What Do You Do When Your Resume Is Bare?

August 13, 2013 Leave a comment

guest-blogging-1One of the first steps in making the transition from student to job seeker is to create a professional resume. At first glance it may seem like you don’t have much to put on your resume, however if you assess your past experiences you’ll realize you have more relevant experience to highlight on your resume than you think. Employers look to your past performance to predict your success in the future. As a student or recent graduate, jobs aren’t the only way you can demonstrate your prior success. Remember that resume writing is all about highlighting your achievements. Don’t forget to include examples and evidence to further promote your value added skills to hiring managers.

6 Things to Include on your Resume as a Current Student or Recent Graduate…

Relevant Coursework:

As a student or recent graduate, employers realize that so far most of your life has been spent in the classroom, learning and studying. It’s beneficial to highlight coursework that is related to the field you’re applying for. This can show employers that you’ve learned relevant material from your studies and that you have thorough knowledge that can be an asset to their company.

Internships:

Of course you’ll want to include any and all student internships you’ve had in the past. It’s always better if you’ve participated in an internship related to the jobs you’re applying for; however having any type of internship can show a level of maturity and responsibility. It also shows that you’ve been exposed to a real working environment and are better prepared to enter the workforce.

Part-time/ Summer Jobs:

Don’t belittle your part-time or seasonal work experience. A job in retail or summer camp may not seem relevant to the field you’re going into, however you learn a great deal of foundational skills by having a part-time job that prepares you for having a full-time position. Employers like to see that you’re mature enough to hold a job and learn some basic skills and work ethic.

Volunteer Work:

Volunteering can also provide valuable skills and promote leadership and cooperation. It’s good to include any volunteering you’ve been part of in the past, as it can also demonstrate maturity, responsibility, team work and cooperation.

Extra-curricular Activities:

Feel free to list relevant extra-curricular activities on your resume. Anything you do on your free time that shows commitment, leadership, team work, etc. You can demonstrate skills you’ve acquired through your extra-curricular activities. For example if you’ve played on a sports team while in school, this can show you’re a team player and able to successfully handle multiple tasks.

Memberships/ Affiliations:

Including relevant memberships and affiliations can help demonstrate your commitment to a particular field of study, issue, or show your success in a certain area if membership is merit-based.

About the Author:

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

 

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August 13, 2013 Leave a comment

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Simple Steps to Job Interviewing

Job SearchingMaking the right impression in your job interview is one of the most important steps in your future career. Many people don’t realise that being successful in your interview begins before you even arrive at the interview. Job interviewing requires careful planning, otherwise you will significantly reduce the chance of getting the job. In the current economic climate, competition for jobs is extreme and hiring managers can receive hundreds of job candidates for every job they advertise. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to properly prepare for your job interview.

Research is the key to success

The first (and sometimes most important) thing to do is conduct research about the job and company. With so much company information available online you can easily begin to educate yourself on the company’s culture, philosophy and values. The more information you can acquire the better your chances at impressing the interviewer. With knowledge of the company you can subtlety use this information during the interview (when appropriate). Don’t overdo it though – you don’t want to sound like you’re repeating their whole website!

Practice makes perfect

A great way to practice job interviewing is to role play with a friend or family member. Ask them to question you on your resume and the job you’re applying for to fully prepare you for the interview. Remember the 4 Ws – Who, What, Where and Why. The interviewer will ask ‘Who’ you are, so give them a little detail about your life without overdoing it. Interviewers will also get you to explain ‘What’ your skills are. If you have done your research about the company properly, you will have no problem doing this. Make sure you focus mainly on the skills that the company or job is looking for.

The interviewer will also ask you ‘Where’ you have worked before. It’s worth calling up your previous job (if any) and asking them to write a reference just to back up your claims. Explain the position and the responsibilities that you had with your last job. The final W – ‘Why’ – is the most important of them all. The interviewer will ask you ‘Why’ you want this job. Think of a clever answer for this one. Don’t just say you’re doing it for the money, for example. Say something about bringing and valuable skills to their workplace.

Dress to impress

After completing your research you can begin to plan your attire. Remember that you should always dress to fit the context of a job. If you’re applying for a casual gardening company, a suit might not be ideal, but if you’re applying for a position as an accountant or a banker, then a full suit would be the required minimum.

Final point:

Don’t forget that non-verbal messages are often more important than words, so make sure that you greet your interviewer with a firm handshake. Maintaining correct posture and eye contact are also two very important non-verbal messages as they portray a more confident and presentable image.

© RedStarResume Publicationshttp://www.redstarresume.com/

The Job search market can be a tricky place to navigate. Whether you are just starting out, moving up the ladder or changing your current situation, RedStarResume have all the resources to help improve your chances of success.

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Where Do I Go From Here?

guest-blogging-1The summer after I completed a year-long national service program, I attended a leadership and career development workshop at my alma mater. The goal of the workshop was to evaluate our experiences thus far and the skills we had learned in order to figure out the next step in our careers. One of the most valuable exercises we did that week was a prioritization activity used to evaluate the tasks we performed in the past, the things we liked doing the most, and to figure out which things we’d like to do more of in our next job. It’s one of the most useful activities

I’ve found for providing insight into what you’re currently looking for in a position. The activity goes like this:
1. Write down a list of action, –ing words that you’ve done in your previous positions or that relate to the work you do in a job. List as many words as possible. Words such as planning, organizing, creating, researching, calling, directing, counseling and so on.

2. Evaluate your list of words and choose the top ten activities that you enjoy doing the most in a job, and want to continue doing more of in your next position.

3. Next, you’ll compare each of the activities individually with the other nine, choosing the activity that you’d like to do most in a job. Keep track of how many times you choose each activity.

4. Once you’ve gone through comparing each of your ten activities with one another, count up the number of times you chose each one.

5. Order your list of activities according to the amount of times you chose them.

Your new ordered list of ten activities should show the priority of activities you want to do in future positions. This can help you to tailor your job search for positions that will allow you to do the things that matter most to you in your job and give you a better idea of where you want to end up in your career.

1. _________________________

2. _________________________

3. _________________________

4. _________________________

5. _________________________

6. _________________________

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Need the help of a professional resume writer with expert resume writing skills? Contact the team at RedStarResume!

5 Things To Exclude On Your Resume

jobwantedI recently worked with a client who had a 13 page resume! It included every single job for the past 25 years and a full page describing what he was looking for in his next role. The resume even included icons and pictures of the places of employment where he had worked. The document was so large to open that I was scared it contained a virus (no jokes!). He had applied unsuccessfully for numerous jobs before deciding it was time to call upon a resume writing company to analyse his resume.

Knowing what to include in your resume is just as important as knowing what to exclude. Don’t waste time with information that does not add value. Hiring managers and recruiters don’t have time to read through every resume with a fine tooth comb.

Below are 5 things that need to be excluded from your resume:

The word “Resume” or “Curriculum Vitae” or “CV” at the top of the resume:

When a hiring manager or recruiter first opens your resume what is the first thing they see? Is it your name or is it a big bold heading that says “Resume”? When you are applying for a job it goes without saying that you are including your resume… do you really have to spell it out for them? Not only does writing “Resume” at the top take up valuable real estate space on your resume, but it also adds no value to your application.

Objective Statement:

Does your resume have a generic objective statement where you tell the reader what you are looking for in a job? Something similar to “Looking to utilise my skills to gain additional skills and experience”? If your resume reads like this do yourself a favour and delete it immediately. Hiring managers want to know that you your resume is written to target their jobs and that you have the skills and experience for that particular role. Stand out from the crowd by replacing your objective statement with a qualifications profile and highlight to the reader what you have to offer their organisation.

Too much contact information:

How much personal contact information is required in your resume? My advice is to include your name, email address and mobile number. If you have a LinkedIn profile URL I would include this as well. All other personal information such as date of birth, marriage status, number of kids, religion, race, country of birth, passport details etc. are not required on the resume.

Interest and Hobbies:

Unless it can add value to your job application there is no need to include your interest and hobbies within your resume. The fact that you like going on long walks, reading autobiographies and travelling to exotic places will not enhance your resume. Your resume needs to target the job you are applying for and although you may have a long list of extra-curricular activities you like to pursue this list does not belong on your resume.

References:

Your personal and business references do not belong on the resume unless specifically asked. References are typically checked after you apply for the job and are interviewed, and these are supplied to hiring managers on request. There is no need to flood your resume with references. They take up valuable space in your resume and 99/100 times will not even be looked at by the hiring manager. Ensure you have a list of references ready to go, but keep these ready for after you nail the job interview.

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