After spending three years building my resume with internships, jobs and extracurricular activities, it’s time to start thinking about the real world. I had some great feedback about the blog I kept in London, although it lasted only a few weeks. I’m going to do my best to use this blog to chronicle the experiences of my senior year, balancing 30hrs/week of work, a full time class schedule and what I’d like to consider a blossoming social life… All while hoping and praying I’ll land the job of my dreams by the time I graduate. Can I do it? Let’s hope.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Resume Help from the Pros

Throughout my college career, I’ve struggled with the idea of going to the school career services office to find internships and ask for resume advice.

I had one bad experience sophomore year. To be fair, it wasn’t a bad experience exactly, but I was certainly underwhelmed. I made an appointment to go sit down with career services for resume advice, and ended up sitting with a work study student who told me my resume was in great shape and sent me away with some samples of how I might want to adjust the format. Great!

Needless to say, I have not used career services since. They have a great website that lists all sorts of internships and jobs, which works for some people. I’ve always been one to seek out my own opportunities. For that reason, as I look for a job, I decided it would be better to ask hiring managers for some tips instead of a work study student with comparatively less experience than I have had.

Here is what I learned from the pros:

  1. It’s okay to ask someone to review your resume without asking them for a job. Many communications professionals are happy to help, and they know what skills employers are looking for because they hire communications people ALL THE TIME.
  2. Use specific headings. Instead of Internship experience, use the header “PR and Marketing Experience”.
  3. Don’t sell yourself short. Many sure the biggest names on your resume stand out at the top of the page.
  4. DON’T USE ONE BLANKET RESUME- Just because you spent the time making your resume “just right” doesn’t mean that it is just right for the job you are applying for. Do your homework and make sure you use words from the job description in the body of your resume to show that your experience is relatable. If your page is too crammed, it’s even okay to swap out various jobs and activities as necessary.
  5.  For an interview, make sure you can come up with at least one takeaway or story that you had with each past experience, from dealing with a difficult customer to seeing a huge project from start to finish. It is certainly impressive to be able to relate a tangible benefit from each of your experiences.

It sounds fool proof to me… fingers crossed!

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