally look for jobs from time to time. Some are lucky to secure jobs while others might consider doing other things in life. You will note that recruiters are normally keen to check your resume and the cover letter.
You might have good academic results but if your resume does not capture the eye of your recruiter, you might not secure your dream job. The bad news is that some of these jobs are rare to find.

If you are lucky to secure a good job, you can be sure that you will earn more money in the long run. It is important that you include some magic keywords in your resume so that you can secure your dream job. The following are 5 magic keywords that will get you hired:

Problem solver.

  • Different organizations normally have different issues. You should be able to provide solutions to these problems so that you can remain valuable to your company or business. You will realize that some companies normally choose to outsource human resource in order to tackle these problems more effectively. This can be expensive for the company.
  • Sometimes, if there is a problem solver within the company, he or she might be able to reduce these costs. If you can solve a number of problems in the organization, you can be sure that you will get hired. This can make your recruiter have more faith in you. This can help you earn more income in the long run.


  • Are you ready to work with your fellow employees in order to achieve the set objectives? Collaborating with your fellow employees can help you achieve this goal. You should have collaboration skills. This is because you might not achieve the set targets on your own. You might overwork and still fail to achieve the set goals. However, if you choose to partner with your friends in the workplace, you can sure that you will finish different tasks in good time.
  • You can also manage to do several tasks in a day. If you indicate that you can be able to collaborate with different people within the organization, you can be sure that you will get hired by your recruiter. Being a team player is a vital skill in the workplace.


  • Every employer would like to hire a focused employee. This is because such employees are likely to make an organization to shine. Focused employees are rare to find. If your recruiter sees this keyword, you can trust you will be invited for an interview. Your employee can trust you with several activities in the workplace. You can even get promoted after several years. Being focused is a good virtue. You can include it in your resume and you will get hired.


  • Most recruiters are looking for result-oriented individuals. You will note that such employees are likely to be more productive in the workplace. This means that they are likely to achieve their individual goals while they are in the workplace. If you want to increase your sales margin, you can be sure that these employees will help you to achieve this goal. This has worked for many business people out there. Including this keyword in your resume can make your potential employer hire you.


  • Your employer would like to know which contribution you will make once you get hired. If you can contribute immensely, you can be promoted after a few years. Have you ever worked in another company in the past? You can include the contributions that you made when you were working there. Great contributions will make your recruiter hire you and leave the rest. This is because he or she will have more faith in you. He or she will trust that you will be able to make more contributions to the organization.
  • You should not fail to include these keywords in your resume. You will note that these keywords will make the recruiter be more interested in your resume. You might be lucky to be called for an interview. Failure to include these keywords might make you fail to get hired. Include these keywords in your resume and you will not be frustrated. These keywords have proved to be very effective.

How to Win Competitive Fellowships: 5 Secrets of Fellowship Winners

There are fellowship opportunities for people at all career levels, in all disciplines. These fellowships provide funding to pursue research or a self-designed project, gain professional experience, pay for graduate school, or work abroad, among many other opportunities.

The bad news is fellowship organizations receive many more qualified applicants than they have spots to fill. This means fellowship selection committees are often choosing fellows based on very subtle differences among candidates.
So, what can you do to give your fellowship application an edge? Here are my top 5 secrets to winning competitive fellowships.

#1 It’s not about your goals, it’s about the fellowship organization’s goals

Many people focus their application on expressing all the things they will personally gain and achieve through the fellowship. This is a mistake.

Fellowships are investments in people – people who will help advance the fellowship organization’s mission and goals. While fellowships provide opportunities for you to enhance your skills and expand your professional network, that’s not the sole purpose of the fellowship, and that should not be the sole focus of your application.

All fellowship organizations have a social impact mission. Investigate what those goals are, and express in your fellowship application why those goals are also important to you and how you can help the organization achieve them. In addition to reading the fellowship organization’s mission statement, review their previously funded fellows and projects and identify the accomplishments they brag about. This is the best way to understand what they hope to achieve through their investment in you, the fellow, which will help you craft a strong personal statement and project proposal.

#2 Speak to at least 3 former fellows

In speaking with thousands of fellowship applicants over the last ten years, I discovered a key difference between fellowship winners and those rejected: fellowship winners spoke to former fellows during the application process. Think about it: who else can tell you what the fellowship committee is really looking for? Who else can tell you what the interview process is like? Who else can connect you with multiple former fellows of that program?

I recommend getting a personal introduction to a fellow through a mutual contact. There are a number of ways to get introductions. First, you can contact the fellowship organization to ask if they have alumni contacts who are willing to speak to applicants. Second, you can use a LinkedIn advanced search to identify people in your network who know former fellows. Third, you can contact your alma mater’s fellowship or career office to ask if they know of alumni who have won the fellowship.

Once you speak to one former fellow, you can politely ask them to introduce you to two more.

#3 Go niche

To win a fellowship, your application must be memorable. One way to do that is to go niche.

For fellowships funding a self-designed project, I recommend crafting a project proposal on a very specific and niche subject. For example, rather than proposing a comparative study of how signatory countries will address the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, propose to study how one country will specifically address emissions reductions in coal plants (and ideally a country with an uncommon approach). A very specific project makes for a tighter proposal. Not to mention, it’s much easier to write a project proposal for a very specific task than a proposal for an idea with a wide scope.

Also, the more unusual, the better! I have never forgotten Jesse Appell’s Fulbright project in China – he studied traditional Chinese standup comedy to seek ways of improving cultural communication through humor. And Tom McFadden won a Fulbright New Zealand award in 2011 to pursue a degree in Science Communication while teaching kids about science through hip-hop.

For fellowships that are professional placements, you should express one highly specific career goal – one that aligns with the fellowship organization’s mission. Expressing one specific career goal instills confidence that you know what you want and are determined to achieve your goal.

Don’t skip the brainstorming process before deciding on the niche project or specific career goal you will propose.

#4 Add urgency

Adding urgency to your application means you propose to participate in something that is only taking place during the fellowship period in the fellowship location. Project timeliness can give you an edge because if a selection committee has to choose between two equally strong candidates, they will likely lean toward the candidate whose research proposal is more urgent.

For example, if you’re proposing a self-designed project, you can study something that is only happening during the fellowship period, such as the immediate impact of a recent election, or how a community is recovering from a recent disaster. This is what I call a “fleeting phenomenon.”

You can also propose to participate in a project-relevant conference, exhibition or other one-time event that’s taking place in the fellowship location during the fellowship period.

You can also draw urgency from your educational timeline. If you are planning to enter graduate school after your fellowship, your fellowship may help you gain knowledge and expertise on a topic that will be the focus of your master’s or doctoral thesis. Be sure to mention this!

Check out this article for more ideas on ways to add urgency.

#5 Practice storytelling

Selection committees typically make their finalist decisions based solely on the written applications they received. This is why strong writers – particularly talented creative writers – have a leg up in the application process.

One of the most useful classes I took as an undergraduate (although I didn’t know it at the time) was a creative writing course. I learned how to express myself more clearly on paper, in a way that touched the emotions of the reader.

Practice in storytelling can help you develop a strong personal statement. A personal statement should begin with a powerful opening statement, express the personal experiences that shaped your worldview and illustrate your passion for your proposed project or career field. Here are some writing exercises to get you started.

Powerful Job Interview Tips From A Recruiter – How to Pass an Interview

If you think most hiring decisions are based on hard experience and qualifications, better keep reading. A resume gets you in the door, but how you interview determines whether you’re offered the job.
This article will cover 2 types of job interview tips to help you pass a job interview and get the job you want:
Interview Preparation– steps you should take before your interview.
Job Interview Tips– the best strategies to use during the actual interview.

These are the best interview tips that I know, from close to 5 years working as a Recruiter.

After you finish this article you’ll know how to present yourself better than the competition and pass a job interview a majority of the time.
Part I: Job Interview Preparation

Each step below will prepare you for the actual interview. None of this is very time consuming but it will set you apart from everyone else applying for the job, making it easy for the company to decide who to hire (you!)

Here are the basic interview preparation steps to remember. I’ve put the estimated time next to each one.

Research the company (5 minutes)
Know what they do, know how they make money. You’re not expected to be an expert, but knowing nothing about the company makes it look like you don’t care. Talent doesn’t matter at this point, you will not get hired if they think you don’t care.
All of this research can be done on a company’s website and on Google.
To learn the latest on a company, try typing the company’s name plus the word “news” into your search bar.

Think of two reasons you’re interested in the company (10 minutes)
Use the company research you’ve done to come up with a business-related reason you’re excited about them. It could be a new business model, new clients, new partnership, etc.
Actual example: I recently had a phone interview with a tech company that was built as a review/info website. They recently started handling transactions instead of sending the buyers out to other websites to complete the transaction. I read this in the news and mentioned it as an exciting development and a really good business move. The interviewer was extremely impressed that I had read the news, and understood the implications. Total time spent researching: less than 3 minutes.

Along with one business reason, try to come up with a secondary reason too. Maybe community involvement. Or company culture. Almost every company has a blurb about their culture on the website. Read it and mention what you read as a secondary reason for being interested.

You’ll seem extremely well-prepared and well-rounded for having two very different reasons.

Think of an explanation for why you’re job searching (5 minutes)

Companies will often choose someone less talented if they also seem less risky or if their motivations make more sense. I’ve seen it first-hand.

Don’t lose out on a job to somebody with less skill than you. Prepare some legitimate reasons why you want to make a move (without talking negative about your current employer). Here are some examples:

  • You’ve accomplished ____ in your current role and you’re ready for a new challenge
  • Your company’s direction has shifted and you feel it’s time to join a new organization
  • You’re interested in a different type of product/service
  • You’re looking for a larger or smaller organization

You can get more specific based on your situation. These are general ideas. If you do a good job with this you can beat out applicants that have more experience than yourself, because they’re not using these strategies most likely.

Get familiar with your resume (5 minutes)
This is one of the more important interview preparation tips, and one of the easiest. Glance over your resume if you haven’t in a while. Be ready to explain past job changes in a positive light. If you left a job because your manager was horrible, say that you went to an organization that had more supportive management. It’s all about how you phrase it. More examples on how to deliver this in
Part II.
Also think of a couple of challenges and accomplishments in your last 1-2 positions. Interviewers love specific examples of accomplishments.

That’s it, you’re done with Part I. At this point you’ve already done more than 80% of job applicants, and you have good answers prepared for some of the most common interview questions. Lets move on…

Part II: Job Interview Tips
So, you’ve mentally prepared yourself with the interviewing tips from Part I. Now let’s talk about how to pass a job interview in the moment.
Describe your work history BRIEFLY
Most interviewers will ask you to give a quick walk-through of your background at the start of the interview. That’s why I mentioned reviewing your resume beforehand. It’s a pretty commonly overlooked but it’s one of my favorite job interview tips and it’s so easy to do!

If you’ve prepared a good, brief narrative of your career, you can impress them right off the bat. What got you interested in this field? What have you accomplished recently?

But it has to be concise. Nobody wants to hire somebody that rambles on or sounds scattered, and that’s the biggest mistake people make with this relatively open-ended question.

Spend most of your time on the recent portion of your career. Go through the beginning rather quickly. 2-3 minutes total should be your target.

Explain why you’re interested in interviewing with them

After walking them through your resume, you’ll probably be asked why you’re looking to make a job change, and/or why you’re interested in their company in particular. This is where the research you’ve done pays off. You should already have two specific reasons for wanting to interview with their company.

When explaining your reason for job searching in general, I mentioned one example of how to turn a negative into a positive in Part I. Here are 2 more examples:

If your current company has no room for upward growth, say that you’re looking for a job with more room for upward growth. If you don’t like your coworkers, say you’re hoping to find a team that’s more collaborative. See the difference? You’re saying the same thing without sounding negative.

Whatever you say you’re looking for, be prepared for them to ask why you can’t get that in your current company. Just answer by saying that you don’t think there’s an opportunity to get this, and you considered this before starting to look externally. Simple and easy. That should end the line of questioning.

Answering technical questions- don’t freak out

After the basic questions, you’ll get into the meat of the interview. The content and questions here will vary based on the job, but here’s what you need to know about how to pass the job interview:

A good interviewer will test your limits. Especially if it’s a position involving some type of technical knowledge (math, science, engineering, etc). The only way they can find your limits is if they ask something you don’t know. So stay calm when you get this. Here’s what to do:

Try to work your way through the question as much as you can. Your thought process is often more important than answering correctly, so tell them what you’re thinking. Ask questions to clarify if needed.

Seeming genuine, thoughtful and honest can go a long way. It’s more important than answering any 1 question correctly in most cases.

Ask your own questions toward the end

You should ask a lot of questions after the interviewer has finished their own questions. How are you going to decide if you want the job if you don’t find out any info? The best job candidates are evaluating a company, not just trying to get a job in the first company that wants them. Once a company realizes this, they’ll treat you like a top notch candidate and try to sway you to join them.

Here are over 100 great questions you can ask the interviewer.

If you meet with 4 people, you should ask questions to all of them. It’s okay to repeat a question, but don’t tell the last person, “so-and-so already answered all my questions.” I’ve done this in the past and wasn’t offered the job. Lesson learned.

Some of the best questions are opinion-based questions because you can ask the exact same question to as many people as you want. Example: “What’s your favorite part about working here? What is the biggest challenge/difficulty you face here?”

Always act like you want the job

You have 1 goal in any interview: Convince them that you’re the best candidate for the job and get invited to the next round.

You should be selling yourself in the interview, not deciding if the job is desirable.

You can digest the info and make a decision once you get home. If you start using this approach you’ll have a big advantage throughout the entire interview because you’ll have one single thing to focus on. Other applicants will be juggling everything at once.
Always end the same way

After they’ve asked all of their questions and you’ve had a chance to ask yours, thank the interviewer and tell them you’re excited about what you’ve heard so far and you’re looking forward to hearing back from them.

Don’t ask for feedback on the spot

I’ve seen people recommend that you ask for feedback or concerns at the end of the interview. Something like this: “Based on what we’ve discussed, is there any reason you wouldn’t consider me for this job?” Horrible advice. Never ask this. Ever. Or anything like it.

First of all, they just finished interviewing you. Give them time to think. You’re going to go home and decide whether you’re interested, they need time to think too. Don’t put them on the spot like this.

Also you’re bringing the negatives to their attention. You’re literally asking them if they can think of a reason that’d stop them from hiring you. Even if they do think of something, they won’t tell you for fear of a lawsuit.

I like to say something like this instead: “If you need any more info from me or have any questions later, don’t hesitate to contact me.”

If you’ve followed these job interview tips, you’re in great shape to pass your next interview and get the job offer.

Don’t forget: Motivation, interest, and how you explain yourself and the reason you’re interviewing are just as important as your actual resume/skillset. I can’t stress this enough in terms of important job interview tips to remember!

Reading this article won’t change your professional skills. But it can change something far more powerful- how you come across in the interview room.

You can beat out somebody with more experience and a more impressive resume because job interviewing is a separate skill that you’ve spent time mastering.

Got a question or comment on some of these strategies? Which ones do you think will work best for you? Leave a comment below and let me know.