College is all about getting the experience that one needs later in life – which is why, if you have not started a resume, you are probably way behind.
“What is a resume?” some (hopefully nobody) will ask.
A resume is a list of achievements arranged in a specific order so that potential employers can really get a sense of who the applicant is.
A resume is essential to the process of getting a job, and the resume with the most experience usually gets the job.
So, how does one start a resume?
There are several templates to choose from, offered both online and through Microsoft Word.
Select one of those templates, and start filling it out.
Another question that some might have is, how do I make my resume stick out?
Filling out the resume is easy, but having the experiences to make the resume the winner is much harder, and the key to getting a job.
What is it that employers are looking for in an ideal candidate?
As a rule, volunteer work is always looked favorably upon, as it shows a willingness to work for someone, even when there is no payment involved. The more, the better.
Mercer University offers several volunteer opportunities and is home to a multitude of service organizations.
From Service Scholars to Mercer on Mission, service to others is pretty much a required course.
Internships and jobs are also gold stars.
Not only do they show that you have the experience that’s needed for some of the jobs, but if you’ve completed them while in school, it shows you have the ability to handle work under pressure.
Although it makes sense to find positions in the area of work you are best at (such as a position at the University Press for a future book editor, a shadowing position for a teacher, etc.), positions of leadership in other fields are also beneficial.
Leadership shows that you are not only capable of handling yourself and getting your job done, but also that you are capable of leading a team and are willing to be invested in your work.
But those experiences are the basics.
Sure, they are the tried and true methods and often get the attention needed to get the job, but here are some extras that can mean the difference between getting the call back and the rejection email:
Most companies these days aren’t looking to waste their time interviewing every person who has a resume.
What has now become an important addition to the resume are the qualifications/skill sets.
This is a list of key words, typically at the top of the resume, that shows the fields you are involved in.
Think of it as tagging your resume like you would a blog post.
The goal is to ping as many of the keywords that employers are looking for as possible.
Some companies use computers to do this kind of searching, using scanning technology to weed out the unwanted resumes. Other companies use workers for the same process.
Of course, a resume should be tweaked every time it is sent out, especially for students who are graduating and looking for a real job.
A general resume is not going to work every time; make sure to personalize every resume to the job at hand.
What also helps is making a list of anything you have done that relates to the field you are looking into.
For example, if a student wanted to be considered for a job in music, that student could put “builds amps” on their resume (as long as the experience is real).
For a book editor, reviewing books on the side could be a helpful experience to put on the resume.
At Mercer, the Office of Career Services has several resources to help students who are in need of help with their resumes.
They also offer free resume-checking services to all students.