In 2009 Annual Conference, Student Track, Tuesday

This workshop, led by Sanda Jakubow, director of the Florida Atlantic University Career Development Center, provided information on preparing students for the current job market with tips on setting oneself apart over other applicants through resumes, cover letters, and interviews.

RESUME:
Your resume is a living document; you will continue to add to it and edit it. Tailor your resume format to the industry. In the communication field, employers might be looking for proper AP style use.

Functional vs. Chronological Resume
Chronological Resume:
• Describes educational and work experience listed in reverse chronological order.
• Dates, job titles, including month and year, must be included

Advantages: Highlights job title and employer, easiest format to read, best used when job history shows growth, best format for new college graduates

Components of a sample chronological resume:
• Objective (optional at this stage)-what type of work and work environment you are looking for. Focus on your skills, education and goals.
Ex. Seeking a position which uses my program development, leadership and organizational skills
• Summary
• Education-moves toward the bottom of the resume as you gain more job experience. Courses taken can be listed before graduation, and only ones potentially relevant to the position sought.
Ex. Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, May 2010
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
GPA 3.4/4.0 (list if above 3.0)
• Experience- Anywhere you can quantify the level of responsibility you undertook in your position using specific figures, do it!
Use a bulleted format
Use strong action verbs (organized, assisted, communicated and designed)
Avoid repetitive statements like “Responsibilities included…”

• Activities- Show leadership roles in clubs and organizations you are involved in

Functional Format:
• Be prepared to highlight the qualifications and skills of an experienced job seeker.
• 2-5 main skill sets are typically highlighted
• Deemphasizes education; focuses on work experience
For example, management, leadership, programming, selling, administrative, etc.

Advantages: De-emphasizes specific jobs/positions not related to career goals, best used for career changers and experienced hires, used to highlight transferable skills

Fun Facts:
• Employers take about 40 seconds to look at a resume, so try to put the most important information on the top
• The first thing they look at is your degree.
• A resume is more akin to a business card than to a biography
• Resumes do not get you jobs; they get you interviews
• A resume is the first impression of you, your skills, education and accomplishments!

Resume Formatting:
• 1 page on standard size paper with a conservative color such as white, ivory or granite colored.
• 12 point max font, 10 point minimum
• Make sure format and bullets are lined up to make your resume visually appealing. Visual appeal is especially important in the public relations field.

REFERENCES:
• Place references on a separate page
• Include your contact information at the top (same heading from your resume)
• Provide 3 to 5 references – individuals who can speak about your experience or knowledge of the subject matter
• Always seek permission from your references, provide them with a copy of your updated resume and if possible provide them with a copy of the job description to which you have applied. Without this information, they will not be able to sell you to the next potential employer.
• For students, use supervisors and faculty whose classes you have done well in.

References Example:

Name
Company
Contact Information

Dr. Joseph Heller, Professor
College of Education, Room 113
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-297-8975
kheller@fau.edu

COVER LETTERS
Introduction (1st paragraph):
• Identify the position you are seeking and how you learned about the job
• State how you heard about the position and why you are interested

Body (2nd paragraph):
• Outline your strongest qualifications that match those required for the job
• Express your interest in the job
• Explain how you intend to contribute to their organization

Closing (3rd paragraph)
• Discuss follow-up or state how they can reach you (include e-mail and/or phone number)

“I will call you on Sept. 15 to see if you can arrange an interview.”

• Thank the employer for their time and consideration

INTERVIEWS

Always be professional and remember nothing is off the record no matter how casual the setting may be.

Preparing for the Interview
Before:
• Confirm time and location
• Research the names and job titles of the persons you are interviewing with
• Read current newspaper, research the company, know their products, services, locations ,key competitors, whether they are publicly or privately owned
• Put together your portfolio
• Know your minimum salary requirements
• Dress for success
• Know your Online Presence and Job Search:
-Anything online is fair game
-Remove any questionable photos, videos or posts
-Check what others are posting about you—Google yourself
-Keep it clean and professional because employers are checking. The same day I applied to my current internship, my employer sent me a friend request on Facebook. Even if you’re not Facebook friends with your employers or potential employers, there are ways around the privacy settings. I was talking to a customer at the café I work at who recently went to a seminar at her grad school discussing social media and the ways businesses are using software to bypass privacy settings on social networking sites.

Behavior-Based Interviewing:
“Your past behavior will predict how you will respond in a similar situation in the future.”
• Describe a creative idea that you produced which led to a significant contribution to the success of an activity or project
• Tell me about a suggestion you made to improve work processes. What was the result?
In this type of interviewing, there is no right or wrong answer; they just want to see how you think.

Strategy to use when answering behavior-based questions:
STAR- describe a Situation
describe a Task
describe Actions you took
describe Results/outcome of your actions

During the Interview:
One of the questions they will ask you is whether YOU have any questions. Make sure you have something to say.
Examples of potential questions you may have:
• What are the responsibilities?
• How does this position interact with other departments?
• Is it a new position or was the predecessor promoted?
• What is a typical day?
• What type of orientation and training is provided?

Questions to avoid during the initial interview:
• Salary
• Benefits
• Vacation/Leave time
• Perks

After the Interview:
• Make sure you understand the hiring process
• Ask when you should expect to hear about a decision or when you may follow up
• Express your interest in the position
• Thank the interviewer and ask for a business card.
• Thank you note should be emailed or mailed the very next day.

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