Hello UWF ARGOS!
I hope all of you are having a wonderful semester thus far. Summer is just around the corner so keep your heads held high! As summer approaches, many of you may be trying to find work over the summer. Or, some of you may be trying to find a part time job or a full time job. In any case, below are some tips to keep in mind to help you STAND OUT from the crowd.
# 1 Prepare a Professional Resume
I highly encourage you to come by and schedule an appointment with Career Services (Bldg. 19) where we can help you format your resume. During the appointment, we will go over the Career Development Guide (click to bring you straight to it) and show you some tips to improve your resume.
Make sure you personalize your resume to the specific company needs. Look at the job description and review the skills and qualifications that they are looking for to use to give you some ideas of how to personalize your resume. Make sure you are honest.
Keep in mind for every resume; you should always place your most important (strongest) qualifications at the top. Our Career Development Guide has some great examples on pages 18-19.
Depending on what type of job you are applying for, there are four different types of resumes:
- Functional: Emphasizes transferable skills if you do not have a lot of work history/experience in that specific career field.
- Federal: You usually use this form when you are trying to apply for a state job or a federal job.
- Chronological: As the name implies, this resume emphasizes your employment history.
- Curriculum Vitae (aka- CVs): This type of resume is used primarily in academic circles and medical careers.
In addition, I would encourage you that if you are printing off your resume to have resume paper (watermark). You can purchase this type of paper from any office supply store. Also, make sure your use a good printer so that everything comes out clear.
#2 Personalize your Cover Letter
By personalizing your cover letter, you are able to stand out from the crowd of generic cover letters. In our Development Guide, on pg. 12, we have some examples of what to include in each paragraph. One item to always remember is to address the hiring manager by their name when you begin the letter. In the first paragraph you want to show how you heard about the position, why you are interested, and critique your cover letter for the position or type of job you are applying for.
Second, you should use your two strongest skills/qualifications and relate them to the company’s needs. Make sure you use specific examples instead of vague examples. Your final paragraph should refer to your resume; also make sure to thank the reader for taking his (or her) time to look over your application. Also, make sure you mention how you will follow up, instead of assuming that the hiring manager will follow up. Make sure to end with a farewell of some sort and to sign and type your name.
#3 Practice Interviewing
I highly encourage you to prepare for the interview. Make sure you prepare at lease 3-4 questions for the person(s) with whom you will be interviewing. Make sure to bring a note pad, pen, and dress professionally. Ask a friend if you can practice with them.
On your note pad, you could have, what Career Services calls, your “cheat sheet,” with your one-minute commercial speech. The one-minute commercial speech answers the question, “Tell me about yourself.” Some things to include are your major, type of position you are seeking, work experience, class projects, and how your background/goals fit with the company’s needs. Check out our new technology called Interview Stream, where you can record yourself and we can give you some tips on how to improve your interview.
Another way to prepare for interviewing is through the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) technique. In behavioral interviews, you will likely have to answer questions concerning how you have handled tough situations. By preparing in advance, you will be able to distinguish yourself from the other applicants. Make sure you use a strong example.
#4 Thank You Notes
One of the BEST ways to distinguish yourself is by following-up with a thank you letter to each person who interviewed you. Just like your cover letter, you want your resume to address each hiring manager (or each person who interviewed you). Remind the reader about what you covered during the interview and anything you may have neglected to remember. Reiterate why you are interested in the company and make sure you remind them about your transferable skills.
Feel free to call us or come by. We are here to help you in your job search!
Until next time… GO ARGOS!