What are some common mistakes you see students making on their resumes and job applications?

One is the way the resume and application material is written. Students often make the mistake of not writing enough specifics about their experiences and not demonstrating through writing the skills and experiences they have. Students should also use action verbs that demonstrate more concretely what students can do rather than just what they have done. It is common that students try to use the same application material and resumes for every single job they are applying to without adapting them and crafting them specifically to the job. This one-size-fits-all approach is a turn off for readers of your application and can also result in a lack of fit altogether. Include the most relevant and updated information in your resume and job application.

How do I better answer the question “What is your greatest professional achievement”?

Nothing says “hire me” better than a track record of achieving amazing results in past jobs, so don’t be shy when answering this interview question! A great way to do so is by using the STAR method: situation, task, action, results. Set up the situation and the task that you were required to complete to provide the interviewer with background context (e.g., “In my last job as a junior analyst, it was my role to manage the invoicing process”), then describe what you did (the action) and what you achieved (the result): “In one month, I streamlined the process, which saved my group 10 person-hours each month and reduced errors on invoices by 25 per cent.”

I was recently asked in an interview about a blunder that I made at my job. How can I answer this questions without seeming unsuitable for the job?

You’re probably not too eager to dig into past blunders when you’re trying to impress an interviewer and land a job. In fact, if you do it right, it can help you. The key is to be honest without placing blame on other people, then explain what you learned from your mistake and what actions you took to ensure it didn’t happen again. At the end of the day, employers are looking for folks who are self-aware, can take feedback, and care about doing better.