Francine Fabricant | CAREER COUNSELOR
Resume Tips for Today’s High Tech Job Search

Francine Fabricant | 31 July 2018 | no comments

Whether you’re writing your first resume or updating your resume for a career change, you want results. Employers now use high-tech recruiting tools, such as applicant tracking software and online job boards. This has changed how resumes are read and processed, and it demands that we think about writing resumes in a more strategic way. The high-tech job search is driven by the search process. Employers type in their search criteria, and the best matches are found. Today, leaving off specific, sought-after skills, can derail all of your hard work.

But what are these terms that employers are so eagerly seeking?

The secret is that, in most cases, employers want you to know the terms they’re seeking and they’ve already told you! The job listing is often filled with all the key skills and qualifications employers think will result in their dream candidate. They’ll be searching for those terms, and you can use them to write your resume and cover letter.

If you don’t have some of the skills they list, don’t despair. Instead, try to work them into your career planning. For instance, you might be able to find a committee or project in which you can volunteer using one of those skills. As soon as you start using a new skill, you can add it to your resume in an appropriate section highlighting your current experience. Then, carefully spellcheck and proofread your resume, to make sure all those great assets will be found by the robots reading your resume!

Want to know how your resume matches an employer’s wish list, uh, I mean, job listing? Try the tool on Jobscan for scanning your resume and target job listing side by side.

career launch, Job Search, Uncategorized
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

Internship, Job Search
Job Hunting During the Holidays

CCS_authors | 09 December 2012 | no comments

A question I get asked frequently around this time of year by job hunters is: “Should I even bother looking now or should I wait until the New Year?”

The answer I give is: “Yes, you can start or continue your job search during the holiday season!”

Fiscal Year End

You may think that since the calendar year is about to end that the company’s fiscal year is ending as well. There are two reasons why you should not be concern about this issue.

(1) Many companies have a fiscal year that does not coincide with the calendar year. So, the fact that the calendar year is about to end may not matter to the employer.

(2) When a company needs to fill a position, it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, they will fill key positions as needed.

It’s Party Time, Not Decision Making Time

Another concern is that during the holidays, companies may be more laid back than usual. Many companies will have a party for employees, and some departments may have a party as well. With all that fun, is anyone really selecting candidates and interviewing? Yes. Although people may appear less focused on work during the holiday season, make no mistake, important decisions are still being made.

Vacation = Decision Makers Are Not Available

Another concern often voiced is that if an interview goes well, will the people needed to sign off on a job offer be available? While this is a great time of year for many to take a vacation, there will always be someone left to mind the fort. Also, in this digital age even if someone is out of the office they can be contacted if needed. However, one exception is that some companies close between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

End of the Year Job Search Projects

Throughout December, and especially during the last two weeks, you may find that reaching employers is more difficult. You can prepare for your job search during this quieter time by giving yourself projects that do not require an immediate response from employers. Conducting online and library research, revising your resume, creating or updating your social media presence, writing cover letters, sending out resumes and cover letters, and preparing for interviews are all tasks that can be accomplished during this time.

How will you make the most of the last weeks of this year?


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.


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Francine Fabricant, EdD helps people rethink their opportunities and build careers that are personally meaningful and rewarding. Lead author of the award-winning college career book, Creating Career Success, she has worked at Hofstra University, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Columbia University. Francine holds degrees from Barnard College and Teachers College, Columbia University and is a frequent speaker on career topics.


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