Internship Search: Writing an Internship Resume

By: Lexi

You’ve found an internship to apply to, now you need to polish up your resume and most likely, a cover letter. Writing resumes for internships are hard because you probably do not have a lot of experience, otherwise, you would not be applying for an internship position. But you still have to find a way to make yourself stand out from the other applicants who also do not have a lot of experience. Hopefully, these tips will help you land that internship you’re hoping for!

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Make your academics section a focus.
This is not saying experience is not important, but since you do not have as much experience make your academics section stick out. Include courses you’ve taken or big projects you’ve worked on. Only put coursework you think the employer will find relevant, though.

Experience included can be paid or unpaid.
Think about the significance and relevance of each opportunity you have partaken in. If you put your part-time job working in the food industry on your resume because that is the work experience you have, go for it, but really think about the skills you gained from the job. Use action verbs to describe your experience. For example, you could say: Maintained and balanced friendly customer service in a fast pace environment. This shows that you have the ability to work in a time efficient manner while preserving good service. Jobs, where you were paid, are important experiences to include, but so are unpaid experiences like volunteering and/or leadership positions. Do not forget to include those too, they will help you stand out! Highlighting your on-campus student organization involvement and leadership can also add to your internship resume.

Read the internship description first.
Read what the employers would expect from an intern and first of all, make sure you have the ability or willingness to learn what they would expect from you. The other reason you should read this before writing your resume is because it can give you an idea of the skill set they are looking for and then you can try to tie in those skills to your resume if you have them. This is another good tip for standing out because you will already have what they are looking for and then they might not have to spend as much time training you in.

Good luck on your internship search and hopefully these tips on how to write an internship resume will help you land the one you want! Remember, Career and Internship Services is more than happy to help look it over and give you further tips! Come to our resume drop-ins on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2-4pm in SCC 22.

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Brandi ReddUnsplash | Brandi Redd

How to Have a Productive Winter Break

By: Lexi

You are finally done with your Fall semester and finals, hooray! It’s now time to relax, but do not forget to stay on top of things and use your time to stay productive. Spring semester will be here before you know it and you do not want to be behind!

Use time for reflection on the semester & set goals for the upcoming semester
Take a little bit of time to think about the semester you just finished. Think about what you did and didn’t do well. Use that information to make some goals and identify priorities for yourself for the next semester.

Build and expand professional networks
Reach out to people or companies you have been wanting to contact, but haven’t yet. Expand your horizons, you never know how it could develop your professional profile. This could be done online through email, LinkedIn, a phone call, or you could even ask if they would like to get coffee. Remember to thank them and ask if they have any suggestions of who else you could reach out to.

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Conduct informational interviews or job shadow
Informational interviews and job shadows are a great way to see if the profession you are thinking about is the right one for you. Most students do not have time to conduct these during the semester, so now that you are not in classes, take advantage of this time. This could also help you with career advice or confirm important classes that you should plan on taking.

Work more and save up
Rack up the hours at your job, if it’s possible! Winter break is a great time to save up to keep you on budget for the spring semester.

Apply for scholarships and internships for the summer
Many scholarships and internships are posted during this time, so start looking! It is better to start searching for these opportunities earlier rather than later, your chances will most likely be greater. If you need help with this, you can visit Career and Internship Services (we are open during winter break, except Dec 23rd-Jan 2nd).

Get volunteer hours in
Whether you need volunteer hours or you just want to give back to your community, the holiday season is one of the best times to do this! Use your free time to put some smiles on the faces of your fellow city residents.

Create a portfolio, LinkedIn profile, and/or revamp your resume
Now that you finished another semester, you probably have new projects, jobs, skills, and experiences you can add to your portfolio, LinkedIn, and resume. Take the time to update all of these so they are ready for when you start searching for a job or internship, then you will not have to frantically put all of these together at the last minute.

Hopefully, you will take advantage of this time when school is not crazy and do at least one of these suggestions. But do not forget to relax and enjoy your time off during the holidays, drink some hot chocolate, eat some cookies, and enjoy the twinkle lights with your family or friends. Happy Holidays!

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Photo source: Unsplash|Aaron Wilson

What I Learned as a Recruiter’s Assistant: Part 2

By: Logan

Read Part I

One of the most valuable experiences I’ve gained in my professional life, so far, was my experience as a Recruiter’s Assistant with a staffing agency. We have all been in the job seeker position and we know what it’s like. You try to get all of your professional documents perfected, you send in multiple applications in person and online, and you try to make yourself stand out from the hundreds of other applicants in the pool. I have been in both positions, the person looking for a job and the person looking to fill a position. I think the information I acquired from the other side of the spectrum has helped me gain a new perspective on job seeking.

Before I had my position as a Recruiter’s Assistant I was not sure how to make myself get noticed from all of the other potential candidates. Once I was on the other side I found it very interesting to look at what impressed me about the candidates applying for the positions we were staffing for. There were obvious big pieces that impressed the recruiters, such as presenting a well-formatted resume and having the required experience, but I found there were many small things candidates could do to make them stand out, even slightly, from all of the other candidates with the same experience.

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First of all, I learned you are already being evaluated as soon as you apply for a position. Once you hit the send button, the game begins. From the beginning you need to be sure to complete all tasks on time and as efficiently as possible. In my experience after the candidates applied online we would conduct a phone screen. I would ask the candidate questions about their experience and answer their questions about the position they applied for. Most candidates had to complete general office testing for our positions, so as soon as we finished with the phone screen we would tell them we needed them to complete the testing before our in person interview (if they were given an interview). Completing these tests on time was a very important piece. For those who did not complete it as requested it reflected poorly on them as a candidate. This is a very important piece to remember during your job search, finish any tests or additional applications they ask you to, and do it as soon as possible. The earlier the better, people who completed the testing right after their phone screen were viewed more positively than those who completed it an hour or two before our scheduled interview.

There were many other pieces that impressed me during this job. One of them being when applicants would call in to ask about the status of a job. Personally, I always hated doing this during my own job searches. I felt like I was annoying the person if I kept calling them but this is very incorrect. As a recruiter it was very reassuring when the candidate would call back. Don’t overdo it, but one call a week lets the recruiter know you are still interested and still available. One thing that always impressed me was when candidates would be slightly over prepared for the interview. We would usually just ask for a resume, but if the person came with a resume, cover letter, references, and other credentials I was immediately impressed they went above and beyond what we asked for. Another piece I found very assuring was the thank you email. There were many great interviewees who added the “cherry on top” by sending a well thought out thank you note. This always left me with a positive impression of the candidate.

There are many things you can do to help yourself stand out from other candidates. For me it was a mixture of being prompt and punctual, as well as presenting yourself as professionally as possible. Personal interactions between me and the candidates was also a big factor for me, so it is important to follow up and send thank you notes when necessary. I hope this post can help job seekers out there who are wondering why they are not receiving a call back. Use these tips, get your resume critiqued, and visit our office for a mock interview and you will be shocked at the difference it makes in the job seeking process.

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Jordan Whitfield

What I Learned as a Recruiter’s Assistant: Part 1

By: Logan

Writing the first blog post of my senior year I found myself reflecting back on my first semester of working at Career and Internship Services as a Peer Educator. I was a young sophomore still trying to figure out what I wanted to do and I had a lot to learn. Looking at how far I have come in my professional development, as well as my personal development, I am proud of my accomplishments. My most recent accomplishment was my position as a Recruiter’s Assistant with Pro Staff, staffing agency. My experience as a Peer Educator with C&IS greatly helped me in my position at Pro Staff. I also gained many valuable skills and learned a lot about the business of recruiting and staffing. Over the course of the year I will be releasing a series of blog posts about the things I learned in my position as a Recruiter’s Assistant and how it has helped me as a Peer Educator.

My first semester as a Peer Educator was a very busy time for me. There was a lot of information to take in and it involved quite a bit of training. A lot of the rules for writing resumes are very small details and can seem rather tedious. Certain sections must be formatted a certain way, you must list your information in a certain order, and only specific items should be bolded. Going through the training I found this frustrating at times. “Why does it matter exactly how the section is formatted,” I sometimes wondered. “All of the information is on here so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, should it?” I often hear this from students as well. They often say things like, “My Professor said it was okay,” or “Well can’t I format it like this?” And technically they are correct. I can’t imagine an employer would completely disregard a candidate just because they didn’t bold the name of their degree at school. But from my experience as a Recruiter’s Assistant I learned a lot about why we have these rules and why we enforce them. We do not recommend this style simply because it is the way we have aways done it, there is a reason for why we have these recommendations.

In my position at Pro Staff I was in charge of reviewing Resumes submitted online, and we would receive up to 20 resumes a day. I would then make qualifying calls based on their experience and the job they desired. It is safe to say I saw a lot of Resumes every day, many good and many rather poor. This was especially painful for me because my position as Peer Educator is mainly focused on critiquing resumes. But one of the most important things I learned over the summer was there truly is a reason for why we format everything the way we do. Our resume style is formatted for the ease of the employer reading the document. We put information in order of importance, one example would be how under the Experience section we want you to put the name of your position first (and bolded), and then the organization, city, state, and dates of employment. This makes it as easy as possible for the recruiter to find what they are looking for as quickly as possible. When recruiters are looking at dozens of resumes a day you want to make sure your resume is as organized and easy to read as it can be. By following the format we recommend at Career and Internship Services you are ensuring all of your information is easily accessible and it is making the recruiter’s job as easy as possible. This will make you more attractive as an applicant, and this is one way you can put yourself ahead of the competition.

You see, when we give students recommendations on their resumes that may seem minuscule or picky, you must keep in mind we are doing it for a reason. We want your resume to be as attractive and organized as possible. Please remember we are extensively trained in the art of resume writing. We contact recruiter’s annually and ask them what they like to see on resumes and we are constantly updating our information. Moral of the story: we give you these recommendations for a reason, take advantage of our services and follow our recommendations because we are here to help you.

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Score a Career with the US Government, Part 2

By: Kirsi

Part Two: Resume Builder (Read Part 1 Here)

Gov Resume Builder Header

Photo Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

After becoming knowledgeable with using the usajobs.gov website as a search engine and finding an appealing position in the first post of this series, it is time to create a strong resume with the Resume Builder. The resume you submit using USAJobs is your sales pitch to sell why you are the most qualified candidate for the position. Every job post will list the max number of characters you can use to communicate your worthiness. Some job applications allow up to 35,000 characters which equates to 250 Tweets! I will talk about ways to highlight your skills in each section of the resume.

Build a Resume

To create a resume on USAJobs sign into your account. On you “My Account” page click on the “Resumes” button on the left hand side. On the “Resumes” page click the “Build New Resume” and name it.

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After naming your resume you will see that there are four sections in the resume; Experience, Education, References, and Other.

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Experience

In the first section “Experience” you click the “Add Work Experience” button to describe previous jobs you have had or applicable positions you have held in the US Armed Forces. The best place to communicate your role during an experience is in the “Duties, Accomplishments, and Related Skills” section. You have 5000 characters (about 35 tweets) which you can use to tell a story about how you contributed to a project, demonstrated leadership in the workplace, or solved a challenging problem. I suggest first writing four sentences summarizing your work so a hiring manager can understand your duties in a quick glance. Below those four sentences I suggest diving into a narrative illustrating your work that a hiring manager may read if they want to see more detail in your position. Paint a picture so the reader can imagine things like-  “What your work environment was like?”, “What sort of team of people were you collaborating with?”, “How did you go about problem solving?”, “How is your work significant and who was effected?” Don’t worry about using all 5000 characters, just know that you have plenty of space to strut your stuff.

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Education

In the “Education”section you click the “Add Education” button to add where you attended High School and share accredited Post Secondary Education. To check if your education is accredited click here. The “Relevant Coursework, Licensures, and Certifications” section is a great place to expand on what courses you have taken for your major, projects you have worked on in class you feel is relevant to your prospective job, or a senior design project. Share why your education is unique and why it makes you such a good candidate.

References

When you list a reference be sure that you are on good terms and have permission from the individual you list as a reference. This is a good opportunity to reconnect with folks from your previous experience and catch up. It would be kinda scary to get a call out of the blue from the government and be asked about a past co-worker. Click the “Add Reference” button to enter information about a reference.

USAJob_Create_Resume4

Other

The other section is the most powerful section where you can talk about any missing details from the previous sections. The “Additional Information” section is especially important because you can answer questions like, “I want to work for ____ agency because….”, “I am the most qualified candidate because…” or share a personal story that reflects your qualifications but didn’t fit in previous sections.

Throughout the resume you should include the desired qualifications listed in the posted position if they pertain to you. Some agencies use keyword search to select the first batch of candidates.

You may notice that instead of using the resume builder that on the Resume page you have an option of attaching a resume you made. Some agencies let you do that while others want you to use the Resume Builder so read through the position posting carefully.

When using the Resume Builder highlight your qualifications in the Experience, Education, and Other sections. Be sure to take advantage of the ample word count the Resume Builder and the positions allow. In the next post I will share what government opportunities are available to college students.

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Your Resume “Experience” Section

By: David

The experience section of a resume is typically the main attraction in a resume due to the experiences and skill sets that it showcases for an individual. Too many times do I see students fall prey to the belief that the “experience” section only involves work related positions or experiences and employment history. Well, I am here today to tell you that YOU CAN include non-work related experiences in your experience section. There are numerous possibilities to this, but I will only highlight a few today.

Unpaid Positions

The first example of non-work related experience would be unpaid positions. This might sound a bit obvious as unpaid positions usually extend to unpaid internships. Internships can occur with many opportunistic companies, non-profit organizations, and governmental branches. Despite the position, the unpaid internship instills a sense of real work experience and gives the intern a chance to modify and polish skills that are necessary in the workforce for the future. Besides internships, there are not many unpaid positions out there available for students, but this brings up the flipside of the coin which will be covered in the next section.

Volunteering  

Aside from unpaid internships, there are various opportunities for other positions where students can volunteer. Depending on the field one may choose to enter, volunteering experiences that can be enlisted as EXPERIENCE can range from a lab assistant, classroom aide or teacher’s assistant, or even graphic designer for a startup company. The point is, there are no strict rules indicating that the experience portion of the resume should only consist of paid work history. Depending on the field you are choosing to enter, these volunteering positions may bolster your resume as it showcases that you have dipped your feet into the water and have some experience in the intended career field. But in some instances, some students (like myself) may not have a clear idea of what career fields to choose yet and would not want to waste their time jumping from position to position. In the next section, I’ll cover one essential experience that would look fabulous on any type of resume.

Leadership Experience

Last but not least, leadership experience is one great concept to include under the “Experience” portion as it demonstrates various skills and qualities. From organization to teamwork or even just basic leadership, by showcasing the skill of leadership is very strong overall. For many students, leadership opportunities are typically unpaid positions for a club or student organization. By getting involved on campus and seizing these experiences, it can definitely bolster one’s resume and character. On a side note from all this, leadership experience in general is very effective and useful. Many times in interviews, employers will ask you a question pertaining to a specific scenario and how you dealt with it. A lot of these scenarios generally can come from experiences in leadership positions.

To finalize this post, I would like to leave off by saying that your experiences from anywhere and anytime all matter despite it actually being employment or not. Whether it be a summer internship, an ongoing volunteering position, or dedicated leadership position, it can all be applied and expressed within the resume. To fully showcase your set of skills and qualities is important in resumes and depending on how you sell yourself with your experiences you will be sure to land a job. As you begin to craft or polish your resume, don’t forget to include all the experiences throughout your life that helped propel you to where you are now.

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Resume and LinkedIn: “Distant Worlds”

By: David

You might have heard or considered copying and pasting your resume content directly to your LinkedIn profile account. Though this isn’t wrong to do, here are some reasons why you should avoid it. Today’s post derives from an interesting article I came across, 7 Ways Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile Should Differ by Arnie Fertig. Though there are seven specific points in the article that he makes, I want to summarize and highlight the main key ideas.

The Limit

First off, a resume differs from a LinkedIn profile in the sense that it is a simplified document that highlights all of your key experiences. In addition to this, there are always limits as to how much one can include within a resume. A strong resume will be one or two full pages of content, excluding the references. Furthermore, the syntax and diction used in a resume are more formal and concise, and because of this the descriptions and details in a resume are more likely to be shorter.

The Style

A resume contrasts from a LinkedIn profile in many different ways in terms of style and etiquette. In resumes, the style of the document is very formal, objective, and let’s be honest, bland. On the other hand, a LinkedIn profile is more personable, free-flowing, and flexible. Arnie makes a great point by making the distinction of how resumes are submitted to recruiters and companies to be considered, whereas your LinkedIn account is searchable and can be looked by anyone at any given time.

The Content

As mentioned from the previous sections, the content between the two differ in various ways like style and limitations. The content of the resume is much more formal and thus is a bit more restricted in what can or cannot be said. In a resume, the objective is to describe the key tasks and points of your experiences in a concise manner. Whereas on LinkedIn, you can be more subjective and talk about your experiences from your own personal voice. The content information that you can include in a LinkedIn account is remarkable compared to a resume. Overall, you can do SO much more on LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to add media content such as presentations, web links, pictures, etc. to your list of experiences.

There aren’t any life lessons to be learned in today’s post, but if there’s one thing I would like to push for, it’s to explore LinkedIn! When time permits, venture and explore the wastelands of LinkedIn and see what’s out there. You never know, you might find gold sitting around just waiting to be discovered.

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All credits of the title “Distant Worlds” goes to the rightful owner of the Final Fantasy music company. No copyright infringement intended.