Resume & Career Advice

June 6, 2011

Summer Job Strategies

Summer Job

Looking forward to a career this summer?

As summer approaches, you’re probably already thinking about that trip you want to take. You contact people and tag them along to make it more fun! Are you going with your friends or with your family? Then you decide where to go and what to do. Should you go hiking at the Grand Canyon, explore the beaches in Southern California, experience Vegas, or enjoy the theme and water parks in Orlando? After that, you prepare the things you need for the trip—sunscreen, clothes, cash, camera and more cash. Finally, you fly or drive to your destination.

Interestingly, to find a summer job, you must follow pretty much the same steps.

1. Contact your friends and family: Your network is perhaps the most important tool in finding a summer job. Ask them if they know someone from some place that is hiring. Announce on Facebook or Twitter that you’re looking for a job. Update your LinkedIn profile to show your skills and abilities. It helps to be referred in getting a job, and you won’t be referred if you don’t ask your friends.

2. Think about where to go and what to do: Do you want to babysit, wait on tables, or flip burgers? Do you want to be a lifeguard, a camp counselor, or a movie attendant? A lot of businesses boom in the summer. Some company somewhere is going to need the extra help. Frequent campus job fairs or online job sites to get an idea of what’s available. It’s a matter of knowing what you can do, what you want to do, and where to look for a job that might need you.

3. Get ready: Prepare your resume (make sure it’s professional-looking and error-free) and a list of your references (make sure they know you listed them). Practice for the interview with a trusted friend, so that you’ll ace it when you go through the actual thing. It takes work to find work. You won’t find a job by playing Xbox games all day. And no, I’m not saying that you should switch to PlayStation 3.

4. Head on out to your summer adventure: Looking for a summer job is an adventure. Only one out of every 4 job seekers will find work this summer, but don’t give up easily. Remember, you’re a jobseeker. You’re looking for a job, and certainly jobs won’t look for you. You can’t bring your summer getaway to your doorstep. You’ll have to go there yourself. The same goes for a summer job.


June 14, 2010

How to Dress (Your Resume) For Success

While not as volatile as tendance of its textile-oriented counterparts, trends in resume writing are sometimes compared with fads in fashion. Indeed, it’s not that farfetched to relate a well-dressed applicant with an organized and attention-grabbing resume.  Perhaps a misplaced adjective or an unrelated job experience in one’s resume really does say as much about the person behind it as a mismatched wardrobe or un-pressed slacks.  It seems prudent, then, to know what’s “in” in 2010 resume writing and what’s, well, something like baggy neon pants.

One common faux pas committed by jobseekers in writing resumes is ending with “References available upon request.”  People have been oversaturated with that phrase that it is now simply assumed.  Besides, testimonials from former bosses or colleagues in your LinkedIn profile are often sufficient to cover this.

Speaking of LinkedIn, social networking and other online community sites are increasingly becoming a reliable supplement to a resume.  Your profile and relationships in these websites are often referred to by employers in looking for potential hires.  An increasing number of applicants are also resorting to online resumes to enhance their marketability.  Apparently, new media is the craze nowadays.

Further, just as having only one tie wouldn’t cut it, experts are saying that a one-style-fits-all resume is definitely out.  You should write your resume to cater to specific fields and industries, as well as to your own history and experiences.  Resumes no longer have to be strictly in one format either. Aside from the customary Microsoft Word format, more people are saving their resumes as plain text, as PDFs, or as one that’s designed for scanners and online databases—of course without neglecting the traditional hard copies.

Also, as a generation spoiled by Twitter and its 140-character limit, hiring managers are now as impatient as ever in reading long, wordy resumes.  As such, the top part of the first page of your resume is most crucial.  Your contact information would include your email address, LinkedIn profile (if any), and one mobile number where you can be contacted any time.  Your summary should be crisp and succinct, containing keywords that employers look for in resumes and highlighting accomplishments instead of a vague list of responsibilities.

Many today advocate removing the Objective from resumes.  Others are dabbling with color.  Some, recognizing the rampant online distribution of resumes, recommend limiting your address to city and state, in order to prevent identity theft.  However you format your resume, always keep in mind that—just like in fashion—you have to consider your own style and personality, as well as your audience’s.  It never hurts to make sure that your resume, as your personal marketing tool, is “tailor-suited” to your needs.

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