Think you are ready to apply for your future career? If so, have you created a resume?
Any student who had a job has filled out a job application, that two-sided piece of paper with questions about personal information, experience and references. However, unless you have created a resume, you are not ready to start a career.
What’s the difference between an application and a resume? When is a resume required when applying for a job?
According to Monster.com, a career services website, there is a difference in which jobs require a resume. A corporate or office job that pays an annual salary generally requires a resume. Skilled and hourly jobs, which typically pay by the hour, usually require an application. Applications and resumes also differ in structure. While an application is a set of questions the company supplies you, a resume is a typed document that you supply the company.
There are many components involved in constructing a resume. Oftenimes, you must first write a cover letter.
The cover letter is the first thing the company will read. This contains your contact information, how you heard of employment within the company and your objective statement.
According to the career services homepage on the College’s Web site (tcnj.edu/~career), an objective statement identifies the environment in which you are seeking employment. Its purpose is for you to market yourself by indicating one or two skills you can offer the company or organization.
In your concluding paragraph of the cover letter, always thank the employer for taking the time to read your resume, and always place your signature above your typed name.
The resume itself consists of three to five categories, which are as follows:
Education: In order of most recent to least recent, list the colleges or universities you have attended, the degrees and completion dates you have obtained, your major(s) and minor(s) and your GPA, if it is over a 3.0.
Honors: List the number of times you’ve been named to the Dean’s List first and foremost. Also list scholarships, academic honors as well as presentations at conferences or academic programs given at the College.
Certifications: Candidates for teaching positions and other occupations that require certifications should include them in the resume. Two examples of this are New Jersey State Teacher Certification and CPR certification for some jobs.
Experience: In reverse chronological order, list full-time or part-time work, summer work, internships, assistantships, volunteer work and military experience. For each position held, show the job title, name of the employer, location and the dates of employment.
When your work experience is limited, enhance your resume by highlighting skills and projects developed through coursework, such as a research project.
Use the active voice in describing your duties and responsibilities. While other styles are acceptable, the reverse chronological order resume is the favorite of employers according to “Resumes for Dummies,” by Joyce Lain Kennedy.
Activities: Include names of campus, professional and volunteer organizations. Indicate positions you held (e.g., president or general member). If space permits, showcase the skills you have developed through your activities such as conflict resolution, leadership or effective communication skills.
However, there are alternatives to the traditional typing and airmailing of your resume. Some find it easier to use electronic resumes. While they still list your education and credentials for the job, electronic resmes differ in that the computer reviews the information and connects you to a company looking for what you have to offer.
If you are still unsure about what to do or just want some advice and comments on your resume, there are plenty of resources available. You can contact the College’s Career Services at (609) 771-2161 and make an appoint to meet with a professional.
You can also read books on the subject: “Resumes for Dummies” and “The Resume Handbook: How to Write Outstanding Resumes and Cover Letters for Every Situation” by Arthur D. Rosenberg and David V. Hizer. Monster.com also has plenty of information on resume building.