Filed under: Resumes
Is your resume EmployUP ready? Bring copies of your professional resume to EmployUP, CPCC’s career fair that takes place on March 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Grady Cole Center. You’ll be submitting them to employers in hopes of receiving an invitation for a job interview!
What makes a resume EmployUP ready?
- No typos. Carefully review your resume for grammar errors and typos.
- Consistent font style and size. Choose a traditional font style (Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman and Verdana are examples). Use a size that is no smaller than 11 point. Keep sizes consistent for each entry. Whichever size you use for one category title, for example, should be used for all category titles.
- Bullet points. Avoid long paragraph descriptions. Employers don’t read them. Use bullet points instead.
- No “I” statements. Complete sentences aren’t necessary. Start with action verbs to describe your job duties.
- One page length. Keep the resume to one page. Unless you have extensive relevant experience that justifies two pages, resumes should not exceed one page.
- Targeted to specific industries or companies. Research your companies of interest beforehand, and develop your objective and skills sections to match what the companies are seeking.
- Easily identified Education section. Make sure employers can easily see the degree/certificate/diploma you are earning (or have earned). Employers attending EmployUP are looking for specific programs – be sure yours is highlighted.
- Contact information listed at the top of the page. Don’t forget your phone number and email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile, list the url.
How can Career Services help you make your resume EmployUP ready?
Resume reviews. Career Services counselors can review your resume in four ways:
- Schedule a resume appointment with your campus career counselor.
- Email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and receive feedback within 24 hours.
- Stop by Central Campus Drop In Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a resume review (no appointment necessary)
- Upload your resume to your EmploymeNC account and receive feedback within 24 hours.
Online resume resources. Use the following online resumes to help you develop your resume:
- View the Career Services Resume Tips video.
- Check out the Resume Info Link on the Career Services webpage.
- Review the resume guidelines and samples in the Career Services Career Guide.
EmployUP is just over one month away! Don’t delay in getting your resume ready for this hiring event.
February 1, 2016
To increase your chances of landing a job interview your resume should target the specific job you’re applying to. Employers can easily spot a resume that has been used to apply to a variety of different jobs. These resumes are most often rejected. Employers favor resumes that demonstrate the job seeker took the time to target the resume to their particular job opening.
Job seekers mistakenly think this means having to rewrite their entire resume for every job application. Not true. Follow these four simple steps to help grab an employer’s attention.
Write a targeted objective. The objective tells the employer which position you’re applying to and briefly mentions specific skills or relevant background information that immediately grab the employer’s attention. Listing an objective that could be used for any job opening at any company is a waste of space on the resume. See the Career Services Career Guide for sample targeted objectives.
Use industry-specific keywords. Pay attention to the specific requested skills listed in the job description. Employers will use these key words and phrases to help evaluate the resumes received. Make sure that your resume includes key words from the targeted industry. Incorporate the key words into job duties and a Skills section on the resume.
Add a “Related Experience” category. Do you have previous experience that relates to the position to which you’re applying now? If so, include it in a category called “Related Experience” that you could list before the “Employment” section of your resume. It’s okay to do this even if the related experience took place before jobs in the Employment section. Resume entries must be in reverse chronological order within a category. Remember, related experiences aren’t limited to paid positions. Internships, volunteer experiences, even significant on-campus activities count.
Organize resume categories to market your background in order of relevance to the job. List the objective first on the resume. But the category order from that point depends on the job to which you’re applying. For some job seekers, your degree may be more targeted to the job opportunity than your work experience. In this case the Education section should be listed before Employment. For others, your work experience might directly related to the position and should be listed before Education.
September 14, 2015
Summer is either very relaxing (light course load) or extremely busy (classes, increased work schedule, etc.). Whether your summer schedule allows time to unwind or barely any time to breathe, you can still accomplish career-related tasks. Check out this list of seven items, each of which you can achieve in 30 minutes or less.
1. Begin building a resume. Take 30 minutes to write down your employment history, education and accomplished skills. This information becomes the foundation for your resume that you can write in small chunks throughout the summer and have ready by fall. See the Career Services Career Guide for tips and samples. Email Career Services or schedule an appointment with a counselor to have your resume draft reviewed.
2. Complete your EmploymeNC profile, including uploading a resume. EmploymeNC is an online job searching and career information tool offered by Career Services to CPCC students and alumni. Search for full-time and part-time jobs, learn about upcoming career events and receive informative Career Services emails.
3. Watch a Career Services video. Whether you want to learn how to make career decisions, write a resume, interview for a job or use LinkedIn, Career Services offers short step-by-step videos to provide assistance.
4. Start completing your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the social media resource for career and professional development. Watch the Career Services video about building your LinkedIn profile or attend a free LinkedIn webinar. Both provide great tips on what information to include in your profile and how to use LinkedIn effectively.
5. Visit Career Coach. If you’re still undecided regarding your academic or career interests, Career Coach is a great online tool for you to use. In just 30 minutes you can learn about job opportunities related to CPCC programs. All of the information is localized, which means the job statistics are regionally based.
6. Write and practice your elevator speech. If people ask you what your skills are, can you tell them? If you know your job interests, would you be able to talk about them in 30 seconds or less? An elevator speech is the tool to help you clearly and concisely discuss your qualifications as they relate to your career goals.
7. Learn about jobs related to your academic program. If you want to learn about jobs related to your A.A.S. degree, check out Career Coach (mentioned above). Students earning an AA or AS degree with plans to transfer to a four-year college or university to discover bachelor’s degree career options here.
Do you have time to spare and questions to ask? CPCC Career Services is open throughout the summer months. Now is a great time to meet with a career counselor to get your career and job search questions answered.
June 15, 2015
The resume is one of the most important documents you’ll write. It’s your admission ticket to a job interview. People have different ideas on what makes a great resume, but here are some basic tips that everyone follows. Use these strategies to write a resume. Meet with a CPCC career counselor to receive feedback on ways to market your skills and qualifications.
1. Check for typos. Don’t rely on spell check. Hint: Read the resume backwards (bottom to top, end of lines to the beginning). You’ll focus on individual words and more easily catch mistakes.
2. Use a consistent, professional font style. Top choices include Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman and Verdana. It should be easy on the eyes and look professional, not fancy or flashy.
3. Keep the font sizes consistent. Whatever font size you use for one category title should be used for all. Keep font sizes consistent for each entry. Don’t choose a size smaller than 11 point font.
4. List important items on the left side of the page. Employers’ eyes zero in on the left side of the page when they glance at a resume. Job titles, degree and skills should appear on the left. Entries such as dates of employment, locations for past employers and graduation date can appear further to the right side of the page.
5. Use bullet points. Avoid long paragraph descriptions. Bullet points help the employer quickly glance through the resume.
6. Nix the “I” statements. Complete sentences aren’t necessary; start with action verbs. Instead of “I was responsible for increasing floor sales by 50%,” say “Increased floor sales by 50%.”
7. Keep it to one page. Employers are short on time so one page resumes work best. A two page resume might be okay if you have extensive relevant experience. Resumes exceeding two pages won’t catch an employer’s eye.
8. Don’t get wordy. Focus on relevant information rather than telling your entire employment history. Too many words is a visual turnoff that causes employers to move to the next applicant.
9. Focus on the past 10 years. Unless the jobs are particularly relevant, only list those from the past 10 years. If you’ve worked for one company for longer than ten years, list the job but not dates of employment.
10. Target the resume to the job/industry. Nothing turns an employer off more than receiving a resume that’s clearly been sent to multiple job openings in different industries. Quickly updating your objective or career summary easily targets the resume to a specific job or company.
11. Use bold and capital letters wisely. Bold font and ALL CAPS help break up the presentation. Remember to be consistent: If you bold one job title, bold all of them. If the EDUCATION category title is capitalized, do the same with the other category titles.
12. Include an appropriate email address. Use your student email address or set up a job search email account that uses a combination of your name as the address. Fun addresses (email@example.com) send the wrong message about your professionalism.
13. List contact information at the top of the page. Include your name, mailing address, phone number and email address. Put your name in slightly larger bold font
April 27, 2015
When you attend the CPCC Career Fair next month, bring enough copies of your resume to give to employers of interest.
Career fairs are busy. Recruiters won’t have time to read your resume. They’ll glance at it – six seconds at the most.
Follow these tips to help you create a resume that will catch employers’ attention in a short timeframe.
Target the resume to the company: Research companies ahead of time to know which ones you’re interested in. Your objective and skills sections should match the positions and skills the company is seeking.
Use an Objective to specify your career interests and qualifications: An objective that includes the position of interest, company name and a quick mention of your background snags the recruiter’s attention.
Create a skills category: Employers already know the skills they’re looking for. By doing company research you can know which skills they’re seeking. Make sure your skills category reflects this information.
Avoid fancy fonts: They’re distracting. Standard fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri work best.
Keep it to one page in length: Unless you are a seasoned worker with years of relevant experience, your resume shouldn’t exceed one page.
Make sure the Education section clearly shows the college’s name, what you’re earning (degree, certificate, etc.), program (Criminal Justice Technology, Cosmetology, etc.) and graduation date: Employers searching for candidates from specific programs immediately look for this information.
List your contact information at the top; don’t forget your phone number and email address: If you have a LinkedIn profile, this would be a great place to list your LinkedIn url.
Use bullet points instead of paragraphs: Employers don’t have time to read a paragraph describing your job duties. Use bullet points that quickly summarize the same information.
Ditch the “I” statements and start with action verbs: Employers want to know what you did so don’t waste any time telling them. Use a variety of action verbs to convey duties and responsibilities.
Plug in numbers wherever you can: Numbers visually break up the resume presentation. Additionally, they can market your qualifications. List a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Mention the number of calls you field in your current call center job. Discuss the amount of sales you contribute to the restaurant in your server role.
Check for typos: They’re still one of the biggest reasons why employers reject candidates.
Use sample resumes as guidelines. Have a CPCC Career Services career counselor professional critique your resume before the Career Fair to make sure you’re clearly and concisely marketing your qualifications.
February 16, 2015
It’s a question that career counselors hear all the time when reviewing job seekers’ resumes:
“Do I really have to target my resume to every position I apply to?”
You really don’t have to…unless you want to increase your chances of landing an interview.
Generic resumes don’t tell the employer how your skills and qualifications can benefit his or her company in the specific role they’re hiring. Not taking the time to target a resume may show a recruiter you’re not serious about your job search.
If you want the employer to know why you’re the candidate for the job and that you do take your job search very seriously, read on to learn five simple strategies for preparing a targeted resume.
Know that writing a targeted resume doesn’t mean rewriting your entire resume. You can’t change your education or previous work experience, so you’re not reinventing the wheel with every application.
Start with the objective or career summary. Listed at the top of the resume, either of these categories grabs an employer’s attention and encourages further reading. An objective should state the position to which you’re applying, the name of the company (if you know it) and quickly mention relevant qualifications (skills, education, etc.). Career summaries are a little longer and often utilized by job seekers with multiple years of experience or specific accomplishments they wish to market. It should still be tailored to the employer. Target both. If your degree isn’t specifically relevant to the job, no need to mention it; list your skills instead. If the degree is important for another job, be sure to market it.
List a summary of skills section and use industry-specific keywords. Here’s where you pay attention to the job posting, specifically the requested qualifications. What specific skills are listed? It’s these skills that made you say “I’m qualified for this job.” List these skills on your resume. Know the keywords for your targeted industry and make sure they’re represented.
Consider a “Related Experience” category when appropriate. Of all your previous jobs, is there one that stands out as more related to the particular position to which you’re applying? If so, consider listing that position in a category called “Career-Related Experience,” and place it before the “Employment” section on your resume. Resume entries must be in reverse chronological order within a category. If your job from two years ago is more relevant to a position you’re applying to now, creating this category highlights that experience.
Reorganize categories. An objective and skills category should be first on the resume. But the category order after that depends on the job you’re applying for. Of the remaining categories, which one is most relevant to the position? The answer determines your resume’s category order for each job.
Creating a targeted resume may add some additional time to the application process. But targeted resumes shorten the amount of time you spend job searching by increasing your chances of being hired sooner.
October 20, 2014
Even if you’re not a soccer fan, you’re likely aware of the sport’s major event currently taking place in Brazil. The World Cup captivates billions of futbol fans across the globe. It’s estimated that one out of three people worldwide will be enjoying the matches over the next month.
In the spirit of the world’s game taking center stage, did you know there are seven career and job search tips you can learn from the World Cup?
1. Back up your stats. Being qualified on paper only goes so far. Spain was heavily favored to repeat as World Cup champions this year. Yet, they were eliminated in the first round of play. England’s roster consistently sports talented players, but they haven’t won a World Cup since 1966.
When you’re job searching, a solid resume highlighting your skills gets your foot in the door. But job offers are made based on how well you interview to convey your qualifications for the job.
2. Start preparing early. The World Cup takes place every four years. Yet national teams start preparing for the next event mere months after the current matches end. Finding the right career path and implementing a successful job search take time. Don’t wait until the weeks before – or after – graduation to prepare.
3. Know that others can help you. Teams advance out of the first round of World Cup play based not only on their own success but how other teams in their group do. Fans find themselves rooting for one country to help their own. In job searching, networking is the way others help you in your career development. Just like in World Cup play, relying on others is a strategy you can’t ignore.
4. Use many tools to create a winning strategy. Job seekers can’t rely solely on one job search tool to get a job. It’s like a soccer team relying completely on their goalkeeper to win the game. Job boards like employmeNC provide great job leads, but you also need to incorporate other resources like networking, on campus recruiting and job fairs.
5. Develop a parallel career plan. When one of the US team’s essential players – Jozy Altidore – was injured in their first game, the coach immediately substituted a player and implemented a plan. If internal or external circumstances prevent you from reaching your first career goal, what other options are you considering and what do you need to do to achieve them?
6. Remember that luck plays a part. Some World Cup teams have an easier time advancing into the next round literally thanks to the luck of the draw. You control many elements of your job search. But luck is a factor. Being in the right place at the right time, being the more qualified candidate, etc. Someday this will be you.
7. Believe that with hard work, dreams come true. John Brooks, a backup player for the US team, literally dreamed two nights before the first game that he scored the winning goal. Brooks entered the game when starter Matt Besler was injured. His dream from the night before came true when his goal led the US team to victory. Half the battle of job searching is believing you can do it.
June 24, 2014
A resume. The toughest one-page paper you’ll likely ever write. When done well, this document could be the ticket to your next job. When written poorly, it likely guarantees you won’t be selected for an interview.
With the CPCC Career Fair just three weeks away, it’s time to start polishing your resume to give you a better chance of impressing the employers.
Here are eight tips for creating a resume that employers will look at favorably.
1. Keep it to one page. Studies show you have six seconds at most to make a good impression, since that’s the average amount of time recruiters spend on a resume. A two-page resume doesn’t work with this short attention span.
2. Develop a targeted resume. Once you know the companies you plan to visit at the Career Fair, target your resume for each of them. Best place to start is with the objective. Yes, it will be time consuming, but yes it will be worth it!
3. Start job descriptions with action verbs. Remember your composition class where you learned the importance of writing complete sentences using subjects and verbs? Put that training on hold for the resume. Start with action verbs when listing your job duties. Avoid personal pronouns. If you can say something in two words instead of five, do it.
4. Use bullet points.
- Paragraphs are visually long and therefore a turnoff.
- Not every item needs a bullet point.
- Using too many bullet points ruins the effect.
5. Check for spelling errors. Grammatical and spelling errors still top the list of reasons employers reject resumes. Don’t rely on spell check. Scrutinize your resume forwards and backwards. Have someone else review for errors, too.
6. Use keywords but avoid rambling. Keywords are words or phrases specific to an industry. Employers use them the same way you use search words on Google. Make sure your resume reflects keywords for your targeted industry.
At the same time, leave out unnecessary details. The interview will be your opportunity to provide more explanation. The resume is a summary of accomplishments and qualifications.
7. Make sure the appearance is consistent and standardized. Avoid fancy fonts. Stick with the standards like Times New Roman, Arial or Calbri. Your name can appear in a slightly larger font, but keep the rest of the text within 10-11 point font size. Don’t change font sizes or styles midway through the resume. If you bold one job title bold all of them. Putting one category title in all caps? Then do so for the other category titles, too.
8. Have your resume reviewed by a Career Services career counselor. Schedule an appointment with a career counselor who can give your resume a professional review and offer tips for improvement. The Central campus office offers Drop In services (Mon-Fri 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) with no appointment necessary.
Employers are eager to talk to you about your resume next month. Is your resume ready for them?
February 10, 2014
The CPCC Career Fair is just over one month away! On Thursday March 6 employers will be at the Grady Cole Center to discuss full-time and part-time jobs as well as internship opportunities. Mark your calendar and plan to attend.
Why should I go to a career fair?
If you’re job searching, why wouldn’t you attend the job fair? This is your chance to meet employers face-to-face who are actively hiring people just like you. Online job searching has been a staple for years thanks to job boards like employmeNC and Indeed.com that let job seekers apply to jobs from the comforts of home. Social media has taken the online job search one step further allowing online interaction with professionals and company representatives through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
But the chance to talk to an employer in person can’t be trumped or replaced. At the end of the day an in-person interview is how employers evaluate your candidacy for a job opening. Don’t pass up the opportunity to make a good first impression – and solidify yourself as one to be contacted for that interview. The job seeker attending the job fair has the advantage, so why shouldn’t that job seeker be you?
What can I expect at a job fair?
Be prepared for lots of people in a loud environment. Approximately 75-85 companies attend the event. They each bring two or more recruiters who spend time talking one-on-one to job seekers that number over 1,000. Each company sets up a display table. Their job is to promote their company as place you might like to work. Your job is to promote yourself as someone they might want to hire.
Anticipate long lines. CPCC students, alumni and all veterans can access the event through the VIP entrance. You may also encounter long lines at employer tables. Be patient. Remember you might meet your next employer today so it’s worth the wait.
Allow enough time. The CPCC Career Fair is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Depending on how many employers you plan to talk to, you could be at the event for an hour or longer. You’ll want to spend at least 5-10 minutes talking to each employer.
Start preparing now. A job fair isn’t an event you prepare for the night before. You’re going to need professional attire, a sharp resume, knowledge about the companies attending, a list of questions to ask them and a top-notch elevator speech that sells your skills and qualifications to each employer. Take the next month to get these items in order.
Visit Career Services to help you get ready for the job fair. Visit this blog over the next month for tangible tips on how to be successful at the event. Clear your class or work schedule now for March 6 to avoid conflicts and the chance to attend this event.
February 3, 2014
Tomorrow is the Career Services Part-Time Job Fest. From 10 am to 1 pm company representatives will be at the CPCC Central Campus on the Overcash Driveway, talking to students about part-time job opportunities. If you’re looking for a part-time job this is a great chance to meet with employers who are hiring!
If you aren’t looking for a part-time job, maybe you should be (if your class schedule permits). The benefits of a part-time job extend way beyond the paycheck you’ll earn right now. In many ways, working a part-time job now makes you a better full-time job seeker and employee later. How?
When you get a part-time job you:
Experience the job application process: Filling out an application, putting together a resume, writing a cover letter and assembling a reference list.
Participate in a job interview: Part-time job applicants meet with potential supervisors and managers who review their application and ask interview questions that full-time job seekers answer as well.
Develop transferable skills: Part-time employees learn how to work independently or in groups, perform tasks efficiently, show up for work on time, work under a supervisor (or with minimal supervision). These are just a few of the many transferable skills you can develop now as a part-time employee that you’ll list as your strengths later during interviews for full-time jobs.
Learn things about yourself: Do you prefer working in a fast-paced or relaxed environment? Do you enjoy working behind the scenes or at the forefront of the action? What skills do you naturally use more than others? You can learn a lot about yourself in certain situations, a part-time job experience being one of them.
Have work experience to put on your resume and talk about in future interviews: Job seekers with no work experience have an extremely difficult time developing a resume. Even if your part-time job is in a field completely unrelated to your studies or future career plans, employers look favorably upon applicants with prior work experience. Additionally, employers don’t like discussing hypothetical situations during interviews. For example, if they ask about your communications skills, they want you to provide specific examples from work experience where you put your communication skills to work.
Develop time management skills: Students who successfully balance a work and class schedule automatically acquire time management skills. A solid GPA and a solid recommendation from your work supervisor is a great combination that future full-time employers will look upon favorably.
August 26, 2013