The first gateway to the job you want is likely your resume. Structure, a clear objective and intent play a role in whether you go forward or go to the recycle bin. Career consultant Ayanna Parker from the Career Center gave some advice on preparing resumes, especially for the Feb. 20 Job Fair for all majors.
Document everything. You never know when you'll need it.
Keep track of every place you've worked. You can make the case for how holding any position could help you in the next one. Also, what employers want in your resume varies. Consolidate all employment information in a master resume. That way, you can reference that material when deciding what information to take and use for job-specific resumes.
Know what should be on a resume.
Some information is more relevant than others. That being said, don't circulate the same resume for every job to which you apply. Formatting of the resume should show employers immediately what you have to offer. Some employers are most concerned with your education background. Others want to know what projects you've worked on, your technical skills and/or prior work experiences, including internships. Most importantly, all attributes of you should be present on the resume.
Be social.
Join professional organizations. That not only helps with networking, but it might give a hiring manager a more positive perception of you. That's warranted because outside of the academic environment, professional societies prove productive because they provide services for up-and-coming professionals and established ones alike. Employers are familiar with others in their professional societies, so belonging to such a group could not hurt.
Be organized.
Take note of every place you apply. Note where and when you submit a resume, place calls and follow-up emails, etc. When you get a call back, have the notes available to reference when a representative inquires about your wanting a job.
Apply for many jobs.
Apply anywhere you can. The job market is still tough, and the position with a certain company you had in mind might not be yours. Apply online, send an email or call following the submission, then wait a week or two before contacting the employer again and check online constantly for the status of the position. Generally, if you aren't hearing back from employers, move on after a month. This might not be the case for every position though. Depending on the industry, the application process may take a few days to a few months. Research prospective employers and act accordingly.
Check out Career Center examples of general and federal resumes.
Stop by the Career Center from 1-4 p.m. Feb. 11 through Feb. 15 for a week of resume critiques by employers. You don't need an appointment.
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