The Resume

February 12, 2009

Having a good resume is perhaps the most important part of finding the job that you want. Along with the cover letter, it is the first (and maybe the last) impression that any potential employer will get of you;  and first impressions really are everything (or almost everything). If your cover letter is disorganized and contains a lot of errors, then your chances of getting the job that you are applying for are slim to none. In the same sense, if you make your resume perfect and unique, there is a good chance that you will stand out in the mind of whoever reads it; so how do you go about doing that?

The first, and probably the most important, part of a resume is its presentation. While you may not have all of the experience that you’d like to have, if you have a clear, unique resume, it will show your potential employer that you are an organized person and you know how to market yourself. There are many different places that you can go to find resume templates; they can be found online (for free or for a cost), in different resume template books, or you can just make one yourself. If you see a design that you like, just make sure you get it on your computer and then you can simply add your information where you want.

The content of your resume is your chance to highlight your positive attributes and show the employer how you can help them out. It’s important that you don’t just simply add every job you have had in the past, but only those jobs that show experience related to the job you are applying for. I’ve had a bunch of different jobs in my life, but I’m not going to tell the marketing firm that I’m applying for that I used to sell lemonade in the stands at Sun Devil Stadium, or that I used to make sandwiches at Quiznos, or that I used to operate machines that made plastic caps for portable toothbrushes, because they really just don’t care about that. Company’s in today’s economy want to know specifically how you can help them achieve their goal, and that is what you need to tell them in your resume.

Finally, there is the cover letter. I wrote my first cover letter recently, and I was pretty apprehensive about it when I first started. The key to writing a good cover letter is to tell the employer everything that you didn’t say in your resume. i know that might sound stupid, especially because I just said to include all of the pertinent information in your resume, but another way of looking at it would be to give your employer some insight into how you carried out your responsibilities in your last job. It’s important to remember that your cover letter is just as much about presentation as it is about the content, just like your resume. It’s a good chance to showcase your written skills and show your employer that you are able to communicate in an effective manner as well as give him some insight into what kind of a worker you are. It might be a good idea to look over some other cover letters online, just to get a good idea of what they are suppose to entail. If you do everything right, you should be getting a phone call to set up an interview very soon…

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Job Hunting

February 5, 2009

Many people will tell you that searching for a job is a job in itself. That’s no joke; especially in times like these. For any college senior who is searching for a post graduate job, it can be frustrating; it can be demoralizing; and it can be discouraging. However, if you are well prepared and conscientious about opportunities, it can also prove to be very rewarding.

For me, looking for a job started with looking on ASU’s Sun Devil CareerLink. There, students can search for jobs by industry, location, and salary, amoungst other things. It has proved to be pretty helpful in my own search, because it breaks down all of the different opportunities and openings in a pretty simple and easy to find format. You really don’t have to worry about whether or not the job is still open, because as soon as it is filled, the job opening is removed from the site. Once you find jobs that interest you, you can add them to your list of favorites and submit your resume through their links. Even just posting your resume onto your own profile will allow potential employers to view it without even submitting it directly to them. For students without any solid connections in the outside world, Sun Devil CareerLink is a great place to start looking.

But for students who do have a connection in the business world, that could be the best opportunity to finding a job. In fact, the truth of the matter is that the relationship to any potential connection really doesn’t have to be solid, which is something that I am just learning myself. It can be a sibling’s friend, a friend’s sibling, or even a friend’s friend. I have found that most people that are in the same general age range as myself have recently been through the same process of job hunting, know what it’s like, and are more than willing to help. That is really what networking is all about: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Finally, after you have extinguished any opporunity through your school or any possible connections, it is best to start utilizing other recourses available through print and online job advertisements. There are many websites specially taylored to find specific industries: websites for journalism, engineering, communications, and many more.