For the last few weeks, I have been holding my breath about a job. But it wasn’t just any job. It was one of those Oh-my-gosh-I-didn’t-know-I-wanted-this-until-I-saw-it-and-doesn’t-it-look-phenomenal kind of job. I had friends in the company and a résumé that tailored nicely to the job description. My job in college segued beautifully into this higher-up position, the commute was great, and I thought I had thoroughly impressed the supervisor. I imagined myself settling into that company, making my office my own, and forming friendships with my co-workers.
Today, I got news that the job was filled. By someone else.
Many of you know how that blow feels. Sort of one of those feelings where you’d rather just stay in bed all day with your favorite book rather than look for one more job opening.
However, even though I’m very bummed about not getting this job, I’m trying to stay positive and am going to use this opportunity to re-evaluate some things:
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Okay, so you’ve heard what to do on a résumé: action verbs, buzz words, clear organization, etc. But what if you don’t even know where to start? Like, the last résumé you did was for your high school barista job and you don’t think “hard worker” and “likes coffee” will quite cut it this time?
If you feel like you’re still at the drawing board, then check out these tips:
Functional or Chronological?
When you’re starting out, there isn’t a lot to put on your résumé in the first place, so trying to decide between functional or chronological order can seem rather superfluous. But eventually, you’ll want to have some rhyme and reason to your résumé. Most go with a chronological format, starting with your most recent job or internship. However, if you’re lacking a bit in experience or have significant gaps in your work list, then a functional résumé is going to be a better option because it will tailor itself more to the job description and help the reader focus collectively on what you’ve done.
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Since I’m graduating in December, the fact résumés have been on my mind lately is probably not a surprise to you. I’ve been hanging around the career center at my school since freshman year, and after pestering the career counselors enough times with my horrid rough drafts, I think I’m starting to get the hang of this résumé thing. However, I still run my résumés by career counselors, and I’ve noticed these are the items they tend to mention before giving me the green light:
This should be one of the first things you think of when reviewing your résumé: Is everything laid out clearly? I like to put my headlines in bold caps and then just bold my job titles, dates, and companies. Everything else is bulleted. It certainly isn’t as exciting as a graphic design résumé, but it gets the job done.
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On Monday, I had the enormous pleasure of having coffee with Max Rymer and learning some of the ins and outs of the job market. Max is only a few years older than I am, but already, he’s been a business development analyst, marketing consultant, account executive, and is now the business development director at Digital Solutions. In addition to all that, Max has also started his own career consulting business. Needless to say, there’s a lot to learn from this guy, and it makes it even better that he’s fun to talk to.
A topic Max and I kept circling back to in our discussion on Monday was the bad reputation of our generation (millennials). An eye roll often comes up when talking about our generation, and really, that’s nobody’s fault but ours. We are the first generation who can’t comprehend a world without Google. Some call us lazy, others call us brilliant. Max and I went back and forth over the issue several times: how can we overcome our generational label and break into a job market where experience (of which we have little) is king? Max offered a couple suggestions:
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