If you’re heading out into the workforce for the first time, there’s plenty of prep work to do. An employer’s first impression of you could very well be your résumé.
Christine Pacheco, director of career services at The Art Institute of Colorado, and Kristin Frank, director of career services at The Art Institute of Phoenix, share the top do’s you should include to get noticed and get your foot in the door — and the don’ts that could get your résumé tossed in the trash.
• Do look at the job description and then tailor your résumé to the specific needs of the job, advises Frank. Your skills need to match what the employer is looking for.
• Do ensure you’ve completed at least one internship to include on your résumé, even if your program of study did not require it. Explain how you contributed to the organization and how you made yourself stand out.
• Do list your membership and participation in professional organizations, and if you haven’t joined a professional organization for your field, do so immediately.
• Do utilize your college’s career services department. Advisors can assist you in formatting and tailoring your résumé and may be able to provide you with job leads. They can also help you prepare for the actual interview.
• Don’t embellish. Because you will be asked about your marathon or how you increased your company’s ROI during your three-month internship, make sure everything you put on paper is true. If not, it could come back to bite you.
• Don’t send before you proofread. Few things annoy hiring managers more than that kind of easily avoided carelessness.
• Don’t use that “cute” email address you created in college. A hiring manager will be hard-pressed to take “firstname.lastname@example.org.”