Welcome Everyone to Resume Guide and Tips Page
We cannot say this enough, having a good resume for perspective employers and for interviews is essential. It shows that you are serious about the position, and that you are mature and responsible. Plus, you can use it to remind yourself of how great you are during interviews.
There are many different résumé styles, but we have put together some fundamental guidelines below to make the process easier for you.It should be neat, persuasive, and accurate. After you meet a potential employer, this document is how they are going to remember you! Put some effort into it! And remember, proofreading is essential. Make sure to have someone else double check your work for errors.
A résumé is an outline of your academic, employment, and personal experiences created to promote your skills and abilities to potential employers.
Basic Design Guidelines:
* Your résumé should only be one page, so pick the best things — not everything — that you think potential employers should know.
* Stick to basic fonts, like Times New Roman, and do not use a font smaller than 10. Remember, your font should be readable!
Name & Contact Info:
* Employers must know how to reach you, so be sure to list your address, phone numbers, and e-mail on your resume.
* Contact information can be centered, or placed in the in left or right corners at the top of your résumé.
* Make sure that your voicemail message, e-mail address, and e-mail signature is work appropriate.
* Always start your list with the most recent school you attended.
* List your school and location (town and state).
* Include your G.P.A. if it is 3.0 or above.
* List all honors, awards, and/or special recognition that you have achieved.
* Always start with the most recent job you have held.
* Be specific! If you babysat, list how many families, how many kids, how many hours, etc. If you mowed lawns, list how many lawns you mow a week. The details will distinguish you from everyone else.
* List all important and interesting information that doesn’t necessarily fit under experience or education, such as special skills, clubs, and activities.
* When listing activities, make sure that you add details. Saying you were on the high school football team is not as effective as saying you played two years on JV and one on varsity, for a state championship team. This shows progress and determination and will set you apart.
Bring materials to leave behind. It is a good idea to bring a resume with you when inquiring about jobs or attending a job interview. Oftentimes the decision maker will be out of the office or will forget about your conversation, so it’s effective to leave them with something to remind them why they should hire you!
Dress appropriately. If you have any questions about what’s appropriate, dress up. Being overdressed is a lot easier to forgive than being under dressed. Not to mention, it shows that you are responsible and that you care about the job opening. First impressions are important, take advantage of yours.
Be optimistic. When an employer decides to hire you, they are making the decision that they want to (or are willing) to spend a good chunk of their time with you. You will never make a favorable impression with a poor attitude or by speaking negatively of a previous employer. If you get rejected, apply somewhere else. If you aren’t getting rejected, you’re not stretching yourself enough.
Practice, Practice, Practice. Have answers prepared for possible interview questions, and find a parent or friend to help you practice. The first time you should think about why you want to work somewhere should not be in the interview. You should already have a ready, true, and compelling reason. Pracitce makes perfect.
Make sure you ask questions as well. At the end of an interview, an employer will often times provide you with the opportunity to ask questions. Take advantage of this opportunity! It will make you sound intelligent, engaged, and you’ll learn something too!
Cover Letter Guide & Tips
Cover letters are personal introductions to potential employers. While many first jobs might not require cover letters, it’s a great way to practice and to make your application stand out.
A great cover letter should tell the prospective employer who you are, why you are applying for the position, and why they should hire you all in one page.
Sounds hard, right? It is. However, writing a cover letter provides you with the opportunity to think about why you want the job before meeting prospective employers. This will help you out in the interview.
The most important thing to remember about cover letters is to personalize them. You absolutely positively cannot just create a template and change the name of the company. Your cover letter should be targeted to match the specific company and position that you are applying for. It also helps if you can address the letter to a specific person instead of “To Whom it May Concern.” Remember, this is a formal document.
A cover letter should read something like this:
(this info is usually placed on the right side of the page)
Your Street Address
City, State Zip
(insert paragraph break)
(This info is usually aligned to the left)
City, State Zip Code
(insert paragraph break)
Dear Ms./Mr./Dr. Last Name:
(insert paragraph break)
The opening paragraph is your opportunity to introduce yourself, tell the employer why you are writing, and the position you are applying for. To capture and keep the employer’s interest this paragraph should be short and specific.
Quick Tip: If you’ve already talked to the person to whom you are sending the letter, indicate this in your introduction. This is also the place to mention if a parent/friend/teacher recommended you. The goal is to remind the potential employer who you are so they can attach a story (and hopefully a face) to your application.
The middle paragraph is where you have a chance to show off a little bit. Describe the parts of your education, experience, and interests that are relevant to the employer and to the position you are applying. Use the job advertisement, and what you know of the position, to relate your skills to the job. It’s a good opportunity to demonstrate that you know what will be expected of you, and you are qualified for the position.
The closing paragraph should help move the application towards the next step. Thank the employer for taking the time to consider your application and offer to answer any of their questions.
Your Full Name (typed)
Finally, spell check, spell check, spell check. Ask a friend or family member to proofread it for you. Once you are convinced it is error-free, submit your cover letter with your résumé and keep your fingers crossed! Hopefully you should hear back in a few days regarding your application, but if you do not, be sure to follow up with a phone call in case after a week has passed.
On The Job Tips
And you thought getting the job was hard, some advice for once you actually start working.
Show up: It sounds basic, and it is basic, but it’s not going to be a successful experience if you can’t show up on time. And showing up on time doesn’t just mean being there at 5:00, when you’re supposed to be there at 5:00, it means showing up at 4:45 and being dressed, in your position, with the right attitude.
Act appropriately: Having a job is a big deal, and you have to act like it. That means being respectful, dressing appropriately, talking appropriately, and acting appropriately. It’s your job, you should know what’s expected of you, but if you have any doubts, overdo it, it can’t hurt.
Ask questions: If you aren’t sure, or don’t know about something, ask. It won’t make you look stupid or young, it’ll ensure you do what you are supposed to. Asking questions also helps you learn more about the workplace, get to know your co-workers better, and improve as an employee. When you finish a task, don’t wait for the next assignment, ask your boss or your coworkers how you can be of further assistance.
Volunteer: There is what you are asked to do, and what you are supposed to do. The workplace is a good place to go above and beyond the call of duty. Your boss will notice when you come early, stay late, and do the things that others aren’t willing to do.
Top Ten Terrific Things To Do At Work:
- Show up early
- Ask questions
- Display a friendly attitude
- Promote your company to your friends and family
- Befriend your co-workers
- Keep up your school work
- Volunteer to take on additional tasks
- Be proud of your work
- Work hard
- Have fun!
Image: Flickr-Gangplank HQ