The Crimson White

Career Center builds, edits stronger resumes

Sarah Robinson

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In today’s competitive job market, it can be challenging to stand out from the countless applicants striving for the same position. Impressing potential employers can be difficult, especially when you only have six seconds to do it.

Job recruiters spend six seconds reviewing an individual’s resume, according to recent study by TheLadders, an online job search site. A résumé is often the first opportunity an applicant has to convince an employer they deserve the job.

Will Dodd, a senior majoring in political science and history, is repeatedly revamping his résumé. He started applying for several positions in the strategic communications and public affairs field in December 2012.

“I review my résumé each time before I send it out to a potential employer,” Dodd said. “I rework the layout of my résumé to highlight certain information the employer would find most interesting. It allows me to focus on which parts of the résumé will stand out to that particular employer.”

Dodd, who is set to graduate in May 2013, said the best way to improve your résumé is to have it critiqued by others.

“An extremely valuable resource for me has been the Career Center at the University,” he said.

Mary Lowery, assistant director of career education and development, reviews student résumé and recommends changes based on the résumé content overall and the field to which the student is applying. She said applicants should research their chosen field to learn about résumé particulars that may exist.

“Content should be written with a target audience in mind,” Lowery said. “Know what the potential employer needs.”

Lowery encourages students to research the organizations and jobs they are targeting to know how your résumé content needs to be tailored.

Additionally, Lowery said inconsistent formatting and font, spelling errors and failing to present experiences in terms of accomplishments are some of the most common mistakes people make.

“The bullet points written to describe experiences should begin with actions verbs and shouldn’t be in complete sentences,” Lowery said. “There is no use of ‘I,’ ‘me’ and ‘my.’”

Lowery said education is one of the sections everyone will have and from there the sections should be based on the experiences and qualifications of the job seeker.

UA graduate Jo Greene majored in history as an undergraduate. Like Dodd, Greene went to the Career Center to get his résumé critiqued. Eventually, he earned graduate assistant position at the Career Center following his graduation in August 2010. He encourages students to get their résumé critiqued, so it can accurately represent their hard work and dedication.

“You want a résumé that is strong and well put together,” Greene said. “You don’t want to turn in just anything to the employer, especially if it’s your dream job.”

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Career Center builds, edits stronger resumes