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Resume Tips for the Unemployed Student

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tsc-job-interview-mdnApplying for a job is half the battle.  Job hunting is always a difficult process and if you don’t agree, then you’re a pro who gets a call back for every job you’ve applied to and this article will do you no good.  For those of us who are anxious to make it into the work force with a part-time or full-time position, there are a couple of things you might want to consider before submitting that application.

We had a chance to sit down with our Human Resources Manager, Gennifer Gonzales and here are some of her tips to ensure a successful job application.


Resume Tips:

1. Appropriate wordingOverused-Resume-Words

For your current job, use present tense and for your past job, use past tense.  For some, this is common sense, but for others, this is a simple mistake that can easily be fixed.  Many think that after they leave their job on their resume, it’s good to go and doesn’t need any tweaking, but au contraire (on the contrary), it does!

*Bonus tip: Be creative in your wording.  Most people will put ‘responsible for their duties.’  Come up with some adjectives that you wouldn’t normally see so you stand out a little more.  Wording such as ‘successfully integrated this or excelled in answering a multi-level phone line,’ those are things that show you didn’t just do your job, but you went above and beyond what the company asked you to do.

2. Be professional in all aspects

Always, always, always, set up a business email.  Don’t use silly emails.

3. Resumes aren’t novels

A resume is not meant to be a chapter book.  Give the employer or hiring manager enough so that they understand what your skills are, but not enough to where they don’t need to call you and ask you more questions.

4. Read, read, read

This seems like a no-brainer right?  But sometimes we see a job we want to apply for and we just go for it.  Always read the job description in its entirety so you understand its expectations and customize your resume to fit those expectations.

*Bonus tip: “One thing I always like is if you some have some those key skills that they’re asking for, put them in bold or underline them so they’re eye-catching when recruiters are going through and looking at your resume,” said Gennifer.  “Again, you’re going to stand out in comparison to the other 75 resumes they get.  It also makes the hiring recruiter’s job easier.”

5. Relevant experience?

“All the experience you have is relevant,” said Gennifer.  “For example, if you babysit, it can give you special skill sets such as patience, if you volunteer with associations, list that as past work history because there are skills there that you wouldn’t normally get at a restaurant job or things like that.”

6. Cover letters

Should you turn one in or not?  For some job applications, cover letters aren’t required, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t turn one in.  I’ll even admit that I’m terrible at writing cover letters because I never really know what to put in them.

“Cover letters are important.  Most people want to include everything in their resume, but don’t make it a short story.  In your cover letter, highlight accomplishments versus just things you did,” said Gennifer.  “Some people forget to change their cover letter for each company.”  Make sure you double check your cover letters and ask a friend to check over it for you as well!

Those are just a few helpful tips from our HR Manager, Gennifer.  What seems to be the smallest mistake could be the biggest impact in whether or not your resume makes it through!  So, don’t forget to double check and ask three or four friends to check your spelling and grammar mistakes.

If you have any questions for Gennifer, send her an email at asiinfo@csus.edu.

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