As the days get longer the hunt for summer internships and full-time positions for recent college graduates is in full swing. Jonna Meyers, senior human resources business partner at GreenStone, gives a few tips on resumes, cover letters, and the job search.
The first thing to remember is a resume is a snapshot of your education and professional career, highlight the big points and adapt them to what is relevant to the job you are applying for, and explain the rest during a future interview.
For new graduates and college students, a resume should be one page, meaning some prioritization may have to occur. One way of prioritizing is using this trick:
There are approximately 50 lines on a sheet of paper. You get $50 to build your resume and each line is worth $1. How many dollars do you want to spend on the topic?
One issue many students run into is the lack of specific professional work experience. In this situation, focus on the education section, highlighting classes, skills learned, and even relevant projects.
A resume should also include up to date contact information, education, work experience, volunteer experience, and skills.
The cover letter is many times the first glimpse at the applicant, be sure to make a good impression.
Do your research on the company prior to writing the cover letter and tailor the letter to the job description. This shows you are interested and have put forth an effort. It also helps answer the question of why you are qualified for the job, especially if your experience isn’t specifically related. The extra time spent on the cover letter could be the difference it takes to catch a hiring managers attention.
A cover letter should be one page long. Do not be afraid to be straight forward and to the point, but do not minimalize important topics. Be sure to tell the hiring manager why you are the best fit for the position, using past experiences as evidence.
Other Helpful Information
The resume and cover letter should fit together and look as if they belong together. The best way to accomplish this is to use the same letterhead on both as well as following similar formats and font styles.
Be sure that both the resume and cover letter are free of spelling and grammatical errors, and up to date. If you have any changes, update your resume accordingly so you are not sharing false information.
Resume building workshops at school or outside organizations can help improve your resume, as the professional that facilitate these events are usually hiring managers or recruiters, meaning they spend a considerable amount of time working through resumes. A trained eye can help you to avoid simple grammatical or formatting errors that could be pitfalls in the hiring process.
Find more on GreenStone’s career opportunities at greenstonefcs.com/careers.