Tips and Tools for Job Seekers

Learn helpful tips and skills for building the perfect resume, writing an outstanding cover letter and nailing the interview!

Resume and Cover Letter

General Resume Tips:
  • Be concise (1-page max)
  • Use active language and “buzz words
  • Consider a non-chronological format
  • Use a Professional Summary or Resume Objective
  • Proofread, proofread and proofread!
Federal Resume Tips:
  • Could be multi-page to include all relevant experience, salary history, and references
  • Don’t under-sell yourself on qualifications questions
  • Keywords are key (look at job listing for keywords)
  • Use the skills translators to highlight military experience related to leadership, training/outreach and communication skills

Cover Letter Tips:

  • Make it personal (address letter to a specific person)
  • Be specific about why you are applying for the job
  • Demonstrate your passion for the agency and/or target population
  • Be concise (1-page max)
  • Use active verbs to describe professional accomplishments specific to the job (consider bullet 4-5 bullet points)
  • Be sure to customize for each position/application
  • Be passive or under-sell yourself (avoid “assisted”, “helped”, etc.)
  • Be modest–highlight your accomplishments!
  • Send a generic cover letter
  • Rehash your resume
  • Have any typos, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc.

Interview Strategies

General Tips:
  • Be early and dress professionally (always “over-dress”)
  • No cell phones, drinks or other distractions during the interview
  • Bring extra copies of your resume
  • Over-prepare: Research the agency, position and interviewer
  • Think with a vision
  • Practice, practice & more practice
  • Be clear on what you bring to the field of victim advocacy
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer
  • Send thank you note to every individual with whom you met within a day of the interview (be specific!)
Common Mistakes:
  • Being unprepared, late or appearing distracted
  • Disclosing personal information
  • Badmouthing past agencies, positions and/or supervisors
  • Failing to show the interviewer how the position fits into your larger career goals
  • “Interviewing” the interviewer
  • Talking too much
  • Expressing political, religious or other personal beliefs
  • Asking about salary or benefits during an initial interview
Before the Interview:
  • Know Yourself & Be Prepared to Communicate:
    • How self-aware are you? Self-awareness key to victim advocacy!
    • What brought you to victim advocacy?
    • How might your personal biases impact your advocacy?
    • How do you communicate with people from different backgrounds?
    • What qualities do you believe are essential to victim advocacy?
    • What have you learned from past mistakes?
  • Be prepared to share examples when you:
    • Provided advocacy (have lots of examples ready!)
    • Worked with individuals from different backgrounds
    • Collaborated with other first responders and/or leaders
    • Initiated new programs/outreach/demonstrated leadership
    • Had a conflict with a supervisor (and how you resolved it!)
    • Had an ethical issue (and how you resolved it!)
Question Examples:
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want this position?
  • Why do you want to work at this organization?
  • What brought you to victim advocacy?
  • Why did you choose to work with this target population?
  • How has your experience or education prepared you for this position?
  • What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
  • What is your leadership style?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or part of a team?
  • What are your career goals? How does this position fit into your career goals?
Tracking address: (do not email this address)