Jun 21

Getting ready for an all-important interview can make you nervous. You have a crisp copy of your resume and references printed and ready to go. Now your mind turns to the interview… One of the best ways of calm nerves and boosting chances of being hired is dressing for success.

What exactly does that mean? It means going to your interview dressed in clothes you would wear to work at the job for which you are interviewing. It means making certain that those clothes are clean, pressed, and appropriately coordinated and accessorized, and that you yourself are immaculately groomed. Continue reading »

Jun 18

Getting that first interview after graduation is an exciting and sometimes daunting experience. Being considered for that first professional experience is a coming of age experience, and needs to be taken very seriously.

First Interview for the New GraduateFirst remember that your resume has already done its primary job in acquiring the interview for you and presenting a positive first impression. It is now up to you to sell yourself. Do this be being prepared. Make sure that you have some knowledge of the company. Check out their website on the Internet, or go to the library and ask a research librarian to help you find out a little bit about the history of the company. Practice responding to a few commonly asked questions in front of a mirror, or go through mock interviews with friends or family members to get over the initial nervousness that is common.

Also remember to dress for success. Conservative clothes, neat haircut or hairstyle, neutral colors, only moderate makeup for women, and ensure that no tattoos or piercings show if you have any. Be five minutes early for the interview, and then try to relax. You need to be yourself and remember that you are also making sure that the company is right for you. Have a good conversation, and end it by presenting your references, offering a firm handshake, and stating that you are available should the hiring manager have any other questions.

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 »

Jun 13

Keyword intensity in an online resume is important if you want to get noticed. The reason for this is simple. We live in an age of computers, utilized to save time and manpower which equates to saving money. Scanning software is used by many if not most HR professionals to perform the first scan of a resume looking for keywords related to the qualifications of that particular job. If the right mix of keywords are found then the resume is reviewed by a human being. If two or more resumes have the same keywords then the quantity or number of keywords on the resume will determine the order of priority that each resume is given. Continue reading »

Jun 07

If you are sending your resume by email, don’t send the same version that you would use if you were submitting by mail. You should create a plain text version of your resume with a limit of no more than 65 characters per line (including spaces).

How do you do this? First open your resume and perform a “save as” function – choose “plain text” as your option. Next, select the entire document and change the font to Courier 12 pt. Finally, change your margins so that the left margin is set at 1 inch, and the right at 1.75 inch. Your recipient’s email software may convert the font to whatever their default may be, but your lines will have less than 65 characters.

Never send your resume as an attachment. Instead, copy and paste the entire text of the resume in the body of your email message. It’s a good idea to email it to yourself and/or a friend to see how it looks; then you can address any additional formatting issues before sending it to potential employers.

Here are some additional tips for email your resume:

• In the subject line, list the job title or job code from the ad you are responding to
• Introduce yourself with a short cover letter (also in the body of the message)
• Carefully and thoroughly follow the application instructions listed in the ad

It only takes a split second to delete an email. Follow the rules, and yours won’t be deleted.

Jun 05

No matter how professional the content of your resume, it won’t be noticed – or even seen – by hiring managers if you don’t pay equal attention to its physical appearance, meaning the selection of paper and the quality of the print job.

A good rule of thumb for selecting resume paper is to use any shade of white or ivory. As tempting as it may be, never choose colored paper or paper with a background design, even if you feel it represents your personality. Employers want to see a professional-looking resume; they are much more interested in your job qualifications than your favorite color. Graphics can distract from the real purpose of the resume.

Your paper should be high-quality, with a weight between 16 and 25 lbs. and with at least 25% cotton fiber. Use black ink when printing, because it is the easiest to read and faxes and photocopies better than any other color.

Finally, print quality is affected by the size and style of your font. Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Verdana and Tahoma are the best fonts to use, so choose one of these in at least a size 10, but no more than a size 12.

Jun 04

Keywords are absolutely essential for inclusion in your resume, most particularly if you are planning on posting it online. Keywords are used to screen resumes to determine whether a candidate possesses the right skills before reading the resume in depth, so you must be sure to know your industry’s buzzwords to understand what should appear on the resume.

That is not to say, however, that you should add keywords just to grab attention. Make sure the keywords you incorporate into your resume are actually relevant and truthful to your particular background and level of expertise.

Carefully read the job posting to determine what the position’s requirements are, then take you cue from that to identify important keywords. They can be industry-specific technologies, techniques, tools or skills that are important to doing a particular job well.

Try to avoid incorporating your keywords in awkward, forced ways. Instead, work them into bulleted lists of skills under a “Professional Profile” or “Qualifications” section. Or, you might include an “Areas of Expertise” section and create a bulleted list of keywords.

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 30

Here are 3 important tips to keep in mind when writing your first resume as a new college graduate:

1. Appearance is key – keep it professional.
Remember, your resume is a potential employer’s first glimpse at you, so if you want to make a good impression you must make sure that your resume conveys the proper image. If you aren’t detail-oriented enough to avoid spelling and grammatical errors on your resume, employers will think you won’t pay attention to the details of the job, either.

Also, never use cutesy or questionable email addresses, such as imaprincess@hotmail.com or hotchick@aol.com. Save these for your friends. For your job search, you need a professional email address that uses just your name, in the following format: firstname.lastname@bellsouth.net.

2. Limit it to one page.
Very few new college graduates have enough background material to fill more than a one-page resume. Your resume is not a life story; rather, it is simply an introduction to your job skills. Use it to present only information that is relevant to your job objective.

3. Don’t embellish!
Never, never lie or exaggerate on your resume. You will almost always be found out. Remember that in a job interview, you will likely be asked to explain or provide concrete and meaningful examples of information that appears on your resume. If you cannot do so, hiring managers may assume you are lying and won’t hire you.

May 25

Law school resumes differ from job resumes in that you need far less detail. The resume sections will be similar – you’ll still have headings for “Education,” “Work Experience,” “Activities,” “Honors,” and the like. You should be able to keep the resume to one page with no problem. But what should be included?

For starters, include all schools, honors and extracurricular activities, as well as paid and volunteer work experiences. Include the number of hours per week you worked during the school year, and list your class rank if it’s higher than average.

Summarize your experience. Here are some examples:

• 4 articles published in various professional journals, 2001-2005; 1 completed work to be submitted and 1 work in progress
• Worked 15 hours per week during the school year to help fund undergraduate education, 2001-2005
• Summer jobs included waitressing, retail sales and bartending
• Member, University of Wisconsin Archery Team, ranked #6 nationwide

The main thing to keep in mind is that you should use your resume to project an image of you as a person and of where you want to go in your career. Leave off irrelevant data – such as computer software skills – but do include anything that supports your long-term career objectives.