Graduation, for some, and summer employment, for most, are right around the corner. College and high school students have put their efforts toward landing that summer internship or first job as a graduate.
Whether you are in this demographic, or just searching for a job, to get the position, you will have to tackle a formidable foe: the resume. A resume is an essential tool, an employer's first impression of a potential employee. With so many people competing for so few positions, you want to be noticed.
Area experts offer resume-building tips to help you tackle the daunting task.
"Your resume has to look great -- at a quick glance and upon closer inspection," said Dawn Wivell, owner of Dawn Wivell Writing Services LLC, Exeter Township.
To accomplish this, she said, be consistent with type, margins and indents, use high-quality paper and make contact information prominent. When it comes to contact information, you need a professional email address, said Kristi Gage-Linderman, corporate office manager for Gage Personnel.
Formatting is one of the first steps to resume creation. Kelly P. Mocey, director of staffing at Gage Professionals, King of Prussia, said you can create a resume by using a variety of resources from Microsoft Word, which has templates, to an Internet search.
Gage-Linderman and Ann Howe, director of marketing and public relations at Gage Personnel, recommend eliminating an objective.
"Unless written with particular clarity -- which is hard to do when applying for multiple positions -- a too-broad objective can easily convey the wrong impression of what type of opportunity a candidate is seeking," Howe said.
Instead, they advise opting for a professional summary, an explanation of your skill set. Gage-Linderman said it can help employers see how the applicant would fit into an organization.
Experience should be in reverse chronological order, with the most recent employment first. And the skills section can highlight some of the more practical, hands-on applications of what the job would require. Gage-Linderman said, for example, an applicant could highlight experience with Microsoft Office.
Using capital letters, bold print, underlines and bullet points can help to make your resume well organized, Wivell said.
"Unless you have extensive experience in the type of job you are applying for, keep your resume to one page," Wivell said.
Deana L. Barcz, owner of Barcz Coaching, Wyomissing, said volunteer experiences should be on a resume: "This demonstrates commitment to the community and indicates an interest in helping others. More companies are recognizing the importance of giving back and often have their own volunteer program or support a local one."
A personal interest section can be used to break the ice during an interview, she said.
"The list should only include what is comfortable to talk about and appropriate for the situation," she said. "Do not include overly general interests such as reading and exercising. Choose something specific, interesting and recently participated in."
Just as important, no amount of proofreading is too much.
"Proofread, proofread and then proofread again," Wivell said.
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