2 answers

How do I make the perfect resume ?

Asked Edison, New Jersey

I’m a 20 year old junior in college with little to no work history but I think it’s important to start looking for jobs

#college #success

2 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

The first step in developing a resume is to determine an appropriate career focus and then talk with people in person face to face who are doing what you think that you might want to see what they do, how they got there, and get their suggestions and advice.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
  • Here are some good tips on how to relate your previous experiences to your current education/career journey: 1. Take an Interest and Aptitude test to determine in which career areas your personality traits most fit 2. Obtain job descriptions of jobs/careers indicated by the testing that look most interesting to you 3. Think about your previous jobs/assignments and list the things that you did in bullet fashion (- took out the garbage) using a separate sheet of paper for each job/assignment 4. Put an E in front of everything that you did that you enjoyed, a W in front of everything that you want to do again, and an A in front of everything that you feel was an accomplishment 5. Make separate pages listing the E’s, W’s, and A’s. 6. Take a job description that looks most interesting and write the requirements and duties on the left side of a sheet of paper 7. Take a look at the E’s, W’s, and A’s, and write the items that most fit the requirements and duties of the job description on the right hand of the sheet of paper next to the ones that are equivalent on the left side. 8. Use this as the basis of doing face to face in person informational interviews and as the beginning of a functional resume.

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas

Alpha,


There is no "perfect" resume, and writing a resume is one of the most difficult writing assignments there is. Why? Because you have no idea who the reader is and what they want! Some like detail. Some don't. I remember looking at a resume that was very short and sweet. I almost started working on "correcting" it, but, I stopped to ask the client how her job search was going. She was getting interviews!


The most common mistake people make is in trying to turn the resume into an autobiography. It is not supposed to be about you - it is supposed to show what you can do for the employer you are applying to. Big difference. There are some things that might not seem relevant to most readers, so sometimes you have to explain what you are trying to demonstrate. For example, rather than just saying you were on the soccer team, you would say "Developed a strong sense of teamwork by playing sports throughout my high school years. " Leadership? "Selected as team captain: led the team in daily exercises, kept the team focused, and addressed any concerns with the coach."


I recommend you use the website gotresumebuilder.com It has a template, but allows you to rearrange and rename the sections under the "manage sections" heading. It is free for people with a student ID or library card. It will give you some suggestions as well. Do not discount work experience in customer service. It is where many professionals first developed their people-skills! Also, if you call the section "Experience" rather than "work history" you can include volunteer work and internships.


What you are trying to do is show that you have certain attributes that will make you a good employee. It is NOT enough to simply say that you have them - you want to try to prove it. For example, what sounds more convincing - for me to say that I am good at math, or, if I say I tutored GED math students?


These attributes include honesty, loyalty, dependability, flexibility, ability to stay calm under pressure, safety. And then certain skills, depending on the type of job: customer service, data entry, accuracy in your work, teamwork, quick learner, technological skills.


If you are applying for jobs with businesses (as opposed to governments, non-profits, schools, etc), remember that the purpose of business is to make money. Make money. You want to show how you will help them to make or save money. Not everyone works in sales. If you are a delivery driver, and you load your truck wrong, when you get to the first stop and what you need is not at the tailgate, you will be wasting time trying to get to it. Or, if you don't plan your route correctly, and you drive a lot more miles than necessary, you are wasting gas, and taking too long. If you are in a warehouse, and don't clean up a spill, or start playing around, and someone gets hurt, that will cost the company money. Or, if you are serving alcohol, and don't card a minor, and get caught, the company will get fined. So, try to find ways to show that you are aware of all this, and that you will be a good employee!


Do not simply list activities you participated in. Write a short blurb describing the activity, and also anything you did extra. "Planned carwash events throughout the year, scheduling 85 volunteers, who raised over $5000 for the senior trip." (see how that gives credit to the volunteers, rather than making it sound like you did it all by yourself?)


Basically, you want these sections

name, email, phone. Address is optional


SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS: write this last, after you have the rest of it done. It will be easier, and much stronger.

EXPERIENCE: include work history, volunteer activity and internships

EDUCATION:


you can list volunteer separate from experience, but since you have little work history, it may be better to leave it as one section.


*****IMPORTANT****

Once you finish the master version of your resume, and prior to submitting it for a job, take the time to read the job announcement carefully. If it is asking for certain skills/experience that you have not included on your resume, try to find a way to show that you have done it, or, done something similar. Sometimes you might need to simply change your wording to make it more obvious to the reader that you are both referring to the same thing. Whatever you do, do not lie!


Best of luck, and, if you have more questions, just ask!


Kim