Sep 21

Was your college GPA lower than you’re proud to admit? Best thing to do is to leave it off your graduate resume.

Maybe you matriculate at an academically tough school. Or perhaps something happened during your college years that demanded more of your attention than you could give without harming your grades, such as a family member’s illness or a financial crisis that required you to work more than was good for your scholastic health.

Whatever the reason, if your GPA is lower than you think that employers and grad schools will prefer, omit the numbers from your resume and concentrate on describing your other college and work accomplishments and your skills instead.

You’ll make a much better impression by doing that than drawing attention to your lower-than-you’d like GPA!

Sep 18

Applying for jobs online is easy to, but there are certain traps you need to avoid.  The most important of these is to put personal information such as your address and phone number on your online job resume. The Internet is a wonderful invention, but online job seekers need to be vigilant about providing information that could enable and identity thief to steal yours.

Remember, too, that given the huge number of online resumes, employers want to cut down on the number they actually read by applying some stringent tests. If you have a profile on LinkedIn, facebook, myspace or other online community, be certain that the information you’ve posted there about yourself meshes with what’s on your resume.  Employers know about Google, too: While you’re busy Googling the companies for which you want to work, their HR staff is busy Googling you, too. Any discrepancies between what you’ve said about yourself online and in your resume will get you kicked out of consideration in a heartbeat.

Take the time to write a real cover letter when you apply for an online job, and tailor it specifically to each company to which you apply. A generic, one-size-fits-all is never appropriate if you want to be taken seriously! And make sure your email address sounds adult and professional.  If your personal email address is bikerchick@yahoo.com, for heaven’s sake don’t use it when you apply for a job!

Sep 14

When you were in grade school and middle school, high school seemed a world away—and the fact is, it was.  High school students get to do things that grade and middle schoolers only dream of doing. When you get to high school, your scholastic and extra-curricular achievements determine the quality of the college that will accept your application.

So far, so good.  However, once you have been graduated from college, you need to forget about your high school achievements and start looking for a job. Putting your high school attendance and accomplishments on your resume after graduating from college will make you look like you’re a kid, and one who’s hanging on to the past at that!

By the time you’re a college grad, you can vote, drink, get married, divorced, have a child and do the hundreds of other grown up activities that adults do.  You are moving into an adult world, so don’t take high school with you by putting it on your resume. Use the space to describe your college achievements, work history and job goals instead!

Sep 13

We live in an age of technology that is so rapidly expanding it’s truly mind boggling. Today’s grad students are becoming proficient at computers in a way that the current job-seeking generation didn’t begin to learn until high school or beyond.

Because technological expertise is rapidly becoming more the norm than the exception, it’s critical to list every bit of the technological expertise you possess on your resume.

Today’s employers expect that virtually everyone who applies to work with them has some computer experience. Even if the description of the job for which you are applying does not specifically mention computer proficiency, be sure you list your computer skills anyway.  Why? Because virtually every position above an entry level job does require some computer savvy today, and even if the job you’re interviewing for is entry level, you want to move up eventually, don’t you?

So list every ‘techie’ capability you have, as long as they are current, and especially if they are relevant to your career field.  You never know–there may be an opening for a better job than the one you’re applying for that will require that knowledge!

Sep 06

Unless your college days included performing extensive research work, you should limit your college resume to one page. Headhunters and HR managers both receive so very many resumes from recent college grads these days that they want to be able to grasp the salient points of each without having to wade through mounds of irrelevant detail.

Extensive research work, of course, is important to include because it is close to real world work than your college studies.  But unless you have it, you can list your education, pertinent background facts and your relevant job experience on one sheet of paper.

Even if you began working in your family’s business at age 12, you don’t need to include every single summer and holiday job you’ve ever had. You can give potential employers an overview of the character and job skills you acquired in your early work life without giving a separate paragraph to each one.

Make it easy for potential employers to read your resume and you are far more likely to be called in for an interview.

Sep 05

If you’re writing your resume, the temptation to do things that will make you “stand out from the crowd” can be overwhelming. We’ve all read of instances in which someone attributed getting hired for his or her dream job of a resume unlike any other.

However, the best thing every job seeker can do to improve the odds of being called in for an interview, which is the next step to landing that dream job, is to adhere to those tried and true resume writing rules that have helped millions of people get the jobs they wanted, which means using traditionally-styled chronological or skills formats employers are accustomed to reading.

Another common resume mistake is not having another pair of eyes proofread your resume before you start using it.  Even if you’re certain that you’ve presented your education, training and work experience in the best possible format, you may still have overlooked typos because your eyes have become accustomed to seeing them.

And don’t make the common mistake of constructing long, wordy sentences that leave readers scratching their heads trying to connect the noun and the verb.  You really don’t even need complete sentences in your resume; concise, understandable phrases communicate your message much more effectively.

Remember, you never have a second chance to make a first impression. The first impression you make on the potential employers to whom you send your resume will determine whether or not they call you in for an interview.

Sep 04

Did you see the movie “Legally Blond”, that 2001 comedy starring Reese Witherspoon in which she played a young woman who tries desperately to become accepted as a serious law student at Harvard despite the fact that she looks and acts like a real bimbo.

There’s a great scene in which our heroine is sending out resumes written on pink paper and scented with perfume.

The scene is cute, by doing this in real life will bring you anything but cute results. Some things should NOT be changed. Among these are wedding invitations, which should be printed in traditional form on high-quality invitation paper stock instead of sent by email, handwritten thank you notes instead of purchased thank you cards to which you simply sign your name.

Resumes fall into this same category. Resumes, whether written in chronological or functional format, should always, always, ALWAYS be clearly printed on white, ivory or light cream paper no lighter than 25 pound bond.

Putting your resume on colored paper may be cute in a movie, but doing so will bomb in real life!

Sep 03

Legal internship resumes are different from resumes written to find a job in non-legal fields.  For starters, a legal internship resume should not list a job objective since the objective is self evident.

What should be included in a legal internship resume? 

In addition to your contact information, your legal internship resume would include your education, honors and activities and experience. As a general rule, if you’ve graduated law school within the past two years, put your education at the top of your resume. The exception to this would be if you graduated from a law school not highly ranked or rated.

If graduation was longer than two years ago, list your experience first, unless you haven’t gotten any yet, in which case your education remains at the top.

When describing your education, list your law school studies first, then your college education and finally your high school degree. If you’re still in law school, be sure to include the date when you expect to graduate.

It’s usually easiest to include school honors and activities under the appropriate education heading. For example, if you graduated college with honors, list that fact along with your other college information. Honors are frequently explained by their titles, but if you’ve received honors that aren’t easy to understand by their designation, explain them. Be sure to include and positions of leadership that you have held.

List work experience in reverse chronological order and concentrate on legal experience including law clerking and intern positions. Though you can include positions held while in college or after college, keep descriptions short to keep your resume focused on legal experience.

Aug 30

Put yourself in the position of the HR manager in a company for which you really want to work now that you have your degree. What is that manager looking for in your resume, which (let’s face it) doesn’t have a great deal of job experience because you’ve just gotten out of school.

Well, this hypothetical HR manager is going to look for things that indicate your character traits.  Are you reliable? Do you do what you say you’re going to do? How seriously have you taken your college career?

These are just a few of the many messages your GPA sends to potential employers. These messages are going to make or break your initial job efforts, which is why keeping your GPA as high as you possible can is the best thing you can do in order to get the job you want when you graduate.

A high GPA tells potential employers that you are a self-disciplined individual who understands the value of work, and that’s just about the most important message any job candidate can send!

Aug 21

Writing a resume for your first job in the industry or profession of your choice isn’t easy when you’ve just finished graduate school isn’t easy. First of all,you don’t have much (if any) job experience in your chosen career because you’ve been too busy becoming qualified to perform it. This by itself is enough to make you feel insecure.

But don’t be dismayed! You can include your graduate work on your resume to “flesh out” your experience level and display your abilities and skills in a manner that will get you a call to be interviewed for the position you want.

Your resume should include all of your skills in the most global sense possible so that potential employers can see the strengths you have and the benefits you will bring to their organizations. Even if you haven’t yet some of your skills in the workplace, letting potential employers know that you have them gives you an edge over your competition.

So never hesitate to list and describe the work you did during your graduate studies. After all, doing that work was why you went to graduate school in the first place, wasn’t it?