Creating the best first impression on paper

Beth Hyatt
Copy Editor

As graduation day draws near, many students eagerly await the moment they will walk across the stage, while others dread it. Job interviews and graduate school applications are quickly approaching, and the preparation for these can be overwhelming.

Because such huge life decisions are looming, this time of the semester can be one of the most stressful for any upperclassman. One thing, though, can make it a little easier to handle: an organized resume.

Many students are not aware of how important a resume actually is. Emily Lincoln, a sophomore math education major from Greenville, recognizes a resume as one of the most important documents a student can have.

“Resumes help employers more efficiently sort through potential employees to find those who stand out for the specific job,” she said. “Resumes can tell employers a lot about your achievements and professionalism. They allow you to impress your future employer without even meeting them yet.”

So, how can you be sure that your name stands out against all of the other millions of applications? Sounds like it’s time to pay a visit to Career Services in Eldridge Hall.

Emily Reiss, a student affairs counseling graduate student from Prattville and a career services counselor, tells students about the importance of a resume.

“A resume is the first impression that an employer is ever going to have of you,” she said. “It is difficult to overcome a bad first impression. If you send in a bad resume, then you’re giving the employer a bad first impression before they even get the chance to meet you.”

Reiss encourages students to get involved as soon as they get to college. Participation in more activities and organizations will give a student ample amounts of resources for a resume.

Activities such as volunteer work, on-campus organization involvement, jobs, workships and leadership positions are always excellent items to have on a resume because they show future employers that you work well with others and can handle responsibility.

When creating a resume, it is important to keep information as up to date as possible. According to Reiss, “High school information needs to come off” by your junior and senior years of college.

Once you enter college, begin keeping track of any accomplishments, awards or honors you receive. Keep these items saved in a Word document and continue to add to it. If you have any employment at all, add that to the list. Even positions such as a baby sitter, church pianist or receptionist can look good and advertise your skills.

It is also important to give a few details about what kind of work you did at your jobs or in your organizations so that employers understand what you are qualified to do. Make sure to keep information short and sweet so employers are able to read the resume quickly if need be. Bullet points are the preferred choice when listing duties performed or tasks completed in a job setting.

When applying for jobs, make sure that the information on your resume is tailored to fit the job description. Match your skills with the ones listed on the application to show employers you are exactly the person they are looking for.

Career Services has multiple staff members dedicated to helping students succeed and resources open to all who are interested in using them. They offer career counseling, resume and cover letter preparation documents, mock interview sessions, and many other resources such as those.

A resume is considered a “living document,” which means that it will constantly be updated as long as you live. Continue to update it and get involved around the campus and the city.

Career Services is located in Eldridge Hall Room 104. Any student seeking resume or career advice is welcome.

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