Francine Fabricant | CAREER COUNSELOR
 
Resume Checklist: Resume Tips to Beat the Screening Process

Francine Fabricant | 29 May 2017 | no comments


Ready to hit send?

Getting a resume ready for employers in today’s job search may start with clearly written job descriptions and spellcheck, but today’s most successful resumes also get past high-tech recruiting tools such as applicant tracking software (ATS) and online job boards.

Today’s best resumes are written for people and robots.

The time you spent on font selections and spacing will pay off later on. Real people will read your resume once it makes it to their computer. However, if you can’t get your resume past the robots “screening” it, employers may never see it. Effective resumes now work just as well with the latest, high-tech recruiting technology as they do in the hand of a hiring manager.

Surprisingly, this is easier than you may think.

This list will help you make sure your resume is attention-grabbing for robots and also sets you up for a great interview in person.

Want more resume-writing tips for today’s high-tech job search, or resume-writing tips for an internship search or your first resume? Click here for tips on your first resume, and here for more advanced resume-writing tips and samples.

If you’re ready to share your resume with employers, but just want to check it over . . .

Use this resume checklist to hit “send” with confidence!

Resume Writing Checklist-page 1Resume Writing Checklist page 2

 

career change, career launch, Internship, Job Search
5 Tips for a Strong Student Resume

CCS_authors | 24 November 2014 | no comments


Are you preparing to write a student resume (maybe it’s your first resume) for an internship or a job search? You can write a strong student resume even before you have relevant work experience by understanding what employers are seeking and designing your resume to highlight assets you gained as a student.

Here are five tips to get you started!

Tip # 1: Employers care about student experiences!

If the first thought that fills you with pre-resume-writing jitters is: “But I don’t have any experience!” then it’s time to better understand the assets employers expect from students. You might be surprised to learn that employers are hoping to hear about your student experiences.

A student resume should include relevant courses and course projects, student activities and leadership roles, part-time jobs, and volunteer roles, as well as any internships or work experiences—if you’ve had them. All of these varied types of experiences show your interests and also provide evidence of transferable skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking, and reliability.

Tip #2: Review great sample resumes for free!

Sample resumes are a great resource, and can provide inspiration for resume sections and formatting. They are not intended to be copied directly, but can help you better understand resume sections, formatting, fonts, and content. Most colleges have sample student resumes online or printed in the on-campus career center.

We have a number of case study student resume samples in Chapter 8: Tools of our book Creating our bookCareer Success. These include a target position selected for each case study student plus cover letters and more. An example can be found online, in our student resume and job search case study online career portfolio. Along these same lines, some students ask if a resume template is a valuable tool. I generally suggest writing the resume without a template, because templates include embedded formatting that can be difficult to remove.

For resume samples that highlight student experiences, check out this sample chronological resume and more from Quintessential Careers. Your career center may also offer samples that reflect the specific courses and majors at your school. I was pleased to find a large number of very high-quality, well-designed free resume samples shared online by Blue Sky Resumes, a resume-writing business. These are written for experienced candidates, but they also can offer insights into what your resume might include in the future and demonstrate some of the most current design elements and layouts.

Tip # 3: Try a technique that gets results: Write your resume backwards!

Now that you’ve considered what you’ll include in your resume and reviewed some well-written samples, it’s time to start think about how to organize the sections of your resume and how to highlight your most relevant assets.

To incorporate employers’ needs, try “writing your resume backwards.” Rather than think about your assets first, start by looking for internship postings or job listings that interest you, and use these as your guide. You can start by browsing your school’s internship or job listings. A job search is a lot like creating your own advertising campaign, and with this approach you’ll be thinking about your customer (the target employer) the whole time you create your marketing materials (your resume, cover letter, and interview responses).

First, choose a job or internship posting to serve as your target job position. Next, write down the experiences, activities, and courses that you believe qualify you for the opportunity. Finally, build your resume around these assets. You may find that this leads you to divide the sections of your resume differently, or to include more details about a student activity or volunteer experience that is more relevant to the position’s requirements than a part-time job you held. You will still need sections for education, activities, and work experience, but this approach will give your resume a focus, since it will be designed specifically for the positions that interest you most. To see how this works, take a look at the target position in this case study from Creating Career Success, and the resulting targeted resume.

Tip #4: Make your resume stand out for the right reasons.

In the movie Legally Blond, Elle’s pink, scented résumé won over her TA and professor, but, in the real world, employers expect your resume to lack flourishes, and focus on how your assets meet their needs. There is no need to spend hours debating fonts or choosing elaborate details to create stylish borders or accents. Resumes are best when the content takes center stage. That said, choosing a font and layout for your resume can be confusing. While there are some design elements that are more common, one of the best ways to discover the fonts, layout, and design options that suit your industry and career goals is to review sample resume. Again, check with your career center for samples or use samples from the links in Tip #3, above!

Some of the additional content that you may want to consider are links to your social media, such as a LinkedIn profile (make sure it’s complete and consider creating a custom public profile) or a link to an online portfolio (if you’ve set one up and it’s relevant for your job search). Saving your resume as a .pdf will ensure that the formatting you selected so thoughtfully will show up exactly the way you intended!

Tip #5: Before you send it to employers, ask for feedback!

After you have written your resume, ask someone to look it over for content, grammar, and spelling. Consider sharing it with a career counselor, a mentor, a professor, or your networking contacts. Offer to share your target job listing, and possibly some of the sample resumes you used when you prepared your own.  This will make it easier for others to offer feedback that is directly related to your career goals.

Once you’ve prepared your first resume, you will feel more comfortable getting started with career and recruiting activities offered at your school. To learn about upcoming events, check with your school’s career center. They may have upcoming activities that will interest you, such as a career and internship fair, networking night, or on-campus recruiting. With your new resume, you’ll be ready!

 

About The Author

Francine Fabricant_headshotFrancine Fabricant is a career counselor and the lead author of Creating Career Success. She has an extraordinary passion for career development, and is a frequent speaker on career topics. She has worked at the Columbia University Center for Career Education and FIT’s Career Services. She received an MA and EdM from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BA cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University. Visit her website at www.francinefabricant.com.

Internship, Job Search
My First Internship

CCS_authors | 02 October 2013 | no comments


I am currently teaching an internship class where I require the students to blog about their internship experiences. I have been doing this for a couple of semesters now and this semester I have decided to blog along with them to give them examples about what they can blog about. My blog posts allow me to communicate with my students about some of my experiences which I might not have time for in class or may not feel is appropriate for the class.

Below was my first post to the class.

Is this your first internship? If not, write about your other internship experiences for your first blog post. If it is then what are you expecting to gain from this experience? My first internship was at the Waterman Conservation Education Center in Apalachin, NY in the late 1980’s. I was an Environmental Studies and Economics double major at SUNY Binghamton. I found what I was studying to be rather dismal and depressing; so I found myself a credit internship at a Nature Center. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I remember that there was a class that I had to go to and I had to write and present a paper. There was a requirement of how many hours I had to intern.

After this internship I was still interested in environmental education as a possible career … so I did another internship. This one was full-time and I lived at the nature center. I didn’t need the credit so I took a semester off from school to do it. It was at the NYS DEC’s Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne, NY. I received a $50 a week stipend and a place to live. At those two internships I worked with some of the nicest people l have ever met.

Those two internships led to a part-time job at another nature center in Johnson City, NY. Eventually, I decided that this wasn’t the right direction for me partly because my major was so policy focused and I still didn’t feel like I was really prepared. Also, being from the Bronx, I didn’t see myself living in the remote types of places where many of the jobs were located.

My love of nature and the environment are still important in my life even though its not my career. I regularly go hiking and for several years I served on the FIT’s Faculty Senate’s Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee. Internships can teach you a lot about what’s important to you even if you decide to pursue a different career.

Tell us about your internship experience.

About The Author

Jennifer Miller_croppedJennifer Miller, MBA, MSED is an Associate Professor and Counselor in the Career and Internship Center at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) since 2001. She is very knowledgeable and passionate about sustainability and social media. In addition to counseling she taught Career Planning for several years and currently teaches internship courses on Career Exploration and Career Planning. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York and she has two masters degrees; one in Guidance and Counseling from Hunter College in New York City, and one in Business Administration from Binghamton University.

 

 

Internship
Learn About Internships

CCS_authors | 09 January 2013 | no comments


You’ve probably been told numerous times that you need to have an internship. In the Chapter 5: Explore of Creating Career Success, we discuss real-world career exploration, learning by doing, and the benefits of experiential learning.

An internship is the most common way to “learn by doing,” and similar programs may be referred to as externships or cooperative programs. There are also many other ways to learn on the job and from people in the workforce, such as job shadowing, site visits, employer visits to campus, part-time work, volunteer work, temporary work, and informational interviewing.

What is an internship?

An internship is a work experience that has a learning component. You—the intern—get hands-on experience as you contribute to the success of the business or organization. Ideally, internships are for those who lack professional experience, but are eager to explore a field while building skills, experience, and references. They can be paid or unpaid, and there are legal requirements employers must follow to ensure that interns are learning and not simply engaged in work tasks for which they are not being properly compensated. (For more information, visit the website for the National Association for Colleges and Employers.)

Why is it important to intern?

Perhaps most importantly, it will help test your beliefs about your career choice. If you think you want to be an accountant because you are good at math, an accounting internship is a chance to get to know the work environment, people, and culture. Internships also helps you develop critical skills, including specific job-related skills and professional skills that prepare you to manage yourself in the workplace. Finally, you may meet people at an internship who can serve as mentors, advisors, and advocates. Developing workplace connections is essential for building your network and obtaining meaningful professional references.

Before we finish, let’s go ahead and address some of the many myths floating around about internships:

Myth #1: My internship will be interesting and challenging all the time.

No internship— or job for that matter—is going to be both interesting and challenging 100% of the time. Employers sometimes give interns tedious projects that may seem like grunt work but that allow you to become familiar with procedures, accounts and other important aspects of the work. Proving yourself with seemingly unimportant projects may lead to your supervisor trusting you with bigger and more important work. But on the other hand if all you are doing is making coffee, picking up your supervisor’s dry cleaning and making her doctor appointments, you may need to speak to your supervisor or human resources about the purpose and goals of your internship.

Myth #2: If I don’t intern, I can’t get a job.

For the most part you don’t have to intern to get a job, but in today’s super competitive job market you need to make sure you are as marketable as possible—and interning is a great way to do that. In some fields, such as publishing, it is very difficult to get a job without doing an internship first.

Myth #3: I will get hired after completing my internship.

Some students mistakenly expect that they will be hired after completing an internship. Maybe you know someone who received an offer this way, or you’ve seen a company advertise that a position can lead to an offer. While many companies do look to former interns when hiring, there are no guarantees of future employment. The main purpose of the internship is to explore a field and develop skills.

Be on the lookout for our next blog about internships where we will cover how to find a summer internship. The skills, experience, and connections you can build through internships are invaluable in your career development.

Are you interning now or planning to look for an internship? What do you hope to gain through your internship experience?

 

About The Authora

Francine Fabricant_headshotFrancine Fabricant is a career counselor and the lead author of Creating Career Success. She has an extraordinary passion for career development, and is a frequent speaker on career topics. She has worked at the Columbia University Center for Career Education and FIT’s Career Services. She received an MA and EdM from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BA cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University. Visit her website at www.francinefabricant.com.

Jennifer Miller_croppedJennifer Miller, MBA, MSED is an Associate Professor and Counselor in the Career and Internship Center at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) since 2001. She is very knowledgeable and passionate about sustainability and social media. In addition to counseling she taught Career Planning for several years and currently teaches internship courses on Career Exploration and Career Planning. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York and she has two masters degrees; one in Guidance and Counseling from Hunter College in New York City, and one in Business Administration from Binghamton University.

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About
Francine Fabricant, MA, EdM helps people rethink their opportunities and build careers that are personally meaningful and rewarding. Lead author of Creating Career Success, Francine is a lecturer at Hofstra University Continuing Education and has also worked at Columbia University’s Center for Career Education and FIT’s Career Services. She holds degrees from Barnard College and Teachers College, Columbia University and is a frequent speaker on career topics.

 

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