Good morning, Highlanders and welcome to another edition of Career Thursday put on by the Office of Alumni & Constituent Relations here at UCR. It’s that time here on campus when Job Fairs are in full swing! If you’re in the Riverside area or if you were a Business major during your college career stop on by campus to attend the Finance, Accounting & Business Job fair that the Career Center is putting on TODAY (October 8) from 4pm-7pm in HUB 302. As a UCR graduate, you are welcome to attend the Career Center’s job fairs FREE of charge! To see a schedule of the fairs click here. Whether you attend the job fair today, or ones in the next few weeks, you should always bring a copy of your resume. Resumes are very hard to write and need to be updated frequently. Below are some tips for how to write a resume. I’ll be adding my comments with an *.
One of the reasons that I offer this free blog on resume writing is to explain what goes into a great resume.
Another reason is to give back where I can: to help people who are trying to write their own resumes.
Free resume help is also available from the public library, many high school and college career centers, and some nonprofits.
If you are a DIY resume writer:
1. Do not let yourself get befuddled with advice.
There are dozens of ways to write a good resume and all of them are valid. Limit the number of books you consult on resume writing and the number of people you ask for opinions. *The Career Center offers packages to alumni for a fee. To see a full menu of what’s available to you as an alumni, click here. A good rule, is to contact someone who works in your field. Many industries have different standards of what they look for on a resume or how the resume is formatted. Seeking someone in the industry that you’re looking to break into would be a great place to start when seeking advice.
2. Remember that free advice is generic advice.
It does not take into account your accomplishments, your goals and the job you want. Customize your resume to you. *Think about all of your greatest accomplishments in your career life. Many people will say something like, “Well I was just a student assistant” or “I was just leadership chair of my club on campus” that may be the case but if you don’t put effort into your resume to prove to the employer that you’d make an awesome employee how are they going to know that you’re awesome? Have the confidence in yourself to write your accomplishments. Many people also think this is bragging, which is seen as unacceptable BUT if you don’t put your accomplishments on that piece of paper, the employer won’t know the type of worker you are and they probably won’t hire you. The more detailed and accomplishment focused you are on your resume, the more likely you will be to obtain an interview and the more likely you are to land the job!
3. Try to see your resume through the eyes of an employer.
Amateur writers tend to love and believe in everything that they write. How you feel about your resume is not half as important as how a future employer feels. *Although you DO want to feel proud of the document that you’re sending out to the employers, it is important to understand what is standard in your industry of choice. Make sure that you’re looking at the job description and picking out the key words that are core functions of the job you’re applying for. If they’re looking for a key skill set, be sure that you have that skill set on your resume if you have it. If you have a skill that they’re looking for and it’s not on your resume, the employer will assume that you don’t have it. Employers, typically, know nothing about you when you’re applying for a job and if you don’t have a skill or competency on your resume they are always going to assume you don’t have that skill set. General rule: if you have a skill necessary for the job you’re applying for, add it to your resume even if it seems like a skill most people in your age group have.
4. Do not try to “beat the system.”
Don’t try to “stand out” by using quirky fonts, colors, keyword spam, QR codes or any other attention-getting devices. What recruiters and hiring managers want most is a resume that is clear, accurate, easy to load into an Applicant Tracking System and a match for the skills, experience and attitudes they are looking for. That is enough to concentrate on! *The applicant tracking system piece is HUGE! Employers come to UCR all the time and mention that students (probably alumni as well) Google how to write a resume and sometimes the results are a little funky. Infographic resumes might be standard in graphic design fields but always have a more “traditional” style resume to upload onto the job board. Many large companies have these systems and the funky resumes don’t upload well, which causes the recruiter more work. They have to take the time to contact the applicant and ask them to upload the document again. Since this is already an extra step for someone who is really busy and trying to hire you, they are going to remember you and they’re going to remember the extra work that you caused them. When in doubt, use a traditional style of resume.
* Originally posted by Robin Schlinger on CAREEREALISM, June 2, 2015.