Preparing your resume and 30-second commercial can be intimidating, especially when you aren’t sure where to begin. As a student, I can completely sympathize with this feeling. I remember coming to Towson University as a freshman with the hopes of finding a job to gain experience and earn some extra spending money. As many of you know, this is often easier said than done. The first on-campus job fair I attended was in the fall of my freshman year. I felt confident in my resume- I mean it was good enough to land me an acceptance to the university, so it should have been good enough to get me hired as well, right? I wish I knew then what I know now.
Never hand out your resume without having it reviewed. This was the worst mistake I made. While I had the desirable skills and passion to succeed in any company that was willing to hire me, my resume did not reflect this. The resume you complete in applying to college or grad school is completely different than the resume you submit to potential employers. Also, never attend a job fair with only one copy of your resume. For some reason I thought I would just show off my resume and not actually hand it to employers to keep. This was clearly a bad idea looking back, so bring at least 15 copies to the Spring Mega Job Fair Thursday, March 26 in order to find a full-time, part-time, internship, or summer job!
If you are in the position I was in, you are probably thinking, “What if you don’t have any experience because you have never had a job before?” No problem. As a student you have taken many classes. Look at the job description, do some research into the company, and determine classes that might be applicable. If the company is looking for someone with team skills, list the name of a course you have taken where group work was required, and explain your role. Employers receive tens of thousands of resumes. When determining who earns a spot to interview, they quickly glance at your resume for 30 seconds, or less if they find a mistake! That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself.
But before you start to panic, here are some easy tips to perfect your resume:
- Make sure everything you include on your resume is relevant to the position
- Make sure all of your resume is proofread and perfect- NO MISTAKES ALLOWED!
- Put your education as the first section and list out the degree you are earning (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in…)
- Use an action verb to start every bullet when describing your skills or experience in a positon
- Do not use full sentences
- Put the most recent experiences first
Okay, so now that we have your resume covered, let’s talk about how to properly network. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “I know how to talk to people.” But do you really? If so, that’s great. If not, let’s get you prepared to do so.
Think of yourself as a product, let’s say an iPhone. Like the iPhone, you have many great skills and features that other people might not have. If Apple never marketed their iPhone when it was first designed would people have bought it? Of course not. So why should anyone hire you if you can’t sell yourself? So think about your 30-second commercial, craft it, and perfect it today!
- Take out a sheet of paper and start writing down ideas
- What makes you unique? You should have more to say about yourself than “I am a student at Towson University…”
- Practice your speech with your friends and family
Now let’s focus on your real concern: your future. I’m sure your parents and friends are asking you, “What are you doing with your degree?” “Can you really get a job with that degree?” “Will you find a job after graduation?” Maybe you aren’t really concerned about it at the moment, but in the back of your mind it haunts you. Past graduates from TU recommend that current students start looking to gain experience now. The earlier you obtain experience, the better. Don’t wait until your senior year to find an internship! Use your resume and the 30-second commercial you just perfected to earn you the opportunity to gain experience in your desired field. Sometimes by interning you can determine if a career is really for you, or if you should take a different path.
For more information, contact the Career Center by calling 410-704-2233 or visiting www.towson.edu/careercenter.
Marketing Intern and Public Speaking Intern