How can college students and graduates impress employers and get hired for their dream job? Resumes and networking are the answers
Resumes are often the first thing a prospective employer sees from a job applicant. These one-page documents have the power to land you an interview— or get you tossed into the rejection pile.
With so much resting on your resume, how can you write one that will impress your employer and get you an interview?
Resume Drop-in Sessions
Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Library and Learning Center, St. Paul campu
No RSVP needed. Bring paper or electronic draft of your resume. Offered by Career Center and the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE).
One-on-One Resume Reviews
Schedule personal appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
More tips from the Metro State Career Center
Elegance is Everything
“Holistically, when I first look at a resume, I think the first impression is important,” said Metropolitan State professor Quan Zhou, who teaches WRIT 372 Document and Information Design. “It tells you something about this person. Some resumes are cluttered; other resumes are elegant.
Resumes give employers a peek into your lifestyle and personality. As a job candidate, you have total control over what that employer sees.
Use clear writing to emphasize your strengths. Resumes should lay out your accomplishments and skills. Hiring managers do not want to have any questions about your qualifications
“Your resume should respond to what they are looking for in their job advertisement,” said Zhou. “Don’t describe your experience in a plain way. Think in terms of accomplishments. Give people measurable things like data, numbers and progress. When you write your resume, you should think about what value you present to your employer.
State Your Skills
Not showing your value clearly in your resume is the biggest mistake you can make, according to Metro State human resources recruiter Michele Chilinski. “People leave out skills that they have,” she said
Chilinski can receive anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of applications for a single position. She must sift through them in a short period. If an applicant hasn’t clearly listed their skills on their resume, they will be rejected.
Because of this, she recommends that students clearly state their skills. The best way to do this is to take the qualifications from a job description and match them to skills listed in your resume, she said. This action will help dispel any confusion about whether an applicant has the minimum qualifications for the job
“Write short and simple resumes, but provide enough information,” Chilinski said. She also recommends that students use large and clear typefaces, but refrain from adding a photograph of yourself.
Many corporations and businesses, including Metro State, are required to hire a diverse staff. By including a picture, an applicant can actually decrease their chances of getting the job
While resumes are essential, personal connections are also vital to finding a job. “It’s not just about resumes,” said Chilinski. “It’s also about networking.
People are influential and invaluable in the hiring process, Chilinski said. Getting to know someone on the inside of an organization increases your chances of getting an interview. It gives you a distinct advantage over other applicants.
When the volume of applications for an open position can be huge, connecting with someone inside the organization will help you stand out from other candidates
Zhou and Chilinski’s advice channels a quote attributed to famed writer Ernest Hemingway: “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”
Make that your goal when crafting your resume. A well-written resume — and a person-to-person connection — will launch you ahead of other applicants