Sunday, March 28, 2010

Resume Rundown: Selling Yourself

Graduation is coming up! Unless you took the accelerated 3-year plan in '06 with me, that means that you're pretty close to finishing up your last quarter at Berkeley College. Suddenly, you're going to be flung into the big, bad job market.

If you're done cleaning up the online image, step 2 is obvious. Resume Revision!

At this point, you might have taken Placement Seminar already. This class is pretty much Berkeley's secret weapon. Its a course that tons and tons of job-seekers WISH they could take. You are trained to give a killer interview AND your resume is perfected. You get to build up your portfolio and learn how to exude professionalism. By the end of this course, you usually come out with your eye on the prize, ready to go after any job position.

If you have gotten to this class yet, or if you already finished the course and need some help retooling the ol' resume, we all have access to Berkeley's Career Services department. Whether you're still a student or an alumni, you can help over to get some help on shaping up your resume to stand above the rest!

Lately, a few friends have asked me to give a quick glance over their resumes. Now, I am not a pro at this. I can't say that I know all about resumes. What I can say is that I learned enough from my visits to my Career Counselors to know the standard to resumes. Also, I got to look at a few resumes when I was assisting in picking interns. There were some things I noticed that killed chances and others that had the automatic thumbs up. For example:

Resume Killers include:
  • Fancy font for your name (keep that for save the dates and birthday invitations.)
  • Try and keep it to one page. This can be easy if you design your resume for the specific job you're applying for.
  • Take out info about high school and G.E.D.'s. This is college. All that stuff is trumped by what you've been doing in college.
Resume Stand-outs include:
  • Prevalence to the position. Describe how you'll be the perfect fit for the job. If you can, add bits of school projects to your cover letter that correlate to the field you're apply to.
  • Great layout. Make sure you're resume is pretty. Nice lines, good spacing. These count oddly enough. If the page looks jumbled with tight lettering and too many formats, chances are it won't get a second look.
  • Good paper. Believe it or not, but there is paper out there specifically for resumes. It's ten bucks in Staples. Invest in it. A thicker piece of almost-cardstock resume paper will stand out and look 100% more professional than your standard 8 1/2 x 11in white resume. This isn't completely necessary, but it doesn't hurt to have that extra little touch.

Here are some helpful links:

The best tip I can give anyone in any college is to go to your advisor/career counselor. This is the kind of stuff their pro's at.

Good luck!