Aug 18


College students and new graduates often feel they have nothing to include on a resume when conducting job search and for using with job applications. College students’ work experience is often seemingly unrelated to their job targets, and aside from that, the only information left to include is education. However, while this may seem like the case, it simply isn’t so!

Transferable Skills

One method of approaching a college student or new graduate resume is to focus on transferable skills. These skills are applicable to different situations. The ability to communicate well, for example, is a skill that is useful in any industry or position. Other transferable skills may include the ability to work well with numbers, sales skills, or an ability to solve problems by looking at the big picture. These are only a few examples.

How do you list transferable skills? There are a number of ways to include transferable skills in your resume, job application, and cover letter. The following are some tips for various sections of the resume.

The Summary or Profile

Objective statements are out. Profiles are in. Open with a brief introductory paragraph describing your most “sellable” points. Briefly list transferable skills here, or present them in a keyword summary list. This is exactly as it sounds: a list of keywords. Use those that show your transferable skills.

Education

Depending on your college major, you likely had to write papers, complete projects, or both. What were the outcomes of these? Did you conduct comprehensive research on a subject? Design an engineering plan? Were these published or put into use in the “real world”? Use as much of your educational experience to your advantage. You can also include a summary of coursework, which often demonstrates transferable skills that are used in the educational setting and in the world of business.

Employment History

Many college students have a work history unrelated to their targeted field. If this is true for you, take heart. You can include many transferable skills on your college or new graduate resume. At the most basic, you likely gained professional skills such as dependability, working with others, collaborating on projects, communicating with clients or customers, and much more. Your work history may not be as unrelated as it first seems.

Additional Information

Any volunteer work or memberships may lead to transferable skills. Just as your employment history helps you learn transferable skills, so too does volunteer work. It also demonstrates a commitment to helping others. If you’ve fulfilled any roles in a professional organization, this too can show transferable (and sometimes directly related) skills.

When you take the time to thoroughly review your experience, education, and other related activities, you will discover a number of transferable skills. Use these to your advantage! Your resume, college application, job application, or cover letter will be much stronger for it.

Aug 12


If you’ve just graduated from college or high school and want to accumulate job experience, hit your computer and find an internship online. An internship is a pre-professional, usually unpaid, job that provides students, recent graduates, and people hoping to change careers with experience in a particular career field. For students, internships can also offer college credit. If you’re thinking of transitioning into a new career field, find an internship as a way to try out a new job without making a permanent commitment.

If you’re in college, you visit your college’s Career Services office, or ask if they have a program helping students find an internship. If your college arranges to find an internship for students, they may have a web page where you can check out internships online. These internships are geared specifically toward students from your college, so you may find a perfect fit on just one visit to the site.

There are also websites designed to act as search engines just to help you find an internship. One of those, MonsterTrak.com, is not only an exhaustive job listing database, it also offers an internship database – all you need to do is enter “internship” in the search field. If you’re a current student or a college graduate, call your school’s career counseling office to find out if your college is partnered with MonsterTrak – if they are, they can provide you with a password. Also try sites that let you find an internship – Internweb.com, one of many such sites, has a search feature that lets you to specify location, industry, job function, and even the time of year you’d like to do your internship.

If you’re a recent college graduate looking for work experience or even an older adult hoping to change careers, seriously consider an internship to get the work experience you need – or just to find out if you really want to work in that field at all. A surprising number of industries, from computer tech and banking to the restaurant business and law, offer internships for work experience and even college credit. They offer a chance for those new to a particular field to gain experience while working under mentors who know the business inside and out. Find an internship the same way you would hunt for a job – just specify that you’re looking for an internship online, rather than a permanent position.

Aug 04

Remember that commercial you heard on the radio the other day? The one with the catchy jingle that you can’t get out of your head? That’s good marketing! Take notes from that on how to create a resume that will make an impression on employers. Much like commercials or ads…resumes need to grab the attention of the reader! When writers are planning commercials for print, television, or radio, they focus on finding a ‘hook’ that will get inside your head . You should do he same thing When writing your resume.

In fact you have to write a resume that captures the attention of the hiring manager within the first couple of seconds otherwise your resume will be tossed. Resume writing allows you a creative freedom that many people don’t bother using when they create resumes for their job search. You can’t be completely off-the-wall with your resume, you can still e craft a resume that is as catchy as that new commercial and maintain your professional image.

Gather together your information and make sure that you have a copy of the job listing. The copy of the job listing will help you with this. You can read over it for keywords, or to see where the employer places the emphasis in the listing, so that you know what aspects of your skills and training they are interested in hearing about. The resume doesn’t have to give your life story, it simply has to intrigue the hiring manager enough that you get called in for an interview. Now this doesn’t mean to leave them hanging. On the contrary, you need to be sure that you provide all of the requested information, as well as a full list of your employment history and educational background.

There is a delicate balance between providing a professional looking resume and building a creative resume. Keep that professionalism in mind while you write, you can take the creativity to whatever extent possible, while still maintaining integrity in your resume writing. Many people feel like they are simply recording a documented history of their experience, you are really creating history in your resume. Your resume is the one place where you can list your job experiences the way that YOU want, to give you the best chance at landing the job.

Nothing I have written above means or insinuates that you should lie. In Fact…NEVER lie on a resume; it will come back to haunt you. Being creative in language and phrasing etc. is a far cry from telling lies. For example, instead of saying “Assistant Manager”, you could say something along the lines of “Assistant Manager of Human Resources and Employee Relations.”   This gives a much clearer idea of what you actually did at your job than the first example.

Feb 04

What Will Your Search Say About You?

You are ready to apply for that dream job and have everything you need from a stellar resume to a suitable suit. Although you may think you’ve covered all your bases, did you know that many employers Google potential employees to gather more information? Consider what your Google search might say about you before you leave for that big job interview.

Although the Internet can seem like a virtual playground, the information you share online is very real and can come back to haunt you down the road – such as during a major job interview. Start by Googling yourself to see what you come up with. Are you less than satisfied with the results? Do your best to eliminate your name from negative Google searches by updating your profiles on MySpace and FaceBook or deleting controversial blog entries that you would never want a prospective employer to read. Remember, even though you may have posted your entries for the benefit of friends and fun, your next employer may also have access to your questionable quips after a simple Google search. Make sure you land that dream job by Googling yourself before you go so you know you are presenting a positive image everywhere you go.

Oct 18

Stand Out In a CrowdDon’t be modest about what you’ve managed to accomplish in life. Be bold, and shout it from the rooftops instead!

Well, okay, maybe not from the rooftops—you might attract the wrong kind of attention up there.

The point is, if you don’t tell others about your accomplishments, who will? You don’t have to bore people to death with long-winded recitations of how you did what you’ve done, either.  Simply sit down, list all your accomplishments from kindergarten until now, then pick the ones that you think set you apart from the crowd.

Use your short list to develop a few catchy ways to introduce these into your resume, your conversations, and your emails, then do just that.

You’ll stand out from the crowd for sure, now!

Sep 11

The best fonts to use in a print version of a professional resume are classic fonts such as Times, Times New Roman, Arial, Bookman or Georgia. The reasons for this are threefold: First, each of these fonts is commonly used in books, newspapers, magazines and other print periodicals.  Because of this, peoples’ eyes are accustomed to reading them. Though an interviewer might not be slowed down a great deal by having to read a resume printed in an unfamiliar or exotic font, the fact remains that it does take longer to read documents printed in unfamiliar type.

Secondly, by using a font associated with books and newspapers, you are sending a subliminal signal to the reader that int information being conveyed is important and newsworthy.  It’s a signal that say, “Listen up! This is important!”

The third reason for selecting one of these fonts is that they are traditionally used in business communications and therefore automatically make you appear more businesslike and professional.

The one exception to the above rule is if your resume will be for a position in art, advertising or closely related occupational fields.  In that case, the design of the resume takes on more importance, and more elaborate or creative fonts are acceptable.

Aug 27

It’s perfectly understandable that new job seekers make mistakes in the cover letters they write to go along with their resumes. Understandable, but unacceptable nonetheless.

If you want to put your best foot forward in the cover letter you send along with your resume, be sure NOT to make these mistakes:

Not remembering to enclose your résumé and any other materials to which your cover letter refers.

Making typos. Typographical errors send a message of “I didn’t care enough about this to run my spell checking program” so make certain that you edit your work very carefully.

Forgetting to change the name and address of the company from the last company you sent it to before you print out your cover letter.

Applying for one position but mentioning another position in the body of your cover letter, unless it is already mutually understood that the position for which you are applying is a “jumping off” post for another position later on.

Trying to impress the potential employers with your knowledge of their company when you have only the most basic idea of what it is the company does.

Keep your cover letter short, sweet, accurate and to the point and it will serve you well!

Inappropriate tone. Always use a positive manner. Make sure the letter strengthens your candidacy. It might help if you had someone else read the letter as well.

Unrelated Career Goals. Personalize each letter for the employer. Show a genuine interest in the position. Remember that the employer is interested in what you can do for the company. Every part of the letter should support the purpose for which you are writing. If you are applying for a position as a sales representative, include only the experience you have that pertains to that position.

Emphasizing a lack of experience. Do not call attention to your shortcomings in a letter. You should only emphasize your strengths. Focus on your skills, experience, and ability.

Misrepresentation. Never, ever misrepresent your experience or skills in either your cover letter or résumé. If it is discovered, it is grounds for immediate dismissal. If you have achieved something, say so, but do not exaggerate to the point of misrepresenting the facts.

Aug 15

When writing a resume, be certain you include your major college coursework.  Not only will knowing about your course of study be important information for potential employers to have, but now that everyone  uses the Internet to check for absolutely everything, the same words that describe your major course of study are also great SEO terms as well!

Increasingly, employers are conducting Internet searches for new employees. They use words that describe the talents and abilities they want their new employees to have. So by including complete descriptions of your major college courses, you are providing potential employers who use those selfsame words as search engine tools with an additional means for finding (and hiring) you.

You don’t have to go to great lengths to do this, either.  Just think of the most descriptive words and phrases of your majors that are most important to you and be sure that you include these in your resume at least twice, more frequently if possible, but in different combinations.

Your resume will be SEO-optimized, which will automatically get you more interviews than you would otherwise have had!

Jul 03

My new career is well on its way, thanks to GradResumes.com. As a new college grad, the competition is steep, and I knew I needed professional help in writing a resume that would get noticed and showcase my past employment history and skills set along side my education credentials.

GradResumes.com was terrific. They knew exactly what prospective employers in my field would be looking for in a resume, and they delivered! Continue reading »

Jun 25

Graduates Entering the Job MarketAn effective resume is essential for recent graduates. Most of the time, you will be looking for your first job in the profession you have chosen and a good resume can help you to land that dream job.

A well-defined resume is critical for entry-level school graduates because it is a reflection of your professional identity and future goals. Although your work experience may be limited, showing the jobs you have held indicates your ability to find employment and succeed in a work environment. Continue reading »