Summer activity choices in 2013 can impact a career in 2015.
For this reason, Collin College Career Services Job Development Coordinator Elaine Stewart encourages students to spend the free time they typically have during the summer improving their resume to prepare for a competitive job market.
Part-Time or Temporary Jobs
For students just beginning their degree, Stewart suggests taking on a part-time or temporary job. This will give future employers evidence they are motivated, hardworking and responsible.
“Part-time jobs offer opportunities to learn new skills that may pertain to your major, fill in work history gaps or earn money for college tuition,” Stewart said.
Today’s employers are looking for a variety of skill sets, but some of these qualities can be learned and demonstrated in any position. These include basic academic skills, the ability to accept supervision and follow instructions, working well with others, meeting deadlines and being punctual, hardworking and productive.
Down the road, part-time job supervisors may serve as references for more permanent positions.
For students already several semesters into their degree, Stewart recommends applying for internships.
“Internships are specific to your field of pursuit,” Stewart said. “In an internship, you’re not only working to acquire the skills for your major, you are there to assist the employer in getting a job done.”
Internships will serve to build the professional history sections of a resume.
“Fortunately, most internships are paid,” Stewart said. “However, with very competitive careers, like broadcast journalism, students may need to be willing to work without pay in order to gain experience.”
With part-time jobs and internships, students are well on their way to standing out in the job market. Nonetheless, presentation can mean everything. In the case of job searching, that means the resume must get the attention of and cater to employers. Summer is a great time to make sure this document is well organized and up to date.
“Consider the resume an urgent business communication document that no one really enjoys reading,” Stewart said. “So it must be concise and to the point. Try reading a resume-writing book with 30 resume samples without a break. It’ll give you some idea of what employers have to read. After that, write your resume.”
Stewarts promotes the following resume writing tips:
1. For specific positions, research the company. Learn about the job description by using the ONET published by the U.S. Department of Labor: http://online.onetcenter.org.
2. Know you skills and how they relate to the job.
3. Review samples of resumes and key words related to your job objective.
4. Decide on the formatting and choose a layout. Chronological and functional are the most popular.
5. Make sure your heading includes your contact information.
6. Objective or profile summary: Be clear, concise, and use the job title that is advertised. Tell the employer what you can do for the company and avoid mentioning what you want in return.
7. Skills or qualifications listed should relate directly to the objective.
8. Education should be placed near the beginning usually under skills and qualifications if you are a recent graduate. If established in the field, it should be placed at the end because work experience now outweighs the degree.
9. Your professional history is the body of the resume. This includes your position, name of the company and location for each past job. Briefly state your responsibilities, including situation, task and result.Dates of employment should go to the far right.
10. One page resumes are preferred. Use bulleted statements rather than paragraphs.
“Don’t forget to proofread and edit,” Stewart said.
The Collin College student online job database has sample templates to assist in resume writing. This resource can be accessed by visiting http://collin.experience.com. Once registered, select “documents”, “view samples” and “create resume.”
“It’s certainly alright to relax some this summer,” Stewart said. “But getting a part-time job or internship and writing or reviewing your resume today have the potential to impact your entire career. Make those things a priority too.”