Resume Writing 101

1. Do Not Attempt To Be Fancy with Fonts

You might think that using a unique font in your resume is a good thing. After all, if it stands out from the others and expresses personality, certainly the business will appreciate it? The fact of the matter is this is a trap that people of all ages tend to fall into. Anybody that has been assigned to look through the applicants will be less likely to take a resume seriously if it uses a fancy, hard-to-read font. It will be considered amateurish and unprofessional, leading to the throwing away of the resume before it has even been read. A simple, common font such as Arial or Times New Roman will suffice.

2. Do Not Use Colored Paper

This goes into the same category as using different fonts. Printing out the resume on colored paper, such as neon yellow or red, does not do you any favors. You will not be guaranteed a job just because you took the time to buy and use colorful or even patterned paper. In fact, you will not impress anybody, and the money you spent on the paper will be wasted. This is not to say that businesses do not appreciate character; however, this early in the game you should play it safe.

3. Be Specific

It is important to avoid using vague phrases when you put together a list of your past job duties. If you worked in retail and dealt with clothing, do not simply mention that you sold clothes. Instead, make sure that you mention that you sold clothing for kids, or intimate wear, or uniforms for various sports. Those in charge will appreciate that you took the time to specify, and if you do not get your desired post, you might find that you are in the running for something else instead.

4. Mention Your Skills and Importance

Companies of all walks of life are looking for the best that they can get, and many people know this. If you want your resume to look better than the dozens or even hundreds of others that they might receive, you are going to have to emphasize what you do. Do not simply state that you answered the phone at your previous job; instead, say that you answered inquiries. It is the same thing and you are not lying, but it gives off importance. If you know for a fact that you helped add to customer satisfaction from the inquiries, be sure to mention it. Make sure to mention any extra skills, such as proficiency with using the Internet, as this can also add to your usefulness.

 

Landing That First Job

With summer fast approaching, many high school students will be looking for a summer job. Summer jobs can help you to gain work experience, earn money, and learn some skills that can translate into jobs in the future. Landing a first job can be tough and knowing where to start and how to put together a first resume is the initial challenge.

The Resume
What do you put on a resume when you don’t have any work experience? It’s important to think about experiences that could translate into skills for the job. Leadership in extracurricular activities, academic honors, or volunteer work can all translate into skills and experience for a job. Organize your past experience, education, and skills into a resume that highlights your strengths and what you’re looking to gain from a summer job.

Finding Jobs
An important step when starting any job hunt is to ask around, ask family members, neighbors, teachers, and friends if they know of anyone looking to fill openings during the summer months. You can also look at websites like CareerBuilder and Craigslist for potential openings in your community. You may also want to ask your guidance counselor, many counseling offices will have information available about summer jobs and be able to help with your resume too. If there are companies where you are particularly interested in working, call or email to find out about any potential openings, showing initiative may be what sets you apart in the process.

The Interview
Showing up for your first interview can be a nerve-wracking process. It’s important to remember that if you’ve landed an interview, chances are you are a serious candidate and the company is devoting time and resources to finding out more about you. Dress professionally and be courteous when you arrive for your interview. This is a chance to show them why you are right for the job and to find out more about the position itself. Be ready to answer questions and also to ask questions when given the opportunity. Bring along another copy of your resume to give to your interviewer and a pad of paper and a pen to take down any information. Follow up your interview with a thank you note.

Landing a first job isn’t an easy process, but getting the job search skills down pat will help you to fill out your resume, make important connections, and find jobs for the summer and in the future.


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