General chatter - Writing a Resume?




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Dagny18
05-29-2010, 09:24 PM
So, I am graduating (graduated actually, but finishing a summer class) and am working on creating a resume/cover letter so that I can start applying for jobs...any tips?
I really don't have much experience. I have never had a real job, ever. In High school my dad encouraged me to get A's and would tell me just get A's because I didn't need a job. When I went to college, it was the same...plus he paid for my college so I couldn't complain?
So, now I am trying to write a resume but worry that my lack of job history will hurt me...
My professor suggested I focus on what I learned in my classes, and my skills. So, I have set my resume up with mostly focusing on my education. I used a bulleted list to point out relevant courses for my career, but also other courses that I think are important too...
Does this sound like enough? Anyone have any resume tips or ideas?
Oh, and I made a section for skills...but I am sort of maybe "modest" because I worry about writing down a skill I think I have and maybe I don't have it?!


lizziep
05-30-2010, 07:14 PM
i really like the layout for my latest resume. i also do the bullet points, i like focusing more on what i can do then where i worked, plus i have the opposite problem- tons of work experience but no education.
let me see what i can dig up for you. keep in mind- the point of your resume is to sell yourself- so it's good to advertise your skills.

lizziep
05-30-2010, 07:30 PM
here's my blanked out sample resume. if i were you i'd rearrange it so skills were at the top, followed by education, then work experience. I couldn't attach mine or make it pretty with my options in here- i'd use bullet points and i'd center the name/address portion as well. Use a normal looking font, no comic sans or something you think looks "fun" as tempting as it is.
Another thing I do for job interviews- I have a portfolio of feedback, from old bosses, customer thank you's, etc and i bring it along on interviews and i think it makes a huge difference. i have everything in there from "employee of the month" certificates to emails from another department at my work telling my boss i did a good job, emails or letters from past customers, letter of recommendation from teacher or former employer.


Name
Address
Phone Number
Email Address

Work Experience
job title
name of business location
September 2005 Present
(list here the things you did at the job)
Making outbound and inbound calls
Organizing & providing training tools for new employees
Maintaining up to date notes on accounts
Taking loan applications and selling additional products offered
Making written requests for members to specialized departments

job title
name and location
December 2003 September 2005
(again list your duties)
Assisting associates in locating information for customers
Calming upset customers & taking supervisor calls
Taking incoming calls


Skills
Type at a 65 WPM
Ten key at 8300 KPH
Multi-tasking & working in fast paced environment
Computer and Internet proficient
Using Dos based mainframe applications to record and retrieve information
Utilizing MS Outlook or Lotus Notes to stay organized
Detail oriented & organized


Education
name of school, years attended, any special honors


Dagny18
05-30-2010, 09:31 PM
here's my blanked out sample resume. if i were you i'd rearrange it so skills were at the top, followed by education, then work experience. I couldn't attach mine or make it pretty with my options in here- i'd use bullet points and i'd center the name/address portion as well. Use a normal looking font, no comic sans or something you think looks "fun" as tempting as it is.
Another thing I do for job interviews- I have a portfolio of feedback, from old bosses, customer thank you's, etc and i bring it along on interviews and i think it makes a huge difference. i have everything in there from "employee of the month" certificates to emails from another department at my work telling my boss i did a good job, emails or letters from past customers, letter of recommendation from teacher or former employer.


Name
Address
Phone Number
Email Address

Work Experience
job title
name of business location
September 2005 Present
(list here the things you did at the job)
Making outbound and inbound calls
Organizing & providing training tools for new employees
Maintaining up to date notes on accounts
Taking loan applications and selling additional products offered
Making written requests for members to specialized departments

job title
name and location
December 2003 September 2005
(again list your duties)
Assisting associates in locating information for customers
Calming upset customers & taking supervisor calls
Taking incoming calls


Skills
Type at a 65 WPM
Ten key at 8300 KPH
Multi-tasking & working in fast paced environment
Computer and Internet proficient
Using Dos based mainframe applications to record and retrieve information
Utilizing MS Outlook or Lotus Notes to stay organized
Detail oriented & organized


Education
name of school, years attended, any special honors

Thanks for the tips. As I said though, I don't really have employment background though...:(

Glory87
05-30-2010, 10:57 PM
What kind of a job are you trying to get? I always tailor my resume for the specific job.

I have three resumes (that I tweak a bit per a job posting): trainer, technical writer, editor.

Definitely, only write down skills you HAVE, but this is not the time to be modest. A resume is the time to really crow about your achievements.

My biggest resume tip - proof read proof read, and then let someone else read it to proof read it some more.

nelie
05-30-2010, 11:44 PM
Does your school have a career center of any sort? Have there been any job fairs? If you have a career center, I'd suggest going and talking to them.

dragonwoman64
05-31-2010, 03:14 PM
I don't think employers are expecting young new graduates to have a lot of work experience.

If you've organized anything or worked with groups, church or social, or have done volunteer work, I'd include that. I'd try to include relevant details if it helps you. example: with 2 other volunteers organized an educational trip for a group of 100 students. (if it was 5 kids you took to a museum, say organized an educational outing and leave out numbers).

since you still have a summer class, you might want to consider adding an internship (unpaid or paid) that you can get through your school, and/or doing volunteer work to beef up your experience.

extracurricular activities, special hobbies that are relevant to what you want to do or might generate interest in you as a person (without being too off base in terms of career goals).

I would not include skills you don't have, on the other hand, don't be afraid to toot your own horn. if you feel you have a special strength writing, for instance, include that with supporting details: took 5 writing composition classes with A grades and wrote articles for the school newspaper.

I suggest making your resume brief, punchy, to the point and very easy to read. most employers when they're hiring do not want to spend much time sifting for information. they're looking at a TON of resumes. keep details for the interview.

the resume should be as relevant as possible to the job you're applying for, don't be afraid to write up a couple of versions.

good luck!!

Dagny18
05-31-2010, 10:10 PM
Thanks for the advice and ideas. I am not sure when there will be job fairs, but I can check that out. I was hoping to get my professor to look at my resume too and give me her advice on my strengths and skills she thinks I have...
And I am trying to get an office job (office administrator)

Glory87
05-31-2010, 11:08 PM
That should play well into strengths of being a college student. I'm not an office manager, but I love ours. I would emphasize the following skills and relate them somehow to your life/school history:

Typing
Data entry
Phone skills (putting people on hold, taking messages, etc)
Time management
Email skills - I know it seems simple, but forward, reply, when to reply all, when to just reply to the sender, how to create folders to manage archives, etc etc.
Scheduling - our office manager does a LOT of scheduling/appointments in outlook for the team, so know how to use this application!)
Microsoft software applications (if you don't know excel and powerpoint, check out your local library, mine offers free classes)
People skills like ease of communications (can you relate this to group projects at school)
Detail oriented
Mass mailing (especially dealing with FedEx, how to do labels/packages/use a company account, etc)
Accepting deliveries, signing as needed, routing appropriately
Self starter (this is so important, we interview for people all the time and it's amazing how few people emphasize this! You don't want to be one of those people that sits around and waits for direction, you want to be the person who is self motivated and successful - TRUST ME)
Ability to multitask

If you make it to an interview, I can't tell you how important it is to give off a vibe that you WANT the job. At the very end of the interview, make sure you leave yourself a few minutes to re-state what a great fit you are for that job and why you will be successful (take notes during the interview of anything you learned during that time you need to revisit in your close). I work in a big time muckety muck company and we are currently interviewing for a high level candidate - and everyone keeps BOMBING this very simple, important interview tip.

In almost every case, if I made it to the interview - I got the job offer. I am great at selling myself and I always end on a powerful close.

If you can bring any relevant samples of your work, writing, projects to the interview (just to pass around, not to leave) that is also very nice.

eroica27
06-01-2010, 09:05 AM
Don't worry if you don't have work experience, when I interview folks who are new to the workforce, i ask about projects and any challenges and activities they did while in school. where you in any clubs? an officer in those clubs (treasurer, vp)? what projects did you initiate?

As an employer I want to know what you did, not buzzwords like team player or innovative thinker. Instead write what you did to be considered a team player. What innovation did you put into action that validates you as an innovative thinker.

Gold32
06-01-2010, 04:01 PM
Ok, wow. Where to start. I've been reading a lot in a very thorough resume book, and doing my own research, because I was considering going in to making money by writing resumes. The problem is that what you learn about resumes in high school and even college is so laughably simple and out-dated, it's amazing. Yes, it should have a resume "format" but you can "break the rules" a bit. I'll try to explain through example here, stick with me.

Given your lack of a job history (which is fine!) You will have to focus on skills, education and any extra curriculars. Start with a goal/objective (small section) then education, then a skills summary.

So, here's a VERY rough idea in my head:

Objective:
A marketing position where my creative abilities will be of value. (for example)

Education:
DEGREE, SCHOOL NAME, YEARS
Maintained (insert good GPA if applicable) while completing coursework with a focus on (name a specialty of your field).
Courses include:
BULLET
BULLET
BULLET

Skill Summary:
Ok, this section is a fun one, and IMHO one of the best to include in a resume. On both my husbands and my own, it is the first section. Pick 3-4 things that are vital to your job. I recommend checking job postings. In fact, the beauty of this format is that it is SO EASY to tailor to each job posting. Things like, organizational, communication skills, adept at technology, etc, are all good to put here. But, as Eroica27 said, you MUST prove them. Here's how it might go:
Communication Skills: Proven communication skills, using a variety of technologies:
Bullet: Composed over 100 academic papers while attending (SCHOOL)
Bullet: Regular use of email to correspond with professors.
Bullet: Collaborated with academic advisors to tailor my class selections to my future goals.

Get the idea yet?

If you're still hurting for length, you can always ask a professor for a recommendation and quote to give you. Yes, quotes can be used in resumes. It's not often seen or done, but a glowing quote at the proper spot can do wonders.

I highly recommend picking up a book or speaking to others who do this regularly. Most campuses have a career center that can look over a resume. I recommend this because resumes are complicated beasts and there is a lot of bad information out there. For example, just throwing down a whole bunch of bullet points is actually not a very good idea, BUT bullets can also be very effective when used correctly.

The biggest thing to remember is that a resume is not really about you. It's about THEM. They want to know what you can do for them, how you are going to fill a need. Usually this translates into saving money or making money, but it depends on the field. What matters to someone hiring a nurse? Well, the ability to keep the patient alive, healthy and happy. So a nurse would highlight technical ability and concern for patients. Again, look at job postings. Ask, "what are they asking for?" and then give them that. Not with lying, of course not. But you can tailor your approach so that they can see just what makes you perfect for the position. I may be confusing you here, so let me use myself as an example: I currently work in the admin/reception field, and am experienced in all facets of it. But some postings care about technical ability more than others, and some care more about your ability to handle the phones. I make my resume reflect whatever they seem to be focusing on. Make sense?

Ok, I'm sure it doesn't. If you want more specific advice or someone to give your rough draft a look over, feel free to message me.