Readiness Checklist

You have found a job you are ready to go after, but are you ready to apply for it and go through the interview process?

Answer these questions to test your readiness:

Is your resume up to date, including information about your current (or most recent) job?
Having a complete resume is very important whenever you are starting your job search.
Have you had others proofread your resume?
It is always a good idea to have someone else proofread your resume. They bring a fresh perspective and can even suggest small changes that may help you snag that first interview.
Do you have clear and concise career goals that you ready to discuss in an interview?
It's tough to go after a job if you do not have career goals. Throughout the interview process you will be asked about your career goals many times and it is very important to be able to state them in an clear and concise manner.
Do you have 3 or more professional references? Do you have 3 or more personal references? Have you contacted your references to let them know that they may be called upon?
Most employers require you to provide business references. Some even want to talk to personal references. Here are a few tips for making sure that you have good references:
  • If you can, choose people from your current or previous job
  • Select references who will be honest, yet flattering of your skills and ability
  • Familiarize your potential references with the job you are planning on applying for. It may even be a good idea to do a mock-interview with your references so that they will be prepared for the types of questions they could possibly receive.
Do you have appropriate clothing to wear at an interview?
The appropriate wardrobe is not always traditional business atire. As a matter of fact, it is sometimes out of character to wear a suit to an interview. It is always a good idea get an idea of the dress code before you head to an interview. You should also make sure to have several outfits that you can wear to interviews. This way, if you get a second (or sometimes even a third) interview, you are not repeating yourself from a clothing perspective.
Do you know what skills you can offer an employer, and are you able to articulate them in an interview situation?
If you familiarize yourself with the job you are applying to, make certain that your skill set matches fairly well. If your current skills are not obvious to you, then you may want to consider taking a skills assessment. This will arm you with a better vocabulary about what unique skills you bring to the job.
Are you aware of the job titles for roles within your intended job search field?
Whenever you job search starts, you should become familiar to the different titles that are used to describe the type of work you are looking for. Some positions go by several names, depending on the area of the organization they support. Knowing the nomenclature of jobs is important. You don't want to miss out on an opportunity just because you were unfamiliar with a job title.
The Career Path Navigator is an excellent tool that will help you decipher varying job titles and their descriptions at the U of M.
Do you have someone with whom you can walk through a practice interview?
The practice interview is very important. It is especially important if it has been years since your last interview. Before any live interview with a potential employer it is a good idea to go through a dry run. Have your practice interviewer ask the types of questions you would expect to receive in the live interview.