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Colorado Department of Labor and Employment shares tips to improve your resume, interview skills

Waiting for interview, job, apply, applicants, office,
Posted at 11:32 AM, Jul 03, 2024

DENVER — Congratulations! You earned that diploma or degree. Now you have to get that job.

Katherine Keegan, director of the Office of the Future of Work with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), helps Coloradans find jobs and has many helpful tips for resumes and job interviews.

Her first bit of advice is to emphasize three key skill sets to your prospective employer:

  • That you understand "digital building blocks," meaning you can both use technology and learn new technology.
  • You are a "business enabler," meaning you can apply your academic learning in a work context or in solving a business problem.
  • You have "uniquely human skills."

"One of the big things we hear from employers all the time is people, they use technology but don't have soft skills or communication skills anymore. So, any way you can highlight those examples will make you stand out," said Keegan.
In preparing for the interview, Keegan advises candidates to learn the competencies outlined in the job description and come prepared with examples of times they have successfully used those. That goes hand-in-hand with this insider tip — a new way to organize your resume.

Instead of the tried-and-true chronological list of experiences, go skills-first.

"Focusing on the core competencies of the job you're applying for. [Make] competencies the header and your examples from your previous roles the text below. That is kind of a new way," said Keegan.

Keegan's final two pieces of advice for the interview are to listen and try to connect with the interviewer. Don't just wait your turn to talk.

"Taking a second before you answer. You don't have to immediately have an answer. You can ask for it to be repeated. You can take a moment to think. You can even say, "Let me take a moment to process that and come up with my answer." So, you can buy yourself some time," said Keegan.

Keegan adds that the forecast is rosy for new grads looking for work in Colorado. She said there are more available jobs than candidates.

The state's job-hunting resources can be found at cdle.colorado.gov.




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