Graduation is imminent. Soon your career dreams will become realities — that is if you can land an interview. Most soon-to-be-grads haven’t pulled out their high school, fast-food resumes for four years. What worked then won’t work now, especially considering the hundreds of other similarly qualified job hunters in the same boat.
So classes are coming to a close and it’s time to bulk up your resume. You’ve likely Googled a few templates, how-to tutorials, and what-to-avoids and become just as distressed as everyone else. You may have even surrendered and gone into your university’s career services department for help which, under optimal circumstances, is a great idea.
With university resources, career advisors are able to help you find job opportunities. Most likely, they’re pulling from a list of university-sponsored companies that fit your profile (i.e. major). Career services even has resume and cover letter experts, which, under normal circumstances, leads to headaches.
They’ll either forge a template around your existing resume, fill out an education section, and work lightning fast to get you out of their office or build one from scratch. They have limited time and a horde of students needing the same services, leaving little time for you. Typically, these resume builders will give you a template and say good day.
And later, back in your dorm room, you’ll begin to plug in your work experiences and (unless you’re a Microsoft Word wizard) stay up all night fighting auto-tabs, bullet point indentations, and other formatting issues. The buzzwords they used on your topics are overused and do not sound at all like you, so you’ll likely rewrite those sections, too. The resume help from career services turns into a nightmare, largely because you know you better than anyone else.
Every resume is unique. Your experiences, qualifications, and background are different than anyone else’s, which is why putting you on a page is difficult for rushed career services personnel.
The Power of Voice
Employers want to know who you are. Between a resume and cover letter, they should get a pretty good idea of this before sitting across from you in an interview. You have two options when it comes to voice: 1) Trust your own writing ability and risk mistakes, bad grammar, and illegible text, or 2) Get real help.
Career services will force your internships, academics, and experiences into categories. You’re not a category, are you? No. You’re a unique job seeker that wants notice from employers. This is why it’s crucial to find experts outside of the career services department that work to form a perfect resume around you.
Hirers go through dozens of resumes before cutting it down to a shortlist. The rest are trashed due to bad formatting and uninteresting content. For soon-to-be graduates, the paycheck race often forces you to make dire decisions. Think early, and do not rely on career services to build the resume you need to get noticed.
The premise behind every resume is to illustrate how well you will perform in an interview. The rest is on you, though having a solid resume on the table between you and an employer is a great start.
One “side-effect” of having a quality resume is that you can make minor edits and changes based on the employer. This level of customizability helps when you’re seeking other jobs while in a position and add in info as needed. With a locked in, career services resume, students are lucky if they can change their mailing address.
Most likely, a university-generated resume will look like a thousand others. Do you want yours to stand out? Don’t rely on overworked career personnel who don’t care about the you in your resume.
Chic Resumes by Grammar Chic, Inc. provides professional resume writing services and other career support writing options to entry-level, advanced and C-suite job seekers worldwide. For more information about our services visit www.professionalresumewriters.net or call 803-831-7444. Chic Resumes by Grammar Chic, Inc. is on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter @ChicResumes.