Having the right resume for job hunting is very important. A poorly constructed resume will be dismissed immediately by prospective employers, regardless of how awesome your skills and education might be. This is something I was really worried about, since I’m graduating this semester and am on the prowl for a job.
Fortunately, I had some good friends with good advice to give, and I am now passing on some important tips to all of you.
1. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Spelling errors, bad grammar and using text-speak are just some of the common problems a lot of employers see with resumes. Check over all your information to make sure it’s accurate. Get someone else to proofread it, as well. Career and Employment Services have a knowledgable staff who can review and critique your resume. They have Walk-In Wednesday every week from noon to 4 p.m. in Holtz Hall, where you can drop it off without an appointment or ask questions.
2. Ask someone in the field you wish to work in for advice
Since I’m thinking of going into journalism, I asked a couple of journalism professors for help and advice. They’ve been amazingly helpful and supportive, and because they have experience in the field of work I am interested in, they know more about the specific things that my prospective employers are looking for. So, for example, if you’re looking to become a teacher, talk to someone in the education department about your resume and ask for advice on the application and interview process. Inside advice can go a long way.
3. Try to get an early start
I sent out dozens of resumes and cover letters over spring break, and even then I worried that I might be getting a late start. However, so far my prospects are looking good. Having a good resume has certainly helped my chances, but you want to make sure you give yourself enough time. Some jobs, such as federal jobs in the public sector, take longer to process applications than a similar job in the private sector. Make sure you check dates on jobs you apply for, like when the job was posted and when the closing date is for applicants.
4. Apply everywhere and as much as possible
If you really want to find a job in Texas, that’s cool, but don’t limit yourself. Send out as many resumes as you can to as many jobs as you can. If you only apply for two jobs and neither of them contact you, you’re going to waste a lot of time waiting and wondering that you could be spending on hunting down other possibilities. Check multiple resources that list available jobs and keep visiting them regularly to catch new jobs that become available.
5. Crunch numbers and figure out what you need to live on
If and when you get a job offer, great! But are they offering enough money for you to live on? Meet with a financial counselor beforehand to figure out how much you need to pay all your bills, including student loan payments. Once you have a number, you know what you need. But what if you apply for jobs in other cities and states? If you need $30,000 to live in Manhattan, will $30,000 be enough in Austin, Texas? Google “cost of living calculator” to find multiple tools to help you find out. They’ll show you the difference between your desired salary here versus cities all over the U.S. and even the world.
Good luck, fellow K-Staters, and happy hunting.
Karen Ingram is a senior in English. Please send comments to email@example.com.