Today I attended a Cover Letter and Resume Workshop put on by Career Services in honor of Student Employment Week here at Georgia Southern University. I found the workshop to be helpful especially with graduation just around the corner. First the instructor went over how to build a winning resume; a winning resume is a good marketing tool that shows off your skills, talents and abilities. An important thing to remember that the instructor said is that the potential employer cannot see you, so you must put together an accurate, brief and concise professional document that will project your professionalism and potential worth to an employer.
In order to first start your resume, you need to begin by making a list of everything significant you can do or have experience in. It is important to list any jobs, education, experience in the field you are applying for, computer or technical skills, activities and involvement, awards and honors, foreign language fluency, professional affiliations, etc. Then when it comes time to actually creating your resume for your potential employer, then you pick out what best matches the job description from your list.
One thing that really surprised me today was how the instructor told us not to limit ourselves. For example she said it is okay to have a resume that is over one page even if you are just getting out of college. I found this surprising because I have always been taught that you have to “earn” additional pages on your resume, for example by staying with a company for more than 5 years, or just have been in a particular field for a long time with a lot of background knowledge. I found this helpful, because when creating my resume I had to make cuts on what should stay and what should go because I felt that it was not supposed to go over one page.
I also learned today that your objective and your cover letter are not just the same for every position, and that each one needs to be tailored for the position that you are interested in. Also if you are graduating college within the next year, it is not necessary to put any high school relevant information on your resume, this includes what high school you graduated from and when. But if you did receive an academic scholarship in high school for college, this is something that you would want to have on your resume.
In your cover letter, it is your goal to give the potential employer enough information for them to have interest into actually looking at your resume. Be sure to address your letter to an individual, make the most of the opening paragraph, use simple language, tell the employer how you can meet their needs and expectations, and be sure to have the correct and updated information for how they can reach you.
After all this, if your resume and cover letter describes exactly what the company is looking for, then you could be called for an interview or for references. The instructor today made it clear that your voicemail needs to be personalized, or at least say your name that way the potential employer knows that they have called the right number. In addition, stay away from downloading ring-backs or music; you never know if the person calling has a different taste in music as you. Lastly, be aware of the location of where you are when you answer your phone if the employer does call, for example if you are watching a football game with 20 people screaming in the background, it is best to just let it go to voicemail and then call them back at your earliest convenience.