resume

No Plans? No Problem!

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no plans

Internship, travel and plans-less this winter break? Here are some ideas to help you make the most out of your vacation (in a not-binging-Netflix-the-WHOLE-time sort of way!):

Look for summer internships!Or study abroad programs or jobs.
Some applications are just opening up over winter break, so getting a head start on your search now might put you ahead of the game.

Clean up your resume!
This is a project that can take an hour or 4 days. Making your resume stand out (without the pink paper and strawberry scent) can also put you ahead in an internship or job search.

Take a winter class!
Get ahead in your studies and you might be able to graduate early (read: save money).

Get in shape!
If you never have time to hit the gym during the semester, try getting in shape over the break and then trying to stick to your routine when you return to school.

Learn a new skill!
Whether it’s learning to cook, play guitar, ride a bike, computer code, rock climb or speak Spanish, you’ve got free time and skills to learn!

Roadtrip with friends!
Find friends who also have a week or weekend and head someplace new!

And when all else fails?
Binge Netflix!

5 Important Skills to Learn Before You Graduate

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There are some things you are definitely going to want to master before you finish college.  Finding a job after college is harder than ever and you want to be as prepared as possible.  You’ll likely start in an entry-level position and this list will prepare you for what lies ahead!

1. Photoshop

 photoshop

The world is becoming increasingly digital.  Any company you end up working for has a website and one or more social media accounts.  Photoshop is a great skill to have in your arsenal because it will likely come in handy for a great number of future projects.  Photoshop can help you create/adjust logos, flyers, newsletters, etc.  This is an excellent skill to have on a resume because potential employers will see it as a great asset!

2. Microsoft Office

microsoft office

This may seem obvious, but knowing all the ins and outs of Microsoft Office is essential.  Don’t just know how to use the basics of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, know how to use every feature of each program.  You’ll likely be using Microsoft Office a lot in whatever job you have and you’re going to want to know everything you can; it’ll make your professional life much easier!

3. How to Use a Copy Machine Extensively

Copy Machine

When you’re first starting out in your professional life, the Copier is going to be a big part of your routine.  The last thing you want is to be the person that breaks the copier or needs help using it; to avoid this, take the time to learn how to use all of the features of one of the copy machines on campus—it may not be the exact machine you will have at your future job but it is a great start.  Also look over the machine to know how to fix it when it jams and how to change the toner!

4. How to Write a Professional Email

email

 This is extremely important.  In most jobs, you will be corresponding with many different people and you want to always make a good, professional impression.  Whether it is an email between you and a co-worker, you and your boss, or you and a client/affiliate of the company, you want to make sure you come across as intelligent, organized, and professional.  This is also an important skill when you are emailing with a potential employer about an interview!

5. Social Media

social media

Learn the ins and outs of several social media platforms.  Most companies several social media accounts, so having a lot of knowledge about Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, etc. is really important.  Having these skills is also great for your resume.  If you notice that your company has yet to make an account for a social media platform that is or is becoming very popular, suggest that they make one and maybe even offer to create and run it for them.  This shows initiative and can lead to more opportunities and responsibilities!

Resume Tips for College Students

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Many college students lack experience in their field of choice.  The conundrum we hear all the time is: you need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience.  Creating a resume can be really hard when you have little to no experience in the field for which you are applying for an internship or job.  Here are some tips to help you create a resume that sheds you in the best light!

hire me

  1. Keep the references to high school very minimal… stick to only the most impressive, relevant stuff.  High school experiences lack relevance the further you get into your college years.  Adding too many high school references to your resume can seem juvenile and make it seem like you haven’t done much since leaving high school.  You can, and should, keep relevant high school experiences, but once you gain enough relevant experience, go ahead and eliminate your high school references entirely.
  1. Play up responsibilities for retail and food service jobs.  If you had any leadership roles, however small, it shows initiative and responsibility.  It also shows that your boss trusted you to take on authority making you seem trustworthy and valuable.
  1. If you have any office or internship experience, make them the most prominent.  If you have enough, you can leave out retail/food service jobs entirely.  List all of your responsibilities and play up the most impressive and relevant ones.  You can also make some of the more general or menial tasks more vague and play up your most important tasks in the interview. Employers want to hear most about what experiences you have that make you a good fit for their company and the position you are applying for, so it’s okay to gloss over, or leave out, the less relevant stuff!
  1. Make a section dedicated to your skills and list all of your computer skills.  Technological skills are an advantage of our generation, so list everything you know how to do as far as the Internet and technology are concerned.  Include things like Microsoft Office, Social Media, and Photoshop; this amps up your resume and shows what you’re bringing to the table making you seem like more of an asset.
  1. If you have a good GPA and/or have any impressive academic accomplishments, make sure to include that in your education section.  This information is impressive and something to be proud of.  It shows employers that you are a dedicated, hard-working, and intelligent student that will be able to adapt to their work environment and that you can handle a challenge.
  1. List any extracurricular and volunteer activities together- this shows off your interests and well roundedness. You want to tell a little bit about yourself outside of the classroom/work to help potential employers to get to know you as a person.  This allows them to see you as a complete person and not just another applicant.  You also never know what the person reading your resume might connect with and if they happen to share an interest with you, that will help them remember you, which is always great!

Now get cracking on your resume and get yourself that internship!

How To Write a BAD Resume

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Nothing is more enthralling than writing up your first post college resume, right? ….Okay I am only joking about the thrills of the trade.  Let’s change things up a little by me sharing with you how to write a BAD resume in three easy steps.

Step 1. WRITE FAST.

You seriously want to be done with this horrible task as soon as possible.  Editing takes forever and you may have to find another person for a second opinion.  Human Resources will definitely know you were trying to say “shift” the 30 times you left out the f.

Confused businessman
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Step 2. WRITE A LOT.

No need to be shy- the employer has all day to read over your resume.   You should flood them with useless achievements beginning with your youth t-ball team home run up until the award winning omelet you created this morning. The less relevant the achievements are to the job posting the better.  You want to stand out!

Sleepy-Woman
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Step 3. LIE. LIE. LIE.

This company doesn’t know you.  Embellish EVERYTHING! Odds are they are not going to actually cross check all credentials you list.

surprise-man-computer

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Okay…READY? SET? GO!

*DISCLAIMER: Following any of this advice will almost guarantee you a spot in the “reject” pile for landing interviews. Only follow these steps if you would like to remain unemployed.

The One College Assignment That Actually Matters

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college assignment
I sometimes find myself wondering how my college assignments could possibly relate to my future career. It seems like I memorize all these theories and concepts, without knowing their practical applications. I mean seriously, has anyone in the real world ever dissected a sentence?! My favorite professors are the rare ones who make an attempt to relate what we’re learning to our futures. It’s often through assignments/projects that I’ve been able to see the things I learn in college extending into my “real life”. Lately, it seems that all my professors this semester are talking about that “portfolio” we’re supposed to be compiling.  So what exactly is a professional portfolio and how do I make one?

The point of a portfolio is to be able to showcase real examples of your work to those interviewing you. It’s a way to show off your skills and strengths as a professional. What does my portfolio contain? I have writing samples from the blogs that I write for (this being one!), a letter of recommendation, feature stories I wrote for my internship over this summer and class assignments that are comparable to tasks I’d have in the workforce. I also make sure I have a few copies of my current resume just in case. I know some people keep their own personal business cards in their portfolio, as well as ones they receive.

Ultimately, what you put in your professional portfolio is up to you—whatever you think future employers would be impressed by. If you have special awards or achievements, show them off! This is your time to shine. College is a four-year period that allows you to build up and add to this crucial piece for your future, so it’s important you have something to show for it!