Get a Job Interview with a Focused First Impression

Get a Job Interview

When you need to get a new job, the first thing you must learn is how to get a job interview. This is a very distinct step in the process. The interview is key to sealing the deal but getting there is half the battle.

The best way to Increase your Inflow is to increase your income. Many times, you may find that you have hit a ceiling at your current place of work, so one of your options is getting a new job. And, if you don’t get a job interview, you don’t have a chance in getting what you really want, the bigger paycheck.

Your resume is the primary tool needed to get into the door You must get this right, or no one will be interested in talking to you. Another tool that has gained great popularity is your LinkedIn profile. I am always amazed when I begin to help someone in their job search only to find out they have not ever created a presence on this site.

Get a Job Interview by Focusing on First Impressions

Remember, this is all about making a great first impression. The company you are applying to doesn’t know you and they may never meet you. This piece of paper or your online profile is the bridge between applying and interviewing. Experts say that a hiring manager gives your resume 7 seconds. You must get this right, or it is going into the trash can.

Your resume and your LinkedIn profile share several commonalities. I will not be breaking down every aspect of these two tools, but there is one area that is critically important. The Employment History section online and on paper is one of the areas that a person hiring will hone in on. It needs to say a lot and quickly.

Have you ever met someone at a networking event who comes up to you and begins a conversation but won’t stop talking? They keep going on and on and on and you lose interest in whatever they are blabbing about real fast. That is what most job seeker’s Employment History sounds like.

You have less than 7 seconds; probably 4 at this point. How are you going to entice the reader to keep going?

Get a Job Interview by being Succinct

Firstly, your resume needs to fit on one single-sided piece of paper. No one has time for your autobiography. You need to sell yourself to this organization by showing them that they should want to learn more about you. Telling your story can come in the interview, and the resume is only the teaser.

Secondly, there is power in the number three. That is how many jobs you should put on your resume as well as your LinkedIn profile. It is just enough to show where you’ve been and what you’ve done. If you have 8 jobs listed, it looks like you can’t hold a job, no matter how long you were at each. Having only one or two jobs listed may make your history look too thin, but if you have only had one job, you can fill it in other ways. (But that’s for a future post.)

Thirdly, as I said, there is power in the number three. There should be no more than 3 bullet points for each job listed. These bullet points are especially important because they will lead the reader’s eye to what follows … the hook. This the most important part of the resume in my opinion.

The Silver Bullet Point


Each bullet point needs to have, you guessed it, 3 elements. These three components are going to allow the hiring person to digest the information in a hurry, and you don’t have much time.

#1 What You Did:

Briefly explain an important task you performed on the job.

  • EXAMPLE 1: Assisted clients in analyzing their housing needs
  • EXAMPLE 2: Increased efficiency of resident check in/out process
  • EXAMPLE 3: Guided senior management in making operational decisions

Notice the action word in this piece that precisely demonstrates what you did.

#2 How You Did It:

This is where you put the tools and/or methodologies that you know.

  • EXAMPLE 1: by developing a system with Microsoft Excel
  • EXAMPLE 2: while utilizing mobile applications and paperless solutions
  • EXAMPLE 3: by creating presentations demonstrating risk assessment and mitigation

Instead of having a separate section listing the software, machinery, etc. you know how to use, embed these in the Employment History. Now, these are not taking up precious space on the page. Plus, the hirer can see proof that you know how to use it because it is paired with a task from #1.

#3 What Was the Result:

This what makes the bullet silver! Even when I see decent bullet points on someone’s resume, many times this component is missing.

  • EXAMPLE 1: reducing the administration time by 25%
  • EXAMPLE 2: resulting in the team being recognized as first runner-up for excellence award
  • EXAMPLE 3: achieving 100% daily accountability

Imagine watching a movie that gave you the plot, took you to the climax, and then … that was the end of the movie. “Where is the conclusion?”, you would ask. Well, these bullet points are like mini-movies, and the result is the conclusion.

It is important that these results are specifically tailored for each job. If you read the job posting, it will tell you what results they are looking for. So, if your resume shows those specific results, and where and how you achieved those results, what do you think will happen. Your resume is now in the good pile!

Get a Job Interview by Leading their Eye

I’ve already pointed out (pun intended) that using bullet points draw the reader’s eye to the most important information. Now you just need to pop out some facts that will impress quickly. This is done by strategically using numbers and acronyms.

It is easy to use a number in the result section of the bullet point. Notice in the examples about how 25% and 100% catches your eye. They don’t have to be percentages either.

On one of my resumes, I used a number to describe what I did: 3200 maintenance tasks. That big number really draws attention, but make sure the numbers and information are factual.

Of course, it is easy to incorporate acronyms in the How You Did It element. Most systems, methodologies, and equipment has industry acronyms. Just make sure that the acronyms you use are standard and widely know in the industry you are applying to. Bonus: This shows off your knowledge without having to point out your expertise.

One More Eye-catching Detail

Lastly, the reader’s eye can be led to patterns very easily, so don’t use the same pattern or words in each bullet point. You don’t have the implement all three components of the bullet point in the same order every time. Here is an example of a bullet point written in 2 different ways:

  • EXAMPLE 1: Counseled 26 families in 4 different areas of investing, including: REIT, 529, IRA, and 401(k); resulting in an average net worth increase of $126,300 over the last 12 months.
  • EXAMPLE 2: An average net worth increase of $126,300 in the last 12 months was realized by the 26 families counseled in 4 different areas of investing, including: REIT, 529, IRA, and 401(k).

Go Get the Job Interview and Increase Your Inflow

This is the most important piece of the resume, but it is only one part. And of course, getting the interview is only the first step in the process.

Follow our financial target: Increase Inflow to learn more about building the perfect resume, getting the job, starting your side-gig, and other ways to flow money into your budget.

If you want to learn more about budgeting and why Inflow matters, read this post.

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