Create an excel spreadsheet of the jobs that you have applied for. You’re not just going to apply to one job. You’re more likely to apply to multiple jobs. In order to keep track of where you’ve applied, when you’ve applied, and which positions you’ve applied to, create a spreadsheet. Include the company, the job title, the date you applied, the date you received an response email from them, and most importantly the job descriptions. You’ll want to read over the job descriptions again before the interview so that you know what the interviewers want from their candidates. However, job postings are usually deleted once the companies get to the interview stage. Therefore, take screenshots and include that in your spreadsheet. If you know the date you applied, you’ll be able to know the exact date to follow up on them.
Create a LinkedIn account and keep it synced with your resume.
Look through social media and delete inappropriate posts/pics. There have been cases where students were not hired because of their social media, or where they were hired but then their offer was rescinded because of their social media posts.
Target your resume so that it fits the certain job that you’re applying to. Include words from the job posting and pick specific experiences and accomplishments that you think will fit with the company and project that you are applying to.
Include NUMBERS. Employers like to see data because data is evidence that you did your job. If you were a tutor, how many students did you tutor? Look through your resume and ask, “how many?” or “what was the percent increase/decrease?” Include as much numbers as possible because numbers are objective while words can be subjective.
Don’t include an objective
Should I include my GPA? If it’s higher than 3.0, include it.
Always have at least 2 bullet points under each experience.
What about volunteer experience? If you need to fill up the empty white space, include it.
Include a section with your technical skills. Do you have experience with GIS? CAD? Excel?
Don’t include “References Available Upon Request”. It’s old-fashioned and obvious.
Always include the start and end date of each experience. “June 2018 – June 2019” or “September 2019 – Present"
We suggest creating a Master Resume. This is just a resume with every single experience you’ve had. It may take 2 or more pages. By having a master resume, then you’ll be able to create your resume for the application for a job posting. Your regular resume will be tailored to the job posting and take specific experiences from your master resume.
Second opinions. Always ask people to read over your resume, preferably someone who is in the same major and has experience working.
Always submit a resume in PDF format. Word documents can get messed up online.
When reading over your resume, put yourself in the employers position. Ask yourself, “if I were hiring someone for this job, what would I want to see on a student’s resume?”
Always write a cover letter, even if it’s not asked for! Having a cover letter when not asked for can show that you put in the extra effort to show that you’re not playing around. And if the employer really didn’t want a cover letter, they don’t have to look at it!
A cover letter is way to introduce yourself to the employer, explain your interest in the specific position and company, and show through examples how you are a perfect fit for that position and company.
A cover letter goes more in detail than a resume. The most important part of the cover letter is explaining in detail through example of how you are the best for that position. Share experiences, through courses and projects, that align with the position responsibilities. Incorporate how you have the 10 qualities from Basics (especially the Enthusiasm!). If an employer is asking for a specific technical skill, explain how you have experience with it and the projects you’ve done using it.
If you don’t have the specific skills that the employer is looking for, you can still apply! Include transferable skills. Highlight some of the 10 qualities from Basics and examples of how you have them. Relevant work experience is only one out of the ten qualities that employers are looking for.
Make your cover letter tailored. Your cover letter, like your resume, shouldn’t be the same for each position that you apply to. Make sure that your cover letter is tailored to the specific position.
Always try to incorporate similar wording between your cover letter and the ad/posting for the position. The job posting includes a description of the ideal candidate for that position. By using similar wording, you’ll show that you are similar to the ideal candidate that they are looking for.
Just like for your resume, when reading over your cover letter, ask yourself, “If I were an employer, what would I like to see on this cover letter that will make me want to get to know this person more in an interview?”
A cover letter should show that you will be an asset to the company. They want to know that you can solve problems for the company.
Don’t just write what’s on your resume. Your cover letter is supposed to go beyond your resume and explain your experiences in more detail.
Don’t over explain. Just like on your resume, every inch of your cover letter is important. So take time to cut out unnecessary words and phrases.
Connections. If you know anyone connected to the company, include it in your cover letter.