Archive for the ‘Interview and Resume Tips’ Category

Quality Internships – Look No Further than ACG

An article that was posted today in The Atlantic by Derek Thompson cites that the most important attribute in evaluating graduates today is the quality of internships.  Internships are almost twice as important as one’s major, three times as important as your GPA, and 5 times as important as the college reputation.  This research comes as no surprise to ACG as our internship program is the best program in the industry.  We have had more than 40 interns over the past 10 years, most of whom have experienced extraordinary success working in asset management, acquisition, development, and brokerage.  There are more than a dozen firms in Atlanta who regularly hire our interns because the interns not only have great academic credentials but have practical Argus and due diligence experience.

If you are looking to get into the industry and you need the experience of an internship program that trains and prepares you for success, consider applying for our 3-month internship program.  At the conclusion of the program, we place you with one of our clients (or we employ you ourselves).  We are now accepting applicants for our January 2017 program.  Please send your resume to

Resume Tip: Numbers, Numbers and More Numbers

If you are applying for an analyst, acquisitions, asset management, or brokerage position then you should make sure that you add as many numbers to your resume as possible. For example, don’t just state that you were involved with the closing, due diligence and structuring of numerous real estate transactions. Instead, write “involved in $1.2 billion of real estate transactions including 11 strip centers, 6 office buildings and a 1.3 million SF multi-use development.” If you modeled and reviewed cash flows, state that you “built 26 Argus models totaling $165 million including 9 regional malls with complex recovery methodologies.” The more numbers that you include on your resume, the better impression you will make.

My Former Employer Sucks…NOT!

When you interview for a job, you most likely will be asked to describe your former employers. Make sure that you are positive about the job and about the person to whom you reported. I had one candidate tell me recently that his boss was having an affair and his supervisor was an idiot. No way I am hiring that person! Never talk negatively about your prior employer. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing. Nobody likes a complainer.

How not to describe yourself in an interview

According to a recent article in Business Insider, there are some words that you should not use to describe yourself when you are interviewing.  These include intelligent (versus quantitative  and analytical), likable (versus high-energy, team-oriented) and successful (versus your specific value that you bring to the table).  You want to be able to articulate why you are a good fit the the position they are looking to fill.  The more that you can tell a story that demonstrates your attributes versus describing your attributes, the greater the likelihood will be that you are well-received.

Best Question to ask at Job Interview

According to Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local, there comes a time in every job interview when the interviewer asks, “Now do you have any questions forme ?”  This is a terrific opportunity to impress the interviewer.  Kerpen addes that the most important question you can ask is, “How will the work I’ll be doing contribute to the organization’s mission?” 

We further recommend that you couch this question by articulating your value proposition.  For example, you might frame the question as the following: “My Argus and Excel skills are advanced based upon the significant amount of transaction-based work that I have been asked to do over the past couple of years.  How might these skills contribute to your overall mission?”

Entering an interview armed with these types of questions surely will distinguish you from other candidates.

The one question you should never ask in job interviews

According to a recent article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, hiring managers should not ask candidates to personally rate their skills.  The writer summarizes that the reason behind this flawed question is that highly skilled performers will evaluate their skills more conservatively because they are aware of more features about a program.  We always ask candidates to describe their skill set and then we issue them an actual assessment exam to determine if their self-evaluation is accurate.  We have found that more often than not, candidates boast a much greater software expertise using programs like Excel and Argus than their actual skill set demonstrates.  Interestingly, the  disparity between the self-assessment and actual assessment is greater in male candidates than female candidates, who perhaps are not as likely to brag about their skill set or are not as outwardly confident.

Resume Tip: Outdated Phrases

We have seen resumes evolve over the past few years. For example, including a “stated objective” on the top of the resume used to be very common. Today, we recommend that you exclude such remarks. Isn’t your stated objective to get a good job? The most common outdated phrase that we see on resumes is “references available upon request.” This is simply a silly comment. Of course references are available. We also suggest that including an ‘Interests’ section that includes things like travel, cooking and reading is quite silly. The only non-work-related items that you should include on your resume should be those that demonstrate your competitiveness and that distinguish you from the competition. Including that you were an NCAA Division I athlete, that you were a national champion, that you made the Olympic team, and other sports-related tidbits that make you unique are the types of items that employers want to read about and that will surely promote discussion at your interview.

In sum, eliminate the fluff from your resume and focus on your expertise and skill set. Always read your resume bullet points and ask yourself if you are articulating the value that you bring to a prospective employer.



Resume Tip: Social Media

For the most part, one should leave social media information off of your resume.  However, more and more frequently we are searching online to get as much information about candidates as we are able.  Make sure that you stack the deck in favor of recruiters and employers finding a strong presence that makes you look dynamic and engaged.   Remember that setting your profile as “private” does not mean that employers are unable to see your main profile.  Post a professional photo, stay away from posts that are too political or religious, and make sure that you are adequately plugged into the industry by sharing interesting news.  Your social media presence should support your resume.  You won’t get hired because of your social media presence; however, you could be eliminated from contention if employers or recruiters do not approve of what they find.

Job Hunting Tip #19: Research the Company

How much do you know about the company that just contacted you to schedule an interview? It should be plenty, and all the information you need is available online.  Get the inside scoop on the company culture and use connections who can help you get an interview advantage.  Who you know at the company you are interviewing with really does matter.

Job Hunting Tip #18: The Don’ts of Resumes

These four don’ts are the kiss of death on any resume.

1.      Don’t hide important information at the end.    If you graduated Phi Beta Kappa or you won a national championship, don’t list these things under Honors and Awards even if Honors and Awards fall at the end of the standard resume template you’re using.  Make it easy for a recruiter or employer to figure out that you are a superstar.

2.     Don’t overstate your value.  You should be confident; however, don’t let your confidence slip into arrogance.  I generally throw away resumes that state that an entire organization was saved by the 22-year old waiter.

3.     Don’t have typos. Do I even need to remind people that this is a no-no?  You should reread your resume several times as spell-check doesn’t catch the errors like “he” versus “the” or “in” versus “on.”

4.     Don’t be bland.  You get one shot to sell yourself with your resume, so make it count.  Some people worry so much about fitting into the standard resume format that they become one of 100 other resumes that look just alike.  Don’t go crazy and print on perfumed paper, but produce the most professional, eye-appealing resume that you can.  How it looks matters.