Archive | Resumes & Cover Letters

Image by William Iven, unsplash.com

Image by William Iven, unsplash.com

Many college students may find after graduation that the job market now asks for more than just a Bachelor’s degree. Recruiters are expecting candidates to have experience fresh out of school and most will be looking for that experience through internships. Internships have become the new normal for college graduates. As a newly graduated student fresh in the job hunt, you will want to have not just a college degree on hand but also a plethora of internships to show off to recruiters. Here are some reasons why interning is an important supplement to your college degree:

1. Gaining Valuable Experience – Internships are one of the best ways to gain real-world experience in the field of your choice. Recruiters are often searching for applicants that already have experience working within an established company through an internship. Experience as an intern shows your future employers not only that you are familiar with a professional work setting but that you are eager to learn and be flexible.

2. Resume Booster – A resume with one or more internships listed will likely put you a step above other candidates that have no internships. This goes along with gaining valuable experience as the more you intern, the more experience you have to list in your resume. An ample resume can help you stand out from the sea of applications that many recruiters receive and internships are an easy way to gain work experience. Your resume is also not just a place to show off what you know but also who you know. Internships are also a great place to meet people that you can list as recommendations or references on your resume.

3. Networking – Another key reason internships are so important is that it gives students opportunities to network and to network with the right people. Everyone knows that who you know in the industry matters just as much as what you know and internships give students a great way to get to know professionals in their field. Networking opportunities such as internships can help put you on the fast track to getting your first job out of school.

4. Opportunities For Hire – Internships are often a great way to get your foot in the door for open positions later. Many hiring managers will look to their interns if positions open up as they already have the experience of working with teams and are already familiar with the office culture. Hiring interns allows managers to offer job positions to people they have already trained as well as cut down on the interview process.

5. Earn College Credit – Many internships offer students college credit in exchange for their time. This means as a student you can gain valuable job experience and have it count towards your degree. Earning that extra college credit often means students can get to their graduation deadline quicker.

6. Develop New Skills – There are some things you just can not learn in the classroom and interning can help you learn skills that happen in a real-world, professional setting. The days of interns running to get coffee or office supplies are long gone, as many companies instead choose a more mentorship approach to with their interns. Students often get to sit in on meetings and help teams accomplish goals or projects.

7. Try Out A Field – Many students go into their degrees without ever experiencing what actually working in the field might be like. Interning gives you the opportunity to try out a field and see if it is right for you.

There are numerous benefits for students to intern and in today’s highly competitive job market, interning has quickly become the new normal. Interning is not confined to one industry either; many companies and organizations in virtually every industry offer internship programs. There are also many internship programs that have the added benefit of paid stipends or even going abroad. Overall, students can only benefit from interning both while in school and after graduation.

This article was contributed by guest author Nick Rojas.

Let’s get one thing clear – the majority of professionals spend at least eight hours at work every weekday. Per year, that’s 1,842 hours. But that’s not the end of it – in their lifetime, professionals spend at least 90,000 hours working!

Needless to say, working a job that you don’t like is a massive waste of time.

Sure, it’s risky to change jobs in the current economy. Plus, your resume may come up against an average of 250 others. Considering that recruiters take as little as 6 seconds to decide whether or not to read a resume, it’s fair to say that the job market is pretty tough these days.

But what’s at stake here is your life. You shouldn’t stick to your old job just because you’re afraid of the competition.

An easy way to face this challenge is to send a resume that works. Read the full guide to making a resume here or start with quick tips from the infographic below. It will seriously improve your chances of getting closer to your dream position.

If you rely on these 5-minute resume tricks, you’re bound to create a resume that makes a great impression on recruiters.

Here’s what you can do right now to improve your resume:

  • Organize your resume so that it’s scannable, and pick a font that enhances readability.
  • Attract recruiters’ attention with a compelling introduction and choose strategic keywords to keep them interested.
  • Structure information in order of importance.
  • Include numbers and statistics that illustrate your expertise.
  • Have someone else proofread your resume to get rid of mistakes or typos. Use Grammarly or Language Tool to correct your resume too.

Your resume and online profiles should present one professional narrative – a story about a person who knows what they want and will do their best to achieve what they want.

With a revamped resume in hand, you’re ready to face recruiters and apply for your dream job.

Need more 5-minute resume tricks? Check out this infographic to polish your resume and land your dream job.

Image by Natalie Severt

Image by Natalie Severt

This article was contributed by guest author Natalie Severt.

Image by Shilad Sen, Flickr

Image by Shilad Sen, Flickr

You studied hard, did your work, participated in discussions, and earned good grades. This is self-promotion in terms of the college classroom. Self-promotion in the job market requires skills too, but they may not be so very different from those you’ve already mastered. Consider the following.

1. Know the field you want to enter
In university terms, this means assembling sources of information. Before sending in applications and setting up interviews, make a general survey of the businesses that interest you most. Consider their location, their structure, and the positions they offer. This information will give you confidence as you proceed.

2. Research your field by making direct contact with potential employers
If you were writing a paper for class, you’d start by gathering information. When preparing to promote yourself to a potential employer, you can ask those questions and seek more information even before sending in an application. Polite emails introducing yourself and asking intelligent questions form a first contact in the job-seeking process.

3. Review what you’ve learned and streamline your self-image
As you gather information about the jobs you want, consider how what you have to offer matches what potential employers are seeking. The overlapping features are those that you’ll most actively promote during the job search.

4. Develop a CV that reflects your intentions
Consider your current CV a “rough draft” for your next job interview. Using the information you’ve acquired through your research, prepare a final draft of the CV especially for this interview. The new CV will in turn be a rough draft for the next interview.

5. Prepare for the job interview
When writing papers for university, you were expected to develop a “thesis statement,” a position you were attempting to prove correct. Prepare for your job interview by creating a thesis statement about yourself and why you are a good fit for the job under consideration.

6. Be prepared to present yourself in a positive and objective way
You gave many class presentations at university. Good preparation and practice were the key. When you are called in for a job interview, access the same skills. Speak with confidence about material that you know very well: yourself and your abilities.

7. View your field from new angles
The job market is constantly changing, bringing new challenges and new opportunities. It may be that enhancing your abilities will help you meet those challenges more effectively. Consider enrolling in an MBA program online, for example, not only to add to your skill set but also to keep you up to date on the most recent developments in your field.

Self-promotion requires courage, commitment, patience, and practice, as well as self-knowledge and honesty. These qualities helped you during your college years, and will continue to do so as you emerge in the business world.

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.

Image by Pimthida on Flickr

Image by Pimthida on Flickr

There was a time when innovation was expected from creative professionals while showcasing their skills through a proper resume. It grabbed the attention of employers at the first go; however, the effect was not long lasting. Soon this creativeness appeared as desperate appeals from the job seekers. There are myriads of creative job opportunities available in the market. We analysed what impresses employers when it comes to hiring creatives and came up with nine resume writing tips that keep in mind the challenges faced by these prolific professionals:

1. Relax your creative rendition
Since you are a creative professional, it is natural to present aesthetic cover letters and elegant resumes. While showcasing your creative abilities is relevant for the position you are applying for, you should also consider that the person at the hiring end might not be from the creative field. So what might be innovative and edgy to you might appear unprofessional to your recruiter. You can infuse artistic elements into your resume in bits and pieces; however, maintain a professional tone throughout.

2. Show your creative effects from a business perspective
Apart from mastering the skills, the creative pro should understand how his or her contribution helps in hiking the business. Analysis of your contribution to the business should be accentuated in your resume as the organization will always look at the business perspective while hiring you. Include percentages, numbers and growth statistics to convey to the employers that you have a good understanding of business.

3. Compress files where you can
Recruiters are not expected to assess portfolios of higher resolution. An alarming number of creative professionals fails to resize or compress their JPEGs or PDF image files. It is a red alert for a creative pro as it gives the impression that the job seeker is not clear with the basics of compressing files.

4. Give online links to your portfolios
Describe your work through a simple one-liner and provide the link to your online portfolio that will allow the recruiter to view your extensive projects. It is the easiest way to showcase your work that is professionally accurate as well.

5. De-clutter and keep it clean
Keep your resume as well as online portfolio as succinct as possible. Making it decorative and artistic might land you in a mess which can be considered unprofessional by your employer. When it comes to an online portfolio, make sure that the navigation is user-friendly and all your relevant work is listed in an organized manner. Format your resume properly and avoid relying on multimedia that might increase the load time of your page.

6. List your awards
Awards and certifications are the necessary spice in the resume of a creative professional. Don’t be shy in promoting the awards you have won for your work. Awards are the testimonials that speak for the creative pro. These determine if it is worth spending time reading over your resume and whether you’re fit for a role in the organization.

7. Show that you adhere to deadlines
Being creative without taking into account your deadlines will not give you an edge when it comes to hiring. You resume should give evidence of you working to a deadline. A creative pro is expected to show his or her talents on the spot.

8. Showcase your communication skills
Though people are hired for their creative abilities, they can be fired for not communicating their work. A creative professional should present his or her communication abilities in their resume so the recruiter understands that he is well versed with methods of communication within the organization.

9. Try not to make it offensive
Over the top designs and creativity does not go down well with the recruiter. Your artistic sense can be misinterpreted and potentially offend your recruiter. Art tweaks the emotional aspect of an individual, so your choice of images and words should evoke positivity, making your employer feel good about your resume.

Your resume should represent your talent, citing you as the perfect creative professional your employer needs.

This article was contributed by guest author Tina Jindal.

Image by Gangplank HQ, flickr

Image by Gangplank HQ, flickr

In school, you’ll see plenty of opportunities to apply for jobs – full time, part time, internships, co-ops – even an application to attend a conference or be a club executive may require a resume. Use the beginning of the school year to freshen up your documents so if something does come up, you’re not rushing to complete them. Here are a number of tips we’ve compiled from @wisebread‘s weekly #wbchat – this one on modern tips for resumes.

  1. Eliminate the Objective
  2. This one will come as a surprise to those of us (myself included) stuck in our standard resume format ways. Look at the objective on your resume. Chances are it says something along the lines of “To use my skills to help your company succeed.” If everyone applying for the position has the same cookie cutter sentence, it won’t help any of you. Remove the redundancy and use that space for more important information. Perhaps, add in a section with your unique skill set.

    objective

  3. It’s Okay to Brag, But Be Honest
  4. Your resume is one of the only places where it’s deemed acceptable to brag about yourself. This is your time to shine. List all the qualities that will tell an employer why you’re amazing at what you do. That being said, keep them accurate and honest. Don’t exaggerate; if you get to the interview stage, you’ll spend more time trying to cover up your little white lies than talking about the job. If there is a gap between jobs in your resume, explain what you did during that time. Chances are you weren’t on the couch day after day (we’d hope) – were you volunteering? Writing/blogging? Travelling? Be sure to include these – they might be just as interesting as another job to your interviewer.

  5. Eliminate the Fluff
  6. Bragging about yourself is great, but no one wants to read a five-page resume. Cut out anything you’ve added as filler. Keep it simple and concise. If you can get your resume down to one page (without eliminating important information), do it. Instead of writing about your job description, include accomplishments and numbers wherever you can – here’s an example:

    Written as a Job DescriptionWritten as an Accomplishment
    Responsible for promoting the conference to peersPromoted the conference to peers, resulting in a 25% increase in attendance

    quantify

  7. Tailor Your Resume
  8. How many resumes do you have? Is it necessary to have more than one? It depends on the job you’re applying for. If you’re applying to anything and everything, yes, you may need different resumes for each industry. The majority of people have one; but as standard as a resume might seem, it should always be tailored to the industry and the job you’re applying for. Highlight different skill sets and add descriptions that may apply to the specific job. Consider creating a LinkedIn profile; it can be updated more easily than a resume and you won’t forget new job responsibilities when the time comes to refresh your documents. Remember though that a LinkedIn profile is not a replacement for a resume.

    tailor

  9. Proofread, Proofread, and then Proofread Again
  10. A number of hiring managers have mentioned that if a resume has a spelling mistake on it, it immediately goes into the trash. As harsh as this may seem, the logic makes sense – if you don’t have the time or care to proof your resume – a document that could essentially start a new career for you – how do they know you won’t be as careless with the work you’re given at their company? Always proofread your resume. Send it to a peer to make sure that not only are there no mistakes, but that the content is applicable to the job you’re applying for.

    relevancy

  11. Stand Out, But Keep it Professional
  12. Everyone wants their resume to stand out. But is printing it on pink paper with a spritz of perfume (Legally Blonde style) really the way to do it? Always look at the type of company you’re applying to first. If you’re applying to a law or accounting firm, you’re best to use a standard black and white format. If you’re applying to an ad agency or web design firm, you can probably afford to be more creative. If you’re not sure, play it on the safe side.

    format

  13. Critique It As If You Were the Hiring Manager
  14. Our last piece of advice, and a very important one, is to take a step back. Read it with a different mindset. If you were a big shot hiring manager and you could pick anyone to work for you, would reading that resume sell you? Would you be excited for an interview with this student? If not, try to figure out what would entice a hiring manager to talk to you. Do you need more facts and figures? Do you need to talk more about your accomplishments? Ask family or friends if there’s a better way to word your skills.

    hiringmanager

    If you need more assistance, check out your school’s career centre. The counsellors will be more than happy to review your resume with you and provide suggestions for improvement. Once your resume is finalized, you’ll need to start your interview prep. Here are some tips to get you started!