Jun 14

Summer is here and the job race for new graduates is heating up. Spring is the largest graduation season for colleges and universities and many job seekers began looking in March or April. The vast majority however are too involved in finishing up school to concentrate on a job search until they actually have graduated. At that time the competition becomes fierce with a new graduate competing against all of the other new graduates from his or her major. The summer time is a time for resumes, interviews and trying to map out the future. Companies take advantage of this time period to announce that they are seeking new employees and to try to acquire the best of the “new crop.” Continue reading »

May 31

In order to best showcase your degree on your resume, first you need to know what educational qualifications are most relevant to the job for which you are applying. An analysis of the job posting can help you with this.

Tailor your education section to the job by including only the most relevant content. If your degree is in a highly specialized field or you’ve had coursework specifically relevant to the position, then you’ll want to list that.

On the other hand, a self-explanatory degree – such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing – coursework isn’t necessary. You should, however, include your clinicals, internships or other portions of your education that contribute to hands-on experience in your chosen field.

Placement is important. The most impressive and relevant educational information should appear at the top of your education section, even if it isn’t the most recent. Your degree demonstrates to employers that not only do you have necessary training in your field, but you also have the determination and tenacity required to finish your education. Hiring managers want to know that you are dedicated to continual professional growth and development, so use your resume to demonstrate this.

May 23

If you are a recent graduate applying for your first job in your field, research work should always be included on your resume. This is because most new graduates have little or no work experience, so employers must rely on a review of your other experiences in order to determine whether your qualifications would be a good match for their open position.

It’s up to you to provide them with enough information to make such a decision. To present yourself in the best possible light, include any independent or group research studies with which you have been involved. These experiences can be as important as work experience, because they often demonstrate that you have some practical experience in your chosen field.

Just be sure to provide at least a brief description of the research done, the findings, and your role in the project. If applicable, you might mention any specific skills learned or tools used, or methodologies employed.

Extensive research can be presented in a separate section on the resume, but if you have only one or two research studies to mention – such as a senior project, for example, you may simply include them underneath your degree information in the education section.

May 16

Have you ever heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make money?” Your job search is one such example. Because your resume offers a prospective employer his or her first introduction to you and what you have to offer, it is imperative to present yourself in a comprehensive, persuasive and conspicuous way.

So unless you are absolutely certain that you can create a top-notch resume on your own, it’s best to turn to professionals who know the ins and outs of resume writing. A professional writer will know what employers and recruiters are looking for and have the writing skills to make you stand out from the hundreds of other people who are applying for the same jobs that you are.

A professionally written resume can dramatically improve your chances of getting an interview and reduce the length of your job search. Think of your resume as an investment, because that is essentially what it is. It’s an investment in your future, one that can help you attract a better job and a higher salary. So, for example, if your resume costs $300 but earns you a salary increase of, say, $10,000 per year, then isn’t it worth it?

May 15

GradResumes.com specializes in writing resumes for recent college graduates. Our professional writers are experts in showcasing the skills, knowledge and abilities gained during the college years.

Writing a resume for a new grad is quite different than writing a resume for an experienced job-seeker, but our staff takes a multi-tiered approach to discovering the unique qualifications that each client possesses.

That approach includes the creation of a targeted job objective, then a careful examination of all experiences you’ve gained during your years in college, including your coursework, internships, co-ops, volunteer work, part-time and summer jobs, research projects and extra-curricular involvement. Anything related to your objective should be included on your resume.

Next, a list of transferable skills are developed from your experiences and presented in such a way that employers will clearly see the benefits of hiring you. Finally, staff members make sure important industry keywords appear in the resume, so that if you post your resume online, it won’t be missed during searches by potential employers.

Hiring a professional service such as GradResumes.com can help you learn how to handle potential problem areas and concerns, such as:

• Whether you should include your GPA
• How many pages your resume should be
• Where your education should appear on your resume
• What font and format should be used
• Whether you should include personal hobbies
• How to tailor the resume to fit specific positions

May 14

If you are graduating soon, you need to be aware of the importance of a strong resume. Your resume is essentially a sales tool, selling you to employers. So how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd? You might hire a professional resume writing service to do the work for you; but even if you ultimately decide to write your own resume, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you begin the process.

First, have a clear objective in mind. Writing a resume without an objective is like shooting an arrow at a blank wall. Without a target, how do you know what you are shooting at? The more specific your objective, the better a resume you can create. If this means creating different versions of the resume for every job you apply for, then so be it.

Second, don’t include information that is completely irrelevant to your objective. Focus on transferable skills – the skills, abilities and knowledge you have gained from all your combined experiences that will be beneficial to you in the job you are seeking.

Finally, be sure to include any volunteerism, internships, co-ops, research projects, and other experience that have helped you become the person you are. You may think you have no work experience, but if you think carefully back over your years in school you may realize that you have had experiences that have been just as valuable as a job in helping you apply the skills you’ve learned in class.

May 09

If you have little or no experience related to your career objective, you’ll need another way to attract a prospective employer’s attention and present yourself as a worthy candidate. To achieve this, highlight transferable skills on your resume. These are skills and abilities you possess that can be of benefit in a variety of job positions. Some examples are leadership skills, organizational skills, computer literacy, and ability to multi-task.

To identify your transferable skills, make a comprehensive list of all your work experience, school activities, volunteer work, sports, hobbies and other activities in which you have participated, as well as specific accomplishments. Carefully review the list, determining what specific skills each activity has helped you master. Then list these skills on your resume under the heading “Transferable Skills,” taking care to include only the skills that are relevant to your specific job objective. For instance, if you are seeking a job as a computer programmer, your public speaking ability isn’t really important.

Be sure to have concrete examples of each skill in mind, so that you are able to substantiate your statements in an interview situation. As a new graduate, your transferable skills are one of the keys to helping you land the position that will propel your career. Make them work for you.

May 03

An advanced degree is a sign of personal initiative and drive. Indeed, some companies even offer tuition reimbursement to their employees who return to school, so it’s obvious that education is important to employers.

Advanced education can be a huge boost to your career in nearly any field, providing opportunities to make more money and be promoted sooner. Showcase your high level education on your resume.

When listing your education list your most advanced degree first, then lesser degrees underneath. If you are currently enrolled in a degree program but have not completed it, don’t leave it off your resume. List it and use the term “In Progress” or “Expected 2008,” or some similar notation to let employers know you are still working toward the degree.

Whatever you do, never lie about your educational credentials. Believe it or not, many people do, but it’s never a good idea. Your indiscretion will most likely be discovered sooner or later, even if you are hired. It would be a shame to be fired because of a fudged resume.

May 02

You might think that a new graduate resume and an entry-level resume are the same, but that isn’t necessarily so. If you are switching to an entirely new career, you may be targeting an entry-level job in your new field. Your approach to writing your resume would be vastly different from a new graduate’s approach, because you already have job experience that may help you in your job search.

The first major difference is the location of your educational information. If you are a new graduate, your education section will appear near the top of your resume – typically directly under your resume. For a career change resume, education will appear after the job history.

New grads should focus on college coursework, internships, co-ops, major school projects and research studies that are related to the job objective. This will not be the case for all entry-level resumes, especially for candidates without a college education or who are switching to a new field. In such a case, volunteer experience can be useful to illustrate important personal attributes – such as leadership.

Also, for a career change resume into a new field, a “transferable skills” section is useful to describe work functions that you do well in your current career that are also important in your new career. These might include interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, or team building.

Apr 30

Your resume, no matter how well-written, cannot by itself secure you a job. Its purpose is simply to make enough of an impression on employers to get you in the door for an interview. There are other job search skills that you can’t ignore if you want to be successful in your search.

For example, your cover letter is actually the first representation of yourself that an employer will see. Make sure it tells your story, and does so without grammatical errors, generic statements, or too much industry jargon.

When you do land an interview, practice your interviewing skills ahead of time with a friend or colleague who will honestly critique your ability to answer interview questions. Be sure to dress and groom appropriately for the interview; it may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who believe it’s okay to dress casually for a job interview. It’s not!

An acquaintance who owns a computer consulting firm recently interviewed a highly qualified young man for a technician position. The candidate, however, made the unfortunate decision to arrive for the interview in jeans, a t-shirt and a baseball cap, causing the interviewer to question his ability to properly pay attention to the details of his work if hired. He wasn’t offered the job.

Your resume is simply the first step in selling yourself. Don’t forget that there is still much work to do once your resume is complete.