Archive for the ‘Resume Tips’ Category

 

Stuck on “starter words” when you’re creating a resume?! The link below is an excellent list of action verbs to help describe accomplishments and tasks completed at your current or previous job(s.)

For example:

  • Assisted with conducting thorough reference checks
  • Prepared monthly billing statements on customers
  • Designed promotional materials using Microsoft Office

 

CLICK HERE:  http://www.ship.edu/Career/Action_Verbs/

 
 
 
*Resouces from Shippensburg Univertsity, PA
Career Development Center
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You’ve seen what a resume SHOULD look like, but what about what a potential intern or new hire SHOULDN’T put on that all important document.   Here’s our short list:

1. A Generic Objective Statement

You’ve probably seen a sentence like this on sample or template resumes – “dedicated young professional looking to use my skills to help a successful company”.   The truth is that the same phrase could be used interchangeably on any other undergraduate student resume.   This is your chance to let the employer know why you want to work for their organization and what you’re looking to do.  Change that objective to reflect YOUR short term career goals.

2. Your 7th Grade Email Address

We all have one – that email address that we created long before it was necessary to project a professional image (and often utilizing nicknames that your potential employer doesn’t want to know about).   quteTpie4eva@email.com or sxydude@email.com should not be listed on your resume for an internship or entry level position.   A school email address or personal email using your real name or initials is best.

(Quick side story to prove this isn’t just our generation….when I was interning in a human resources department one summer, an 50 something professional woman dropped off her resume which listed her email address as redhotgranny987 @email.com – TRUE STORY…needless to say, we didn’t give her a call back).

3. Paragraphs of information

A short phrase or sentence summarizing a volunteer, work or involvement opportunity is great.  Any additional information concerning your responsibilities and accomplishments should be listed using bullet points.  Readers don’t have the time or patience to process paragraphs full of information – keep your resume clean and easy to read.

4. Languages you can’t speak (or any other exaggerated information)

Globalization has greatly increased the demand for interns and entry level hires that can speak foreign languages.  However, don’t allow this information to urge you to  exaggerate your linguistic abilities.   If you are at least conversational in a language, then by all means list it.  Just remember that being “conversational” in a foreign language means that you could speak with a professional colleague regarding basic business principles (knowing hello, goodbye and where is the bathroom in Spanish may help you on Spring Break to Cancun, but for the workplace you need more).  Capisce?

Resume 101 – Getting Started

Posted: October 24, 2010 in Resume Tips

If you are looking for an internship, creating an outstanding resume will be one of your first steps.   This document will be your main mechanism for communicating your experience and skills to prospective employers and it can also help you organize your objectives and get you ready to begin your search.

What is the purpose of a resume?

Your resume is a tool to get you face to face with a prospective employer/internship provider.  It communicates your current education, accomplishments, skills and abilities.

What should I include on my resume?

Most resumes have four major sections: Objective, Education, Experience, Computer Skills.   Some prospective interns may decide to include additional sections, including: Volunteer Experience, Honors and Awards and Language Skills.

How long should my resume be?

Most college students who are searching for an internship should be able to summarize their accomplishments in a ONE PAGE resume.  Remember that a prospective employer may be receiving hundreds of resumes for a single internship. Your goal is to clearly and succinctly communicate why you would be a good fit.  It is important to note that various industries have different expectations for the length of candidate resumes.  Take some time to discuss these industry standards with a professor or mentor in your field.

Should I use a resume template?

Most word processing programs have templates that will provide formatting and organizational structure for your resume.  We believe that templates are a great place to START.  Once you have focused on inputting your information with a template, take creative license and make it your own.    As we stated, you may be competing with 10,50 or even 100 other resumes.  Make yours stand out.

My internship will be my first professional experience… I feel like I have nothing to put on a resume!

Prospective internship providers realize that your internship may be your first professional experience in the field.  Utilize your resume to highlight your TRANSFERABLE skills from volunteering, part time employment and college clubs and activities.   For help, visit our articles on Leveraging your College Experience, Part I and Part II.

We will be adding constant internship search tips and resources throughout the fall semester… keep checking our site daily for future entries on :

  • How to find and secure internships ABROAD
  • Deciding between an internship at a small company versus a large corporation
  • Tips for visiting your school’s Internship/Career Fair
  • Using the right KEYWORDS to help your resume rise to the top of the pile!
  • Specific advice on finding internships in engineering, business and technology
  • GREEN internships  – tackling the nation’s energy crisis one internship at a time

Alright, so you’ve followed our instructions in Leveraging your College Leadership Experience Part I and you are ready to start creating or updating your resume to reflect your transferable skills from these involvements.

In Part I, you created a spreadsheet of your involvements and transferable skills and then compared those skills to those listed on various internship job descriptions.   Keep this handy as it will be an important tool.

Let’s use Joe as an example.  Joe is searching for a summer engineering internship and sees the following key words on job descriptions (initiative, ability to work in small groups, attention to detail).  He wants to use his experience as Fundraising Coordinator for his college’s chapter of Universities Against Cancer (UAC) to demonstrate these skills to a potential employer.

List your involvement or title with the associated time commitment:

Fundraising Coordinator, Universities Against Cancer (2009-2010)

Add one sentence that summarizes your responsibilities:

Fundraising Coordinator, Universities Against Cancer (2009-2010)
Led a team of college students in UAC’s mission to increase awareness and contribute to research.

Underneath, include 3-7 bullet points that highlight your key accomplishments and the transferable skills you identified in Part I (these should be listed in order of their importance to the internship you are seeking):

Fundraising Coordinator, Universities Against Cancer (UAC) Annual Gala (2009-2010)
Led a team of college students in UAC’s mission to increase awareness and contribute to research.
  • Spearheaded the creation of the UAC chapter at our university
  • Worked as part of a diverse team to plan the annual Fundraising gala
  • Exceeded our yearly fundraising goal

If possible, include numbers or other qualifiers:

Fundraising Coordinator, Universities Against Cancer (UAC) Annual Gala (2009-2010)
Led a team of 27 college students in UAC’s mission to increase awareness and contribute to research.
  • Spearheaded the creation of the UAC chapter at our university
  • Led a diverse team of students in our goal to plan the annual UAC Fundraising gala that sold more than 400 tickets
  • Exceeded our yearly fundraising goal by 25% resulting is a $17,000 donation to cancer research.

While Joe doesn’t have experience working for an engineering company, he has been able to communicate to a recruiter or employer why he would be a great pick for the internship.  He was able to demonstrate several of the key skills from the job description and highlight his initiative and leadership abilities.   Most importantly, he has been able to impress an employer enough to grab an interview.  When he has the opportunity to talk face to face, he can provide more information about his fundraising and leadership experience (more advice about that to come in later entries).

If you are a student who has already participated in several relevant internships, then utilize your college involvement to fill skills gaps and demonstrate your willingness to do more than the minimum expectations.  Employers are constantly looking for young leaders who go above and beyond a job description.

One of the biggest complaints/questions we hear from students who are getting ready to apply for internships is:  I have no experience…what do I put on my resume?

When I was in college, my roommate used to joke that I was in a cult.  What she called a cult was actually called Student Government and if you are a Senator at your college or university you might claim that my roommate wasn’t too far off.  Being involved with student government is a major time commitment, but I can honestly say that the skills I learned from my experience in SGA were critical to my success in graduate school, entry level jobs and entrepreneurship.

Most undergraduates know that their various on campus involvements (drama club, student government, alumni associations, acapella groups, engineers without border), give them valuable leadership skills that will make them a better intern or entry level employee…. the trick is how to capture that experience on a resume.  How do you convince a recruiter that keeping your fraternity house clean as house steward has helped you learn to delegate?  Or that selling 400 t-shirts for your dance team helped you learn the value of personal connections in sales?

In Part I, we’ll discuss how to determine your key transferable skills for leadership and involvements :

  1. Look at job descriptions for your targeted internships… most of them should list key skills they will be looking for through the recruitment process
  2. Write down all of your current involvements or leadership positions, leaving room between each
  3. Under each involvement write down the mission of the organization and/or your most important responsibilities as a member or officer
  4. Next to each responsibility, write down the most important transferable skills that you’ve learned
  5. Look for connections between your target job descriptions and the transferable skills you’ve listed

Most importantly, don’t stretch it.  Focus on your key involvements that are the most meaningful (Spirit chair for your Freshman Dorm….that was a made up position -you know it and the company recruiter will know it too).

Welcome to InternStreet.  The premier resource for college students looking for internships and opportunities in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

InternStreet will take you through the entire  internship process over the next academic year.  In October and November, we’ll be sharing tips on getting your resume prepared, interacting with employers at college fairs and narrowing your search.  Later in the year, we’ll give advice on interviews, deciding on offers and leveraging your internship into a full time job.   There will also be giveaways, announcements of area internships and guest writers.

The world of internships is HUGE.  Welcome to the one place that provides the answers, tips and resources you’ve been looking for.  Welcome to InternStreet.