Oct 03

If you’re a recent or just about to be grad, it’s very tempting to write a long resume in hopes of impressing the marketplace you want to enter. However, assuming that you have the basic qualifications to perform the job for which you are applying, remember that it’s work history that hiring managers look at most closely when making their hiring decisions. While a lengthy resume may give an initial appearance that you’ve got a long work history, the truth is that you haven’t simply because you’ve been in school getting ready to work!

No hiring manager is going to be fooled for long by a resume that’s long on form and short on work history content, so do everything you can to keep your resume size down to one page.

The fact is that the important information about you will fit neatly into one page. You need to list your degrees, your career objective or job goal, a few of the jobs you’ve held outside of your college work, and that’s about it.

So keep your resume short and sweet, and don’t try to impress by sheer length alone.

Oct 01

If you want the best graduate schools and top employers in the country to notice you, your college scholastic record isn’t enough. Today, businesses and graduate schools want to see some hard evidence that applicants have acquired experience that tested  their skills and education in a real world environment.

Internship is a wise choice to fill in this gap, but a big question many college students have is, “Where do I find one?”

Well, if you’re looking for an internship,  try looking online first.  Here are a couple of websites to jump-start your search:

http://www.monstertrak.monster.com/msnintern/?WT.srch=1&s_kwcid=internet%20internship|878128819, which will give you information about internship opportunities targeted to your college, and http://takingitglobal.org/resources/prof/, which offers a database of professional internship and volunteer opportunities from which you can choose.

http://www.jobweb.com/employ/fairs/default.asp allows you to search thousands of employers using keywords.

With all the Internet resources available today, online is definitely the place to start your internship search!

Sep 27

Just because it’s only September, don’t put off applying for spring intern positions until after the Christmas holidays. For one thing, that’s what everyone else is doing. For another, the sooner you begin the application process, the more relaxed you will feel about the applications you are sending out, and that translates to appearing more confident than if you are hurried and tense.

By beginning on your applications now, you should have them ready to go by the first of October without a problem. And mailing them out then will give you a real “leg up” on your competition.

Not only will starting now mean that your applications get there first, it will also mean they will be considered first.

So get started now and increase your chances for getting that internship position you want!

Sep 25

Working your way through school, or at least contributing some of the funds needed for your support while you study, can sure enough be a tough row to hoe. For one thing, no matter how many hours you need to have in a day,there are always only 24 hours of them.  When you have to attend classes full time and work part time, that doesn’t leave much time for doing anything else other than eating and sleeping.

Following  a schedule that leaves little time for any but the basics is tiring and difficult. So try to make your load a little lighter in every way that you can.

For example, try to schedule work hours at least an hour after your last class—any closer and you’re likely to start feeling more like a rat on a treadmill than a student after a while.  If you can, schedule all your classes on two or three days of the week and arrange to work only on the remaining days.  That way, you’ll cut travel time and save on gas, plus which you’ll be able to give your full attention to whichever mode you’re in at the moment.

Finally, schedule at least one day a week when you don’t have to attend classes or work in order to recharge your batteries.

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 19

When getting ready to choose a graduate school, the first thing you should consider is how well the school fits your academic goals. How well suited is it to the kind of research you want to do?

Remember, to get the most from your graduate school experience, the school you choose should have more than just a good department in your area of study; it should also have professors who share your interests and will be willing to mentor you as you move through your post graduate education.

Such professors are especially important if you want your graduate degree to take you farther into the practical applications of your subject of study. On the other hand, if you’re going after that graduate degree to make you more attractive in the job market.  the overall quality of the school’s faculty and the institution’s reputation may be more important to you than finding the ideal mentor.

Finally, if you are planning to pursue on a Ph.D. and an academic career, look for a school which has professors whose specific interests match your own.

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 17

Starting at a new college is like starting a whole new life. New classes and courses of instruction and new classmates, friends and extra-curricular activities await you.  Here are a couple of tips to help you get settled in easily.

First, wait to do most of your clothes shopping until you get to your new school. Different areas have different dress “codes” and while even military schools allow some leeway these days, odds are that the students who will be your peers at your new college will dress a bit differently than your current peers do. Waiting to buy the bulk of your wardrobe until you have a good handle on what others are wearing will make feeling a part of the group much easier.

If at all possible, get a list of the books that will be required for the courses you know you’ll be taking and buy second hand versions online before you go.  This is always significantly less expensive than simply buying your required texts at the campus bookstore, and you can save hundreds of dollars this way.

Finally, take with you only those things you know you’ll need.  Resist the temptation to pack things that you think might come in handy. Lighten your load and take only those things you know will serve you well in your college career!

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!