Applying to Bridgepoint Education is easy. Bridgepoint Education's online system...Read More
Apply for a Position
Applying to Bridgepoint Education is easy...Read More
Top 10 Resume Mistakes
It's deceptively easy to make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer gets it. So prevention is critical, especially if you've never written one before. Check out this resume guide to the most common pitfalls and how you can avoid them.
- Typos and Grammatical Errors
Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn't, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you, like: "This person can't write," or "This person obviously doesn't care."
- Lack of Specifics
Employers need to understand what you've done and accomplished. For example:
A. Worked with employees in an office setting.
B. Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a financial services office with $2 million in annual sales. Both of these phrases could describe the same person, but the details and specifics in example B will more likely grab an employer's attention.
- Attempting One Size Fits All
Whenever you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume to send to all employers, you almost always end up with something employers will toss in the recycle bin. Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.
- Highlighting Duties Instead of Accomplishments
It's easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. For example:
- Attended group meetings and recorded minutes.
- Worked with children in a day-care setting.
- Updated departmental files. Employers, however, don't care so much about what you've done as what you've accomplished in your various activities. They're looking for statements more like these:
- Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference.
- Developed three daily activities for preschool-age children and prepared them for a 10-minute holiday program performance.
- Reorganized 10 years worth of unwieldy files, making them easily accessible to department members.
- Going on Too Long or Cutting Things Too Short
Despite what you may read or hear, there are no real rules governing the length of your resume. Why? Because human beings, who have different preferences and expectations where resumes are concerned, will be reading it.
That doesn't mean you should start sending out five-page resumes, of course. Generally speaking, you usually need to limit yourself to a maximum of two pages. But don't feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don't cut the meat out of your resume simply to make it conform to an arbitrary one-page standard.
- A Bad Objective
Employers do read your resume's objective statement, but too often they plow through vague pufferies like, "Seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth." Give employers something specific and, more importantly, something that focuses on their needs as well as your own. Example: "A challenging entry-level marketing position that allows me to contribute my skills and experience in fund-raising for nonprofits."
- No Action Verbs
Avoid using phrases like "responsible for." Instead, use action verbs: "Resolved user questions as part of an IT help desk serving 4,000 students and staff."
- Leaving Off Important Information
You may be tempted, for example, to eliminate mention of the jobs you've taken to earn extra money for school. Typically, however, the soft skills you've gained from these experiences (e.g., work ethic, time management) are more important to employers than you might think.
- Visually Too Busy
If your resume is wall-to-wall text featuring five different fonts, it will most likely give the employer a headache. Show your resume to several other people before sending it out. Do they find it visually attractive? If what you have is hard on the eyes, revise.
- Incorrect Contact Information
I once worked with a student whose resume seemed incredibly strong, but he wasn't getting any bites from employers. So one day, I jokingly asked him if the phone number he'd listed on his resume was correct. It wasn't. Once he changed it, he started getting the calls he'd been expecting. Moral of the story: Double-check even the most minute, taken-for-granted details -- sooner rather than later.
Applying to Bridgepoint Education is easy. Bridgepoint Education's online system allows you to view and apply to featured jobs and to upload and update your résumé. Apply to open opportunities to get started, then click below to understand how our process works.
Bridgepoint Education's recruitment process is dynamic and tailored specifically to each candidate as you enter the hiring process. Once you have applied to an open position and been selected to start the interview process, you will have the opportunity to work directly with a Human Resources Recruiter dedicated to hiring right!
Once you've established a relationship with one of our Human Resources Recruiters, you can count on them as a partner to guide you through the interview process. From start to finish, your Human Resources Recruiter will partner with you to ensure a smooth interview process.
You only have one chance to make a first impression. Read more to learn how to prepare for an amazing interview as well as some other interview tips.
How To Prepare for a Successful Interview
- Prepare your credentials and other paperwork
- Create a professional résumé that profiles important education, relevant experience and career highlights. List your job positions, key responsibilities, accomplishments, rewards, recognition, credentials, licensing and education. Ask a former manager or other mentor to review your résumé for content, grammar, format and overall effectiveness. Print out multiple copies of your résumé and keep them in a folder with your other documents.
- Anticipate being asked for permission to conduct a background investigation. The permission form may require you to list all of your prior addresses for the past five to seven years, so keep this information with you.
- Anticipate the questions you'll be asked during your interview
Find out as much as you can about Bridgepoint Education by visiting our website. Taking the time to learn about the company shows your initiative and real interest in the position. If you have friends or colleagues employed by Bridgepoint Education or its subsidiaries, take the time to ask them about the staff, the corporate culture and general procedures. Prepare answers for standard on-the-job type interview questions.
- Develop an answer for one of the most common open-ended questions: "Tell me a little about yourself." This question is designed to evaluate your judgment. This is not the time or the place for a chronological biography or any self-critical remarks. It's your opportunity to reveal key details about yourself that validate why you are the right one for the job. Use this opportunity to point out the unique skills, talents and attitudes you bring, backed up with specific examples. For instance, if you talk about your teamwork or leadership skills, give an example of when you demonstrated these qualities.
- Practice answering questions in a way that shows you are a problem-solver. Provide examples from your caree--no matter how short--that demonstrate how you've organized projects and workflow and contributed in various ways to make your company more efficient.
- Craft answers to negative situations, but frame them in a positive light. Review your experience and write down relevant examples that show how you overcame adversity and gained new insights.
Practice, practice, practice!
- Practice answering all of these questions until you feel comfortable and at ease
Practice answering all of these questions until you feel comfortable and at ease. Don't just say what you think the interviewer wants to hear; be true to yourself. Otherwise you could be hired under the wrong expectations for a position that's not a good fit. Your goal is to prepare answers that best reflect your skills and personality. Remember to be sincere, professional and show how you've excelled in your career.
- Give the job and phone interview tips a test run and stage a mock interview
Give the job and phone interview tips a test run and stage a mock interview. Ask a colleague, friend or relative who is a manager or familiar with the job interviewing process to do a "mock" interview with you. Have them ask the same thought-provoking questions they would ask their candidates. Even if they don't work in your field, their interviewing experience is still relevant. Don't let them go easy on you; the tougher their questions the less stumped and more prepared you'll be when it comes time for the real interview.
- Practice greeting your interviewers with a smile and a firm handshake
You should also practice greeting your interviewers with a smile and a firm handshake, either with friends or in front of a mirror. Keep at it until you exude the warmth, confidence and professionalism that you want. It may feel strange at first, but it can help you alleviate jitters and appear more polished on the day of the interview.
- Get plenty of sleep
Don't forget to get plenty of sleep the night before your interview to help you look rested and feel more alert.
- Make a great first impression
- It's that initial impression that stands out in the interviewer's mind when they are evaluating you vs. another candidate. This is why dress, grooming, a clear speaking voice and a winning smile are important.
- The degree of formality and what's acceptable varies, but it is better to err on the conservative side.
- Allow Plenty Of Time To Get To The Job Interview
Plan to arrive early just in case an accident or something unforeseen might slow you down. This pre-planning will also allow you to arrive at the interview relaxed and prepared. If you're very early, you can use the time to review the interview tips and rehearse your answers to common questions. Punctuality at your first meeting with a potential employer is crucial!
- Listen, respond and relax during the job interview
It's only natural to be a little nervous, especially during your first job interview. So don't worry if you stumble on your first sentence or don't immediately get your full point across. Look for the opportunity to provide more details and demonstrate your strong points.
Relax, take a couple of deep breaths and maintain a calm, even conversational tone. Listen carefully to each question and respond to what is being asked, not to what you anticipate will be asked. Ask for clarification if needed and be careful not to rush through your answers.
Make eye contact, smile warmly and shake the interviewer's hand. This "connection" can help set the tone and get the interview started on an upbeat note. Maintain frequent eye contact throughout the interview to show your continued interest.
Discuss your professional association memberships and any committee positions which you've held. Mention research you've helped with, volunteer projects, published articles and continuing education.
- Your turn to ask questions
Most interviewers will give you a chance to ask questions, so use this opportunity to show your interest in the position and find out key details about the workflow. Feel free to check your notes, but avoid asking questions about items that are already spelled out in the interview literature you receive.
- What if you don't hear anything from the hiring manager?
- If it has been a few days, call to convey your continued interest and check the status of the interviewing process. Find out when the decision will be made and ask if there is anything else you can provide. This opportunity could supply additional references, paperwork or information.
- Follow up the day before the decision is supposed to be made. Be considerate of the hiring manager's time and pressures associated with the pending decision. This warmth and graciousness shows compassion on your part and could turn things in your favor.
- What if the job's not for you?
Send a thank you note anyway. It shows good manners and thoughtfulness on your part. Hiring managers will appreciate your courtesy and might even suggest another position at their facility or at another location.
- Send a thank you note after the interview
Letter writing may be a lost art, but a simple thank you note shows your interest and thoughtfulness, which reinforces a favorable impression. So, if you want the job, say thank you.