Seniors: Now’s the Time to Fix Up Your Resume

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For seniors everywhere (as well as anyone looking for some cash over the summer), the job hunt is about to begin. But before you even think of putting in an application or making some cold calls to your network, you’ll need a new resume to give out to potential employers. If you’re unsure where to start or how to update your resume before graduation day, here’s what you need to know.

 

The Format

Resumes will vary based on the job you are applying for. For example, an accountant’s resume will most likely be formatted differently from a teacher’s. And if you’re applying for a federal job, you’ll need a special one on top of that!

It’s best to know your industry’s standards by finding other successful resumes in your field. Your college will, most likely, have copies on hand for you to view from alumni. Another option is to use a downloadable template to help guide you through step-by-step.

 

What to Include

With your template or plan ready, it’s time to fill in the blanks. Start with your education since that’s the easiest part. You’ll want to list the year you started, your anticipated graduation date, your major, and then any academic awards or honors.

Then, move to what should make up the bulk of your resume — your professional experience. Do your best to list all the jobs you’ve held down, whether it be a fry cook at a fast-food restaurant or manning an information desk at a student office. This all counts and shows your responsibilities. However, you most likely want to avoid listing small jobs like the occasional babysitter or the time you worked as a part-time camp counselor for a week.

If you don’t have much in terms of experience, don’t fret! It’s not too late. Experience can also include volunteer activities (such as working at a food kitchen regularly or organizing a church event) and your extracurricular experiences that put you in the field. This includes internships, a working study abroad, or an activity that served a professional purpose (putting on a concert, working at a campus radio station, etc.). All of this can be done in your final semester if you’re willing to put in the work.

You can continue to “bulk” up your resume by adding skill sets, licenses and certificates, activities and honors, and any language you may speak fluently.

 

Rules of Thumb

Like we said, not all resumes are created equal, but there are a few things to consider in terms of a general resume:

  • Your resume should either be a full page or two full pages. Avoid lots of white space or overcrowding. Do not go over two pages unless it’s a federal resume or a CV.
  • Under each experience list three to five bullet description of your job written in past tense (unless you’re still working there). Keep this number consistent to each job.
  • Have a friend proof-read it. Seriously. Even the best writers make mistakes!
  • Speaking of friends, have another friend look at it for 15 seconds and ask what they remember. This is usually the most time your interviewer is going to consider your resume, so it is important to know what stands out and what doesn’t.
  • Save your resume in several different formats. PDF is most common. And give it a name that is easy to identify such as “AlanSmithArchitectResume.”
  • Don’t be too bold, but don’t be afraid to step outside the box. Your resume will most likely be printed out in black and white, so color doesn’t matter too much. And a strange format can throw off. What does impress is something clean cut and easy to read.

 

With your resume ready to impress, you’re ready to hit submit. Good luck, and happy job hunting!

Reflecting on Senior Year: Planning for the Next Steps

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Reflecting on Senior Year- Planning for the Next StepsIf you’re anything like me, you’re about to start your last semester of college — and you’re totally freaking out about it. I know my last semester will likely be the most exciting one yet. I’ll be finishing up my year as the Online Media and Communications Coordinator for the St. Michael’s College Founders Society — a role that I’ve truly enjoyed taking on so far — and I’ll be writing a book for my senior research project as a Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts major. By the end of the semester, I’ll have graduated from my dream college a smarter, wiser, stronger person and I couldn’t be more thankful.

And as excited as I am to be embarking out into the “real world” soon thereafter, a lot of stress and pressure tend to accompany the idea of taking the “next step”. As I start preparing for this myself, here are a few of the tips and tricks I’ve found helpful and hope you will as well…

 

1.) Update and/or beef up your resume and LinkedIn profile.

As crazy as it sounds, you’ll be applying for real world jobs soon. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and effectively representing your accomplishments and professional identity.

2.) Keep an open mind.

If you’re one of those college students who doesn’t have an exact idea of what they might want to pursue post-grad, you are certainly not alone. I’m right there with ya. As you’re searching around for job opportunities, keep an open mind about where you’re looking and for what. Chances are you won’t find your perfect, lifelong career straight out of the gate. It may turn out that the career you’d always thought you wanted isn’t all it was cracked up to be, and another one is everything you’d ever hoped for. Leave your options open.

3.) Make an appointment with your college’s Career Services center. 

Get professional advice on every step of the process- resumes, job applications, interviews, what to look for, what to avoid, etc. This person won’t have any personal relation to you, so he or she won’t have any preconceived bias or preference on where you end up and what you end up doing.

4.) Confide in your friends.

Talking with friends of your’s who are also graduating can be helpful as well. They’re going through the same stresses, experiencing the same anxiety and confusion, and have the same questions that you do. Take comfort in knowing this is a step we all take. Four years in college doesn’t guarantee it will be easy, but it will guarantee that you are prepared to go through everything it takes to find your first post-grad job.

Best of luck!

 

What are your post-grad hopes and dreams? How will you get yourself there?

Internship Interview Thank You Note Tips

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You did it! You survived your internship interview. This is a big deal, considering all it takes to just land an in-person meeting with a potential business or supervisor. But what’s next? How do you grab their attention and ensure that they remember you? Send a thank you note or card! A thank you note is a great way to show that you enjoyed your meeting as well as care about the job enough to follow-up. However, before you drop it in the mailbox, here’s what you need to know to craft the best thank you note possible.

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1.   Address the Person Properly

Formality matters. Avoid first names. Use a title (such as “Doctor,” “Professor,” or “Ms.”) when writing the “To” line and filling out the address. This shows not only a respect for the person you would work with, but also an attention to the details that matter.

2.   Make it a Personalized, Handwritten Note

It may be very tempting to sit down and shoot an email to the person with a copy and paste from your last two job interviews. However, those who interview many people can spot a “stock” thank you note, especially if there is no mention of the person you spoke with or the specific job title. Make each personal, and where possible, handwrite it or at least sign it.

3.   Be Specific

Speaking of specific job titles, you should fill in the blanks of your thank you with talking points. For example, if the manager mentioned being a huge Colts fan, say something along the lines of “I loved chatting with you about the internship position as well as your thoughts for the 2015 Colts season.” It will help distinguish you from the other prospective interviews.

4.   Consider Company Culture

Before purchasing a card or writing a funny note, consider who and where this letter is going. Some places have a company culture that is laid back where a funny thank you card would work. While other organizations thrive on formality, and words such as “love” or internet slang would certainly fall flat or make you come off as immature.

5.   Reiterate Your Pitch

Your thank you card is your time to shine. In the blank space of your card, write a few things you said that were a hit, or add things you forgot to mention. This will give the hiring manager something to consider without you having to be present.

6.   Send It Even if You’re Rejected

It may hurt, but if you were rejected, you should still post that letter. Who knows — that thank you card may be what keeps you in the mind of a hiring manager for the next round of internships or for another position altogether. By not showing gratitude or putting yourself out there in spite of a ‘no,’ you’re the one closing the door to a future there.

7.   Post It Quickly (But Not Too Quickly)

Don’t hesitate to post your note, but don’t write it in advance, either. Your timing should reflect that you’ve had the chance to reflect on your experience. Posting the note about three days after your interview shows you’ve thought about the job and what it might entail.

10 Potential Careers for Marketing Majors

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As a popular major in college, marketing students have a lot to look forward to when it comes to job prospects. There are many positions looking for skilled, educated marketing and advertising students. Knowing what careers to look for can help you specialize in order to fit these roles.

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1.   Marketing and Advertising

Pitching an idea, creating an ad, and selling it to a client can be extremely appealing to both creative minds and those who love to talk. However, marketing and advertising creation is far more intricate these days than it was in the 1960s on Madison Avenue. To be successful, build your portfolio by becoming skilled in digital design, business marketing, and sales skills.

2.   Communications

At its heart, an advertisement is simply a message. Those marketing majors who are great with words, especially writing, could find a home in a communications office. This job requires you to know what to say and when. You’ll be tasked with presenting slogans, answering emails, and even performing customer service duties—all at the same time.

3.   Social Media Manager

The popular craze in marketing is social media! Many businesses are looking for savvy users of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social sites and apps to optimize their pages for their fans. Marketing majors must know the ins and outs of hashtags and likes. They must be able to keep up with trends and be on the ball to answer and respond to questions and sometimes criticism.

4.   Copywriter/Copyeditor

A copywriter is the author of those emails you get from your favorite store, the writer of the brochure you picked up from an office, and the composer of some of your favorite slogans and jingles. With so much to say and little space to say it in, they master the art of finding what appeals to the masses. This job may be for you if you know how to self-edit as well as sell through your written word.

5.   Sales Manager

Much of marketing involves selling at one point or another. Having a marketing background can help you sell an item by appealing to the psychology behind a person’s wants and desires. It can also help boost your personal sales goals by helping you be creative in your tactics.

6.   Advertising Manager

An advertising manager reaches out on behalf of the media to companies and businesses looking for ad space. As an advertising manager, you may represent a radio station, a television program, a local billboard, or even a newspaper. It’s your job to show marketing planners and buyers how their ads will succeed on your space and then implement a strategy that works.

7.   Public Relations

Public relations, or PR, represents almost everyone from big name businesses to ultra-famous celebrities. They are the assistants in a crisis, the person who heralds in announcements, and the face of a brand or person.

8.   Marketing Research Analyst

Before an ad is made, much care is taken into finding out what consumers want and what sells to them. Marketing research analysts take stats and surveys to formulate strategies on how to best reach consumers. This is the perfect job for those who love puzzles, numbers, and data.

9.   Event Planner

Many marketers go into events where they can see their marketing in real time. An event can promote a product, sell an organization, or just make a great party! If you enjoy hosting or planning the little things, event planning is the perfect choice.

10.  Nonprofit Development

Development offices for nonprofits are absolutely essential. They perform fundraising, reach out to donors, and advertise the nonprofit to the public. If you are jack-of-all trades or enjoy the more sales side of marketing, this may be the role for you. In addition, you get the satisfaction knowing that you may have made a difference in your community through your efforts.

With its wide range of employment opportunities, it is no wonder why marketing is such a popular major. By understanding your strengths and talents, you can go after the dream career of your choice. From events to design, public relations to analysis, there’s a marketing job out there for anyone.

Are you a marketing major or plan to be one? What do you hope your career will be?

Top High-Earning Majors for College Graduates

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Thinking of money

Selecting your major or intended field can bring up a lot of questions regarding your future, where your passions and talents lie, and what kind of impact you want to leave on the world. Of course, whatever your major, you almost certainly want to ensure that your education pays off post-commencement. Here are the top eight majors for those looking to earn big bucks after graduation.

1.   Engineering

Nuclear, chemical, biological, agricultural, computer, aerospace—the options for this field of study are varied and plentiful. The good news is that no matter which track you choose, engineers have some of the highest earning potential of any major. Employers are desperately seeking detail-minded engineers—and they’re more than willing to pay for someone with the specialization they need.

2.   Computer Science

Nowadays, almost every job involves some kind of computer services. This has led to a huge demand for all versions of computer science major: coders, software designers, IT managers, engineering, and many more. Jobs in this arena are plentiful, and specialization (such as focusing on design, security, or programming) can open up even more opportunities in the technology world.

3.   Finance

Managing the wealth of individuals or a business can be a difficult—but lucrative—challenge. Graduates with finance degrees often work as financial analysts, portfolio managers, and corporate development financiers. They are tasked with predicting the markets and adjusting investments of the people or organizations they serve. Though the undertaking is high-risk, the payday can be well worth the four-year education and certification process.

4.   Statistics

Math-minded individuals have been flocking to statistics programs due to high demand for statisticians in areas like actuarial science, financial analysis, and engineering. Even without an advanced degree, the average pay scale in the United States starts at $80,000 to $120,000—and it only increases with further education and career advancement.

5.   Geology and Archaeology

What do Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, and the majority of scientists featured in disaster movies have in common? They studied geology and archaeology. To be transparent, obtaining a degree in either of these challenging, science-heavy fields isn’t for everyone; it requires a love of everything related to natural and social history. But it pays off in the opportunities it opens: seeing places no one has ever seen before, studying small but important changes in the earth—and getting paid a hefty price to do so.

6.   Construction Management

As the economy has recovered following the housing market collapse of the 2000’s, building projects have once again taken off. Because of the collapse, there is currently a shortage of individuals who are trained to purchase materials, manage a staff, and enforce safety measures on job sites. This has created strong demand—and many construction companies are willing to pay top dollar for construction managers.

7.   International Business and Relations

International business and relations majors study the culture of countries in relation to their field (such as the political climate of Mexico or the purchasing metrics of Japan) and how to apply those to the public and private sectors in the United States. Many work for international businesses or in posts with international organizations like the United Nations. These majors provide a wide range of opportunities that also have excellent long-term prospects for jobs and earnings.

8.   Marketing and Communications

The average individual sees more than 5,000 advertisements per day. That staggering number becomes simply mind-blowing when you consider the amount of people who work on creating those messages and visual designs. But marketing and communications isn’t just advertising; it branches into sectors such as public relations, speech writing, and even production.

Regardless of what you see your earning potential as, selecting a major should not just be based on your projected paychecks. Find a major that fits your passion, your skills, and your drive. Graduating with a degree that also pays you in career satisfaction is the best way to ensure your major is the right one for you. What will you be majoring in when you enter college? Have you graduated with a degree already that helped you make a good amount of money? Let us know your thoughts!

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