Quick-Guide to Resumes

Learn to brag about yourself in the most professional way possible!

 

If you are newly graduated or on the hunt for a new job, you know this word very well:

Resume – a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous experience, typically sent with a job application.

For the newly graduated folks, you may have had to visit your college’s career center, and if you didn’t you should have! College career centers are usually a wealth of information when it comes to resumes, interviews, cover letters, etc. My college’s career center had the resume and cover letter help, but also assisted in setting up mock interviews.

No matter where you are in life, whether newly graduated, or changing your career path, your resume should really be on point. There is a ton of resources on how to write a resume, sometimes it can be overwhelming to be sure. If you have done your fair share of research, then you know there are a few types of resumes out there. Although the information will be the same, there is a difference in how you organize your experience.

The most common type of resume is the Chronological. This format is widely used because it can accommodate a lot of different industries and levels of experience. Your work experiences will be listed in reverse chronological order, meaning your most recent job will be listed first. If you happen to have long gaps of employment, or frequently change jobs, this format might not be the one for you, as it makes those a little more noticeable.

chrono sample

A second resume format is the Functional. This is best suited for those who are changing careers and who have transferable skills/experiences, as well as unrelated experience. This format highlights your abilities rather than your chronological work history.

functional sample

It is also possible to blend these two formats into a Hybrid resume format. This may be useful to those who have a long work history and want to group their experiences into categories chronologically.

Obviously the samples above are pretty simple, but they are a great base to work off of.  One thing you can play around with to make your resume stand out from the rest is your contact information. This can be formatted multiple different ways, and there’s not necessarily one right way to do it. Both of these samples happen to be in almost the same format, but you could also center all your contact info:

Name
Address
City, State, Zip
Phone number
E-mail

I personally use a combination of these:

Untitled

Adding the line under your name makes it pop a little more and might catch an employer’s eye more easily.

Your resume is essentially you on paper, so it’s really important to be meticulous when you look it over; make sure your spelling and grammar is correct, punctuation, no run-on sentences, and most importantly that your contact information is right. A common rule is to leave the resume as one page, but as many of us may know, sometimes that is impossible. Not only have some people had a decent number of jobs, but recent graduates could have multiple internships to list. These are important experiences and definitely should not be left out. If the second page of your resume only has two or three lines on it, then the shrink-to-fit option would look better, but if it is mostly full, leave it. Some of us have a lot to brag about! Also, many employers most likely won’t look at every single resume in depth, so it’s useful to use action words and “buzz words.”

Action words like: developed, organized, facilitated, supervised, managed, created 

Buzz words will be subjective by industry. In my never-ending example of education: standardized testing, IEPs and 504s, lesson plans, classroom management, etc.

These words will catch people’s eyes as they’re scanning through stacks of resumes, especially if they describe the work involved in the job you’re applying for.

I’m sure more posts about resumes will follow this one, but the one thing I stress is to really know what is on your resume. Interviewers most likely will have your resume in front of them when you go in to meet with them, and will most definitely ask you questions about it, so it’s important to be prepared. Know your resume like the back of your hand. Never lie on your resume! It’s just a bad idea, don’t do it. Someone will call you out on it, and it won’t look good when they do.

Your resume is a place to let your achievements shine, so don’t be afraid of broadcasting them. You worked hard to get where you are, and perfecting your resume is the first step in getting to where you want to be.

resume quote

The Liebster Award

Thank you so much for Elevated Hope for nominating me for the Liebster Award! It’s definitely a great way to discover new blogs. I’m not following too many people yet, but her page is beautiful, so definitely check it out.

liebster-award

rules

As I said, I don’t have many followers yet, nor do I follow many others yet, but these three have stood out to me. I nominate:

Digging Up Ancestors

Clean meets Lean

Life in Prose

These are probably my favorite three I have come across so far (besides Elevated Hope) so I encourage everyone to check them out!

This post will be a great introduction about myself as well, so hopefully you enjoy a slight deviation from job search, resumes and advising.

My 11 questions:

  1. Have you ever heard of showing cattle?
    • Actually I have! I have some rural communities around my town, and there’s always a big fair in the summer that shows cattle and horses and probably other animals as well.
  2. What is one topic you could write for days on?
    • That’s kind of a tough one. I would say the job search, since that is one of the topics my blog is based on, but even further into that, I would say finding your inspiration. There are so many things in this world that inspire me, both good and bad. I think finding something in your life that truly makes you step back and look at things differently is important. It might not happen very often, but when it does pay attention.
  3. What is your favorite movie and why?
    • I have quite a few that I love, but I never get tired of watching Casablanca. There’s something uniquely awesome about watching old movies like that, especially one so timeless. I’m also a closet WWII history buff, so I love watching shows and movies about that time period.
  4. What is your Myers Briggs initials?
    • INFJ. I originally took this in high school and got INFP I believe, but it changed when I took it again in college. I’ve read a lot about this and other personality assessments, and it’s one thing that truly fascinates me. INFJ is apparently the rarest personality type, and from what I gather, also the most complicated. But who said everything should be simple?
    • I also like to use this in my work. When you take the assessment, the results also contain possible jobs and careers that your personality type might be good at. When I’m working with a student who has close to no idea what they want to do, this is a great tool to kickstart their brainstorming.
  5. What kind of car do you drive and why?
    • I drive a 2004 Saturn ion. I drive it by necessity at this point. After my Jetta needed a new radiator or something obscenely expensive, my dad got rid of it and helped me get the ion. Two recalls, one notice, two brake jobs, and 98,000 miles later, here we are! I was finally able to start putting real money away when I got this job, so I’m hoping it lasts me until I can get something newer. But let’s be serious; my only real requirement at this point is automatic windows.
  6. If you could do anything with no constrictions, what would it be?
    • There are a lot of things I could answer this question with, but designing my own house is probably close to the top of the list. Along with being a closet WWII history buff, I also love architecture and design. For a split second in high school, I thought about majoring in interior design. Contrary to what some people might want in their dream house, I don’t think mine would be overly extravagant. It would just be amazing to have something that’s in your head actually come to life.
  7. What’s your favorite diner or hole-in-the-wall place to eat?
    • For breakfast, I would have to say Cobblestones in downtown New Bedford, MA. The owner has changed a few times since I’ve started going there, but the food is always amazing. I’ve never had a bad breakfast from there. There is also a Mexican restaurant down the street called No Problemo. Hands down best burrito and tostado salad I have ever had.
  8. Who has impacted your life the most?
    • Besides my parents, I would have to say my best friend that I met in college. When I started college, I had friends, but no one that really knew where I was coming from, personality wise. I met Carrie when she transferred to my school my sophomore year, and it was like we had known each other our whole lives. We have very similar personalities, and it was great to have someone who was always on the same level. If I didn’t have her around, I know the rest of my college experience would have been drastically different, and perhaps not for the better.
  9. What’s your viewpoint on animal rights vs. animal welfare?
    • I’m a huge animal lover, but I honestly don’t know a lot about this debate. I think it would be silly to say that animals are not here for our use, but I use the term “use” extremely loosely. Obviously we have killed animals for meat and clothing since the beginning time, and being a meat eater myself, I stand by that. As long as it’s a humane process, or as humane as it can be I suppose. I am definitely opposed to wearing fur, because I think skinning an animal just for fur is a little cruel. So whatever side of things my opinion puts me on, that’s where I stand; but like I said, I don’t know a whole lot about it, so I don’t deem myself an expert by any means.
  10. What is your comfort food?
    • I actually love to have mac and cheese for my comfort food of choice when I’m sick. I really have to be in the mood for chicken soup and things like that, but I always like mac and cheese when I’m not feeling well. I’m not sure where that came from.
  11. What is your favorite city to visit?
    • I recently visited Burlington, Vermont for a half marathon, and it’s a pretty awesome city! There’s a lot to do, great places to eat, and of course Lake Champlain is beautiful. I also love North Conway, New Hampshire. We used to go there quite a bit when I was a kid, and it definitely stuck with me.

 

11 Random Facts

  1. I felt relatively fine about turning 25, but not so much about turning 26.
  2. I have a book problem. I’m currently reading (and watching) the Game of Thrones series, but not too long ago I bought another book to read; this series is 5 books, up to 1200 pages a piece and I’m halfway through with the fourth book. Needless to say, I still have plenty to read, but I have to stop myself from going into Barnes and Noble “just to look,” because inevitably, I will buy something to add to my pile.
  3. I love pizza, but I’m currently trying to give it up for the summer. In accordance with my last post, the struggle is real.
  4. I’m a runner; I’ve run 3 half marathons.
  5. I majored in Psychology and minored in Criminal Justice and Creative Writing.
  6. I love coffee with my oxygen.
  7. I truly believe in signs and fate; If I didn’t, I most certainly would have had a more difficult time navigating my job search. Everything happens for a reason.
  8. I recently got my 5th tattoo, which is also inspired by the same arrow quote that this blog is named for.
  9. I wholeheartedly believe that if I can help at least one student, my job is totally worth it.
  10. I have a bucket list of places to travel to; although Europe and Australia and other places would be awesome, there are so many unique places within the U.S. to visit as well, and those are at the top of my list.
  11. I applied to at least 300 jobs before landing my current position.

 

11 New Questions

  1. What is the first thing you ever wrote about?
  2. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
  3. What is the oddest job you have held and what did you learn from it?
  4. If you could share your writing with anyone who would it be?
  5. Why do you write?
  6. What is the one food you can never resist?
  7. Do you have a dream job?
  8. If you could describe your writing style in one word, what would it be and why?
  9. What is one thing you have learned about yourself recently?
  10. What does success mean to you?
  11. Why did you start your blog?

Daily Prompt: Struggle

Struggle

“The struggle is real.”

This seems to be the modern way of articulating struggle these days, at least I think it still is. The word “struggle” is a far too familiar word to those of us who are on the job hunt or considering important career decisions. There are tons of options out there for every aspect of this process, it can definitely be overwhelming.  If it is in your personality to internalize things like I do, then your brain is a never-ending loop of questions and outcomes of different possibilities.

Once you graduate from college, the doors to the world are wide open to you; you just have to decide which one you want. No big deal right? While your major and degree kind of dictate what types of jobs you apply to, at some point you may find yourself struggling to get a foot in the door of your desired field. The first struggle you may come across is deciding whether or not to broaden your job search to outside of your “dream job.” This should be a given. Do it. Your dream job is out there, but sometimes you have to work a little harder and take some detours to get to it. By expanding your search, you’re opening even more doors and more opportunities to further your knowledge and experience.

Now, I’m not saying to totally give up on your field of choice, but rather look at it like an umbrella. For example, I have my degree in School Counseling, but that is under the education umbrella. Education is a pretty broad category, and while I’m not qualified for everything, I am qualified for some things. When I graduated, I was licensed for grades 5-12, but after not having a lot of luck, I got my elementary school license to try to increase my options. After I still wasn’t landing any jobs, I started applying to different Higher Ed positions. My thought was that an academic or student advisor is essentially a guidance counselor for college in some respects, so I thought my odds might be pretty good in at least getting interviews. I applied to other positions as well, like paraprofessional, program coordinator, education coordinator for organizations like the YMCA,  mentor coordinator, etc. While I was under and overqualified for some of these jobs, they were all still related to my degree, and my goal was still in sight.

I would also recommend volunteering, if you have the time. Using my own education example, volunteering for after-school programs, or even subbing in a desirable district could be really helpful. By being present at the school, administration and teachers will see your face and become familiar with you; when a job pops up there, you might even be able to use them as references, and will most definitely be able to add that experience to your resume!

The job search struggle is real, that much is clear, but deciding to change jobs or careers is tough too. If you land a job that was not your original goal, where you go from there can turn into an internal struggle:

How long do I stay at this job?

Does this position have any opportunity for advancement?

How is this related to the job I want?

I’ve only been here for 4 months, but I see other jobs I might want, should I apply?

 

And the ultimate question: What if I like this job better than the original one I was looking for?

The last question was personally a struggle for me. I think on some level, everyone is afraid to try something new sometimes, especially when you don’t know what the outcome will be. Uncertainty can be unnerving, but it can also be exciting! I invite you to see options that might have an air of uncertainty about them, as opportunities to do something different. This something different could mean new beginnings and could still help you get to your original goal, if that is what you desire.

Follow your arrow, whichever door it points to.

Success: The unexpected journey

I open this blog with a post about success. You see all these inspirational quotes about it and see people who work hard for what they want, and seem to get it seamlessly. But what they don’t tell you is what the path to success actually looks  like. It  is not a smooth road, freshly paved with clear signs telling you where to go next; but rather a bumpy, winding dirt trail full of ruts and unexpected obstacles. The path to success is not a straight line by any means.

success

What I have learned at least, is you have to roll with the punches and keep a positive attitude. Is that easy? Absolutely not. There were quite a few times that I  went on an interview, thinking I had it in the bag, only to receive another rejection a week or two later. It’s not easy.  The thing that I stress the most is keeping your goal in sight. The journey may be rough, but the end result will be totally worth it.

To keep  yourself sharp, I encourage reading up on the industry or field you’re trying to get into. As a licensed School  counselor, I belong to the national and state associations which both print monthly newsletters/journals. These articles definitely kept me up to speed, but I also researched the news on  a regular basis; if there was something going on in education, I tried to be aware of it and put it to use in my interviews. The point I’m trying to make is to always try  to make yourself  a better…whatever it is you’re trying to be. It’s a lot harder when you don’t have the actual position, but it will help in the long run.

I repeat myself in saying, the path to success is not always a straight line. Everyone’s path is different,  and that’s okay; life is not meant to be a single uniformity, but rather a plethora of different opportunities that lead you to whatever goal you have set for yourself.  Trust the journey. You’ll get there.