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  • What To Do About the Just-a-Job?

    April 11th, 2012, 11:01 pm

    Last semester, I had the good fortune to attend a panel discussion with four young SFS alumni now working full-time.

    Of the topics that came up, one of the most interesting was the question of what to do with what I’m going to call the just-a-job. The just-a-job is the cashier job you took because you needed gas money over the summer. Or the receptionist job you took in a student affairs office on campus to have a little spending money during the school year. The just-a-job is the kind of job that is not, in any obvious way, preparing you for a career. It’s just a job.

    I review resumes all the time and many students treat these kinds of jobs as afterthoughts or ask if they should take them off their resumes altogether. They suspect the job is not relevant or, worse, that employers will look down on it. Not so, based on the experiences of our SFS alumni.

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    Résumé Writing Questions Answered

    October 21st, 2010, 3:05 pm

    What thoughts come to mind when you hear the word “résumé?”

    Some of the common responses include: “Do I have to?” “Is it really that important?” “How long does it have to be?” “Do employers even read it?”

    One piece of advice I remember hearing that helped me put the résumé in context was, “It’s like your job search license; you cannot get in the door without one, a good one.”

    The résumé is a document that summarizes your education, accomplishments, and abilities. It provides employers with an understanding about who you are and what you can offer their organization. More often than not, your résumé will be your first chance to make an impression with an employer. Thus, your résumé must present your “wow” factor as a candidate. Remember the golden ticket in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? The ticket is what gave Charlie access to the chocolate factory. The same will be true of you and your résumé. If you package your résumé with the most relevant information about your experiences as they relate to what employers are looking for, your résumé can be your golden ticket to an interview.

    To assist you in the preparation of your résumé, I will address a few frequently asked résumé questions below.

    1. Is it true that my résumé can only be one page in length?
    In most cases, yes. And the truth is this can sometimes be difficult, but it can be done. Take the approach that you are designing a document that highlights only that which is most relevant and noteworthy about you as a candidate. Give employers enough information to make them want to learn more about what you’ve done and what you’ll be able to do. It is worth noting that employers are probably getting many resumes for every position posted. So you want to keep your résumé brief while giving employers as thorough and accurate a picture of your background as possible. And just so you are aware, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, the federal résumé has a different format and may be longer than one page. For a final opinion as to your résumé length, do some research to find out what the norms are for your industry. Read the rest of this entry »