Building Your Experience: One Bullet Point at A Time

“Please attach your resume to the application.”

These words appear on every job application. Everyone always tells you to make sure that your resume stands out against the other candidates. How am I supposed to make sure that mine is different from all the rest? What are the important things that I need to include on it? These are all questions that come to mind when writing a resume.

I have read plenty of articles giving me all sorts of resume tips. I have been in classes where creating a resume was an assignment. How was I going to make sure that mine stood out?

I start from the top. Name, contact information, and education. Your name is important, so I make mine a little bit of a bigger font than the rest of my resume. I include my address, phone number, and email so that when the employer reads my amazing resume they knew how to get ahold of me. I put my school name, my major, expected graduation date, so the employer knows that I have the education background for the job that I want. This section wasn’t too bad.

In the related work section I make sure that I bold all of my position titles, places of employment, and the dates that I was there. This way, when the employer is scanning my resume they can quickly see the titles and then read on if they are interested. In the sub-points for each job, I describe what I did, always starting with a verb (this website has a great list of verbs that make your resume more powerful https://www.themuse.com/advice/185-powerful-verbs-that-will-make-your-resume-awesome.) If I currently hold the position, the verb is in the present tense, if it was a past position, the verb was in the past tense. I put my experience in chronological order. You can choose to do it this way or you can order the positions by relevancy.

2Throughout college I have been involved in many different student organizations. My resume was a perfect place to show all of the relevant skills and experiences I have gained through those. This section is formatted just like the related experience section except instead of them being employment related, they are leadership and professional organization related.

The final step in my journey to make my resume one that would stand out to employers and land me that job is to get feedback. My family is happy to help, my friends are almost as happy, but I will have to read a couple of their resumes too. I will also take it to one of Career & Leaderships Resume Doctors so that I could get a more professional opinion on it as well.

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After talking with these different people I also got some advice on what not to put on my resume. The two most important pieces of advice I received was to make sure that I did not have any spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors on my resume and that my resume was not more than one page long. These mistakes could take me one step back in my goal to look professional. Another piece of advice was to make sure that I am using an easy to read format so that the employer could easily follow my experience and skills and relate them back to the job. Finally, they told me to make sure that I am highlighting that I have the required skills and experience for the job. I can do this by taking out experiences that aren’t as relevant and elaborating a little bit more on what was.

A resume is never completed. With every new job and every new experience there is something to add. As time goes on there will be things that are no longer relevant. However, now after going through my resume and making sure that the basic layout is good, I feel a lot better about attaching my resume to the job application and sending it out to future employers.

5Note: It is not recommended to send out massive quantities of your resume unless it is tailored to each specific position.

Career & Leadership Development is a great place to get your resume reviewed no matter what field you are in! Call (262) 472-1471 to make an appointment today!

C&LD Internships: A Day in the Life

In present day, it seems like every entry level position out of college wants to see some sort of experience. This experience is usually gained through an internship. While the internship search can be daunting and challenging, there is a department on campus that offers great internships. As current interns for Career & Leadership Development, we spoke to other interns in the office to see how working here has not only given them job experience, but so much more.

We started in the SEAL office, where we talked to a few interns about what it is like being a part of SEAL and C&LD:

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“I love being an intern because of how connected we all are yet our jobs are all different. I also like working in such a busy atmosphere.”

-Shawn Giese, SEAL Homecoming Chair 

“I have really enjoyed my internship position with Career & Leadership Development. It has helped me grow as an individual and has really shaped the person I am today. The endless amount of opportunities and experiences that I have gained throughout this internship has helped me further my education and career path here at UW-Whitewater.”

-Kayhla Sadowski, SEAL Social Media Intern

“My time in Career & Leadership Development (C&LD) has changed my life. I know that sounds cliché, but I have a family in C&LD on the SEAL team. While I have only worked here this year, I have learned so much about entertainment, marketing, and students on campus. Working as the Large Event Intern has been one of the best decisions of my life, and I hope to learn more and grow as a student while on campus for the next two years.”

-Jessica Faust, SEAL Large Event Intern

After talking to those SEALS, we decided to go over to the PB Poorman Pride Center to see what the PRIDE Interns had to say: 

“The past 2 years being a PRIDE Intern in Career & Leadership Development have been so crucial to who I am as a leader. Every opportunity I’ve had has shaped me in ways that will not only help me in my career, but throughout the rest of my life.”

-Alyssa Reetz, PRIDE Intern

“Working as an intern in C&LD has helped me value myself and develop a professional identity.”

-Lisa Helms, PRIDE Intern

“C&LD has adopted me into their family!”

-Connell Patterson, PRIDE Intern

The next stop on our journey through C&LD brought us to the Student Involvement Office, where we talked to Hope Schmidt, the Community Service Intern:

“The confidence I have gained as a C&LD intern has been tremendous. Things I never thought I could do…I can now say I do.  Because of this internship opportunity, I feel like a better-rounded individual. I have learned skills that I can now take with me wherever I go after I leave UW-W!”

After all this traveling, we ended up back in our office that we share with Jamie Hinze, the Human Resources Intern and she gave us some insight into her experience in the department:

“During my first year with Career & Leadership Development, I was employed as a Customer Service Associate working at the front desk. This was a fun and flexible position that taught me how to provide exceptional customer service and significantly strengthened my interpersonal communication and problem solving skills. Later, I earned the title of Human Resources Intern – a new position in the department in which I assist in the coordination of departmental student employee experience, specifically in selection, professional development, and evaluation. This internship has allowed me to explore my interests and career goals while giving me the opportunity to network with employers, students, and UW-Whitewater staff. My supervisors are incredibly supportive of my goals and needs as a full-time student and they have tailored the experience to fit me.”

As you can see, there are many different facets of C&LD and each offers a different experience. Whether you are looking to be a social media guru, coordinate community service events, or just learn something new about UW-Whitewater and what it offers to students, C&LD is a great place to gain all these experiences and many more.

The applications are open until March 3rd! If you are looking for an internship and want to be a part of the C&LD family, then go to uww.edu/cld and apply today!

Tips For Making the Most of a Career Fair

With the career fair coming up soon, here are some tips for you:

Before the Career Fair

11. Research the companies that you want to speak with. Before you go to the career fair, you should do some basic research on what the company does. This way you can spend your time telling the company representative about yourself, rather than asking them questions about what their company does.

When choosing which companies to speak with, be open minded; just because you have never heard of a company doesn’t mean that they don’t have something great to offer. Make sure that you prioritize the companies that you want to speak with, you don’t want to run out of time.

22. Prepare questions to ask employers. After you have researched which companies you want to talk to, come up with some questions that you have for them. These could be specific to positions that they have open, or more general questions about what it is like to work there. You should also come up with some general questions for companies that catch your eye at the fair that you had not already researched.

At the Career Fair

3. Attend the Career Fair alone. However, don’t push yourself. If this is your first career fair, you don’t want to discourage yourself by being uncomfortable. If you have never been to a career fair, instead of walking in and talking to someone right away, walk around the room for a little and get a feel of the environment. Once you are comfortable, start talking to an employer.

4. Treat it like an in-person interview. Proper business attire is crucial, no bold colored blazers! Make sure that you are acting professional the entire time you are in the room. The employers are always watching and if you just had a great conversation with them but then went and goofed off across the room, they may notice that and count it against you.

35. Remember that the employers are people too. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. The days at the career fair are just as long, if not longer for them. They are here to find candidates from our school, so make their trip, and your trip, worthwhile.

6. Be honest. This includes any experience you have had. Employers can sense when you’re being superficial. However, don’t be embarrassed by what experience you have. Everyone needs to start somewhere and even if you only have a little experience, you could still be a great candidate.

7. Know what makes you unique. You are unique and you have something great to offer an employer. Use this to your advantage. Employers want to know why you would be the best fit for the positions at their company. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself, this is the perfect setting for it.

8. Know what you are looking for. This could be a full-time position for after graduation, a summer internship, a part-time position, or an internship that starts right away. You should also know what you want to get out of the opportunity and center questions around that (i.e. networking, professional experience, professional or personal growth).

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9. Keep track of who you talk to and what you talk about. Write this information down to follow up after. Make sure you have specific notes of what you talked about, i.e. the recruiter and I talked about how we both had pet goldfish when we were kids. It doesn’t have to be something career related, but you want the employer to remember who you are.

 After the Career Fair

10. Follow up. Make sure that you follow up with the employers you talk to. This could include an email, or a formal thank you letter. Just make sure that when you are following up, you reference something that you talked about when talking with the employer, this could help them remember you.

Follow up with all employers, even ones that you may not be interested in. Just because you don’t want to work for their company now, doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be a great resource or connection in the future.

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March Cover Model Winner

Congratulations to our UW-W Career Cover Model winner for the month of March, senior Kelsey Ostby!

Kelsey Ostby

Kelsey is double majoring in Public Relations and Journalism. She was an intern with the Wisconsin Farm Report during the summer of 2012. Read all about her experience below!

I had an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most successful female broadcasters in the Midwest over the summer, and have just recently accepted a full-time job with the Wisconsin Farm Report beginning in June 2013. Currently, I am working part-time from Whitewater, doing website and social media updates while completing my final semester.

What did you love most about your internship?

I love giving back to some of the hardest working people in the country: farmers and producers. Whether it’s by attending an event, giving the daily market information on the radio, or recognizing a family for their outstanding work in Wisconsin agriculture, I have discovered my passion.

UW-Whitewater has truly set me up for success, and I love that I am able to use the skills I have acquired. I think it’s a rare occurrence to be a senior preparing to graduate with a double major completed in four years, and have a full-time job secured.

What did you learn about yourself through this internship?

After growing up on a dairy farm and being involved in agriculture throughout my childhood, I thought that I wanted to do something different and explore other options in college. I had hoped that I would end up on television reporting from the sidelines of a football game.

Looking back, I realize that I was lucky enough to find what I loved at a young age, and that it never left. I completed numerous internships in the past few years, including working with the UW-Whitewater Marketing and Media Relations office and the UW-Whitewater Sports Information department. While I’ve had great experiences at both, there was always something missing.

When I took the internship with Pam, I knew right away that it was what I wanted to do, but never thought I could get there. So, in retrospect, I have learned to give myself more credit. I also discovered what I am good at, and what skills I can sharpen during my last semester.

What advice would you give students about the job/internship process?

The best advice I can give other students is to apply for internships and jobs early and often. I took my first internship the summer after my sophomore year, and it was the best decision I made. Most of my classmates thought internships were something you worry about after your junior year, and I think it’s the exact opposite. As a college student, your main priority should be setting yourself up for a great career. The best way to do that is to get as much experience as possible so you know what you like and dislike.

Also, take every opportunity offered if possible, paid or unpaid. I had some of the best experiences from my first, unpaid internship. There is no such thing as a “bad” opportunity.

Would YOU like to be a Cover Model winner? You can fill out the contest application and send it to MediaCLD@uww.edu!

Photo by UWW Career.

Alternatives to Your Dream Job

graduation

Congratulations UW-Whitewater spring graduates! As you celebrate your achievements during various events, you are probably hearing several age-old quotes and clichés.

Graduation is a big thing, but you still may get doubts that the “the tassel is worth the hassle.” You earned a degree, but you may not be excited about your new employment or may have no job at all. Graduation can be sobering when you do not receive the outcome you expected four years ago.

Do not fear. Now is a good time to replace your worries with planning and preparation. Here are three roadblocks and four alternative career considerations as you pursue your ideal career.

Three Roadblocks After Graduation

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. Graduate School: It is amazing when someone pursues a graduate program in which they are passionate, committed, and prepared. The dangers of graduate school arise when one pursues graduate school just to avoid the workforce. Do your research before attending graduate school.
  2. The Couch: In 2011, the New York Post reported that up to 85% of graduates were moving back home. Disclaimer: Living at home does not mean a free-for-all on The View and Nintendo Wii. Continue to improve and develop skills through some combination of volunteering, internships, or other form of employment.
  3. Job Search Breaks: Continue your normal job search and set-up e-mail notifications for job openings. In addition, maintain your relationship with networking contacts and find ways to meet new contacts through various means (friends, family, professional associations, LinkedIn). Even if you have a job, stay up-to-date on position openings in your field.

Four Alternative Career Considerations

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

  1. Duties of Interest: You may not immediately become a copy editor for HarperCollins or perform marketing for Google. For now, try to utilize the skills you love even if you are not working with the product, employer, or environment you love.
  2. Environment of Interest: Are you interested in working for the federal government? Get a job, any job, and use it to build networks and knowledge to help you move closer to your dream job with your employer.
  3. Service Programs: You may desire to build more experience or are still trying to discover fields in which you are interested. Try a service program to build experience and earn a few benefits along the way. City Year, AmeriCorps, and Milwaukee Teaching Fellows are just a few such programs.
  4. Temporary Work: If you are in the position to be flexible, staffing agencies can be a great way to build various skills. The key is to be  strategic about the types of positions you are willing to work.

Career services is here to help you develop and evaluate your job search strategies. Make an appointment at some point during the summer and we can assist you in your pursuit of your ideal career.

 “…if one advances confidently in the direction of his dream, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Photo by Sean MacEntee.

You’ve Received a Job Offer! Now What?

Congratulations! After weeks or months of writing resumes, applying for jobs, and going on interviews, your hard work has paid off – you have received a job offer (or better yet, multiple offers!). Time to celebrate, right? Almost…

Oh Boy ...

The next critical step in the job search process is taking the time to fully evaluate the job offer you have just received. Taking time to complete this step will help you determine if the job offer in front of you is truly the right opportunity for you.

Here are a few items to consider and a few questions to ask yourself as you evaluate your job offers:

Compensation and Benefits: This means more than simply looking at the base salary you are offered. Take the time to examine the insurance benefits, the vacation allowances, and any potential perks the employer is offering to get a feel for total compensation (salary + benefits). Don’t forget to take the cost of living into consideration either. If the job will involve relocating to a new city, remember to factor in the costs associated with moving and living in your new location.

The Company/Organization: Sure you have reviewed the company website and toured the facilities during your interview, but don’t forget to get a feel for the company culture and the work environment you will be operating in. Does the organization foster an environment that will help you succeed? Are there opportunities for on-going training and professional development?

The Job Itself: Think about the nature of the work you will be doing and who you will be working with. Does your immediate supervisor offer a leadership or management style that meshes with your style of work? How will your performance be evaluated and how often will you receive feedback? Is there a good work/life balance?

In the end, only you can make the decision as to which job offer to accept, but if you need some additional help, make an appointment with a career advisor or career counselor in Career & Leadership Development.

Once you have made your decision, notify the employer of your intentions, verify your start date, and yes…remember to finally take some time to celebrate!

Photo by Emily Jones.