Job Search Preparation

Searching for a new job at IU? Here are some tips to help you prepare.

Things to do

Resume Tips

The purpose of a resume is to provide a professional summary of yourself. Your resume is often your first opportunity to make a good impression and to get noticed by hiring committees. Resumes are best when tailored and relevant to the position you're applying.

A good resume should include:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Knowledge, skills, and experience
  • Work history (reverse chronological order, from most recent to oldest)
  • Education
  • Memberships
  • Achievements

Resumes should NOT include:

  • Age or date of birth
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Political affiliation
  • Social Security Number

Cover Letter Tips

Cover letters can help introduce yourself in a memorable way on an employment application. Cover letters are usually optional for IU staff employment applications, yet they are a great opportunity for you to showcase your skills as well as your interest in the position. When writing a cover letter, it is important for it to be customized for the position you're applying.

Information to include in a cover letter:

  • Address cover letter to “Dear Hiring Committee” if the recruiter and/or hiring manager name is unknown
  • Meaningful and compelling introduction; tell your story and state why you are interested in the job
  • Examples of specific experience, projects you have been a part of, skills you have, and things you have accomplished
  • End the cover letter with a call-to-action by inviting the hiring committee to contact you and thanking them for taking the time to review your application materials

Interviewing Tips

IU generally conducts behavioral interviewing for staff positions. Behavioral interviewing is when hiring committees ask questions focused on learning how the interviewee behaved in certain situations. Behavioral interviewing questions at IU focus on the major IU staff competencies of customer focus, collaboration, values differences, ensures accountability, instills trust, and customer focus. Other interview questions may be technical or functional in nature.

Behavioral interview question usually begin with:

  • Tell me about a time you had to…
  • Tell me about a time you worked on…
  • Do you prefer to…
  • Tell me about a time when you…

Other interview question(s) relating to current events:

  • What have you done to develop professionally during COVID-19?

To prepare for a behavioral interview:

  • Prepare to respond to questions using the STAR method, by discussing the Situation, Task, Action, and Result of the situation you are describing
  • Create a list of your past experiences in the workplace, including good and not-so-good experiences
  • Think of possible behavioral interview questions and practice answering in a brief 3-5 minute time frame, using the STAR method