Softskills: CV, Job Application and Interviews

This one might be a bit too specific, since every country has its own CV and interview culture. For example in the US you don’t add a picture of yourself, in Germany this is very common. There should be much more differences, so please don’t take everything here for granted in the area or county where you want to get a job. I try to be as general as possible here.

From my previous post Softskills: Networking for your Career you should be aware that it is good to get a job over a personal network and could be the most promising option.

CV & Job Application

A couple of points for the CV & job application:

  • be honest, when people found out you lied or made things up you are out
  • don’t go into details that don’t have something to do with the job you are applying to, unless it seems necessary
  • everything else write detailed, I like to have much information, but other people might have a different opinion
  • take a clean and easy to read format
  • write a great motivation letter for your application
  • proof facts, for example if you write you have a certification add a copy or scan of it to the application
  • check for grammar and spelling
  • if possible let somebody read your application who can give good feedback

Job Interview

I was on both sides of the table, conducting interviews and also of course being the candidate.

  • know your CV well, you should be able to explain everything without looking it up
  • if you have a bad feeling you normaly should not take the job, unless it is a huge chance for you or you can use it for jumping to a better job
  • prepare for the interview, think about what questions might be asked
  • try to prepare for standart questions like
    • what was your biggest mistake
    • where do you see yourself in five years
    • what is your biggest weakness
    • what do you expect from your employer
    • and so on
  • prepare for technical questions
    • there is nothing worse for example when you say for example you know XSS but could not explain the difference between a stored and a reflected XSS
    • have a look at the Daniel Miessler interview questions (see also below)
  • if you have weak spots in your CV you can try to handle this pro-actively, if not prepare for critical questions
  • prepare questions that you want to ask, for me an interview always has to go into both directions

Links
https://us.experteer.com/magazine/should-you-put-a-photo-on-your-cv/
https://danielmiessler.com/study/infosec_interview_questions/
https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/motivation-letter

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