In my last semester of college finally got serious about trying to find a ‘real job’. I wanted to find a job that my education would have prepared me for or at least a job that was accessible to those with a bachelor’s degree. In retrospect, I probably should have started much sooner and be prepared with a good resume and cover letter. Now I would like to pass on a few key ideas for those that are out looking for employment no matter what field you are in. if you would like to learn more, after reading my article, there is a website linked below that will help with resume and cover letter building.
1. Start with your resume . Since your resume is a snapshot of you that prospective employers will be glancing at make sure that it is fined tuned so you look your best. Keep in mind that different resume styles will work better depending on your experience and skills. In general, a resume should be easy to read, professional in appearance, and well organized. After you have the basics down draft up a few different copies of your resume that are targeted towards different jobs (although I am sure you were an awesome waiter at some restaurant that has nothing to do with computers so it’s generally not a good idea to include it on a resume for computer programming). Many people keep the resume to the one page rule (one pg. rule = your resume should fill a page and NO more) but in some cases (usually those people with a considerable amount of experience) it is necessary to fill 2 pages to give an accurate snapshot.
2. Draft up a few general cover letters . You really shouldn’t bother submitting a resume unless you also submit a personalized cover letter. Not only will a cover letter let the employer know that you are serious but it will also help you highlight your resume so you stand out. A cover letter should also be easy to read, organized, and most importantly it should highlight how you and your skills fit with the position that you are applying for (it doesn’t make sense to tell a company how awesome you are if your awesomeness has nothing to do with the position or is not going to benefit the company).
3. Create online profiles with companies that you want to work at. Nowadays many companies let you create a profile with a resume that you can use to apply to job openings. Ideally, you should be updating your information regularly as needed and have the profile set to send you weekly updates about open positions. While I do use monster.com to help me with the search I prefer sending any applications directly through the company’s site or by fax/mail (again this expresses a genuine interest). It’s probably a good idea to set all your profiles for weekly e-mail updates of job postings. This way you can set one day out of the week to sift through them all the new positions and send out applications with cover letters. Also, use this time to make necessary updates to your profiles and their respective resumes. I try not to keep cover letters on profile but I do keep them on my computer so I can quickly tailor it to the job and company. Also, I would not recommend using a third-party pay site (or free site) that automatically registers you on multiple job search sites.
4. Make more friends . Most people get a job because they hear about it from a friend or a friend of a friend and you probably will not be an exception unless you are famous. Talk to people and actually try to make a friend instead of looking for someone to help you find a job. You might actually have to develop a personality that people like! Even if your friends can’t help you find a job at least they provide a nice break from the job hunt so you don’t stress yourself out (if you stick to the once per week you probably won’t stress yourself anyways).
5. “Good things come to those who are patient and take consistent, persistent actions toward what they want.” – Jeffrey Gitomer
Although there are a plethora of places to go for help with building a top notch resume and CV, I prefer to find a few examples that I like on the web and mimic their style. If you want somewhere to start, then you can go to http://www.resume-help.org/ this site will also be a good place to help you polish interviewing tips for when you do get that call back.